Cool Bike Rides
One of my favorite roads to ride in this area is Route 8. You can pick it up in many places and can run it from Connecticut on up to Vermont. It’s a beautiful two lane road that runs at a nice speed through some beautiful country. There are plenty of interesting things to see along the way whether it’s covered bridges, places to eat, or beautiful views.
One of the more interesting places to stop is the New Boston Inn. It’s nestled in the heart of Sandisfield, MA where Routes 57 and 8 connect. The traditional history on this is fascinating in and of itself, especially if you’re into historical sites.
The inn was built in 1737 and claims to be the oldest Inn in Berkshire County. If you visit the New Boston Inn, you can’t help but be taken back by its old New England charm. The inn was originally built as a home by Captain Daniel Brown, one of the original settlers of the area. Though it didn’t begin as an Inn, some years after it was built, Captain Brown converted it to an Inn. He did this because folks were frequently stopping in to water their horses, an overnight stay in the barn, and a little hand-out of food. It was officially converted to an Inn in 1760 and it was then they added the carriage house, a ballroom, additional bedrooms and the tavern and restaurant. Since this time, it’s remained an Inn available to wayward travelers looking for a quaint place to stay off the beaten path.
Now for the history not everyone hears. Though you will find no reference to this story on the website, it was told to us by the New Boston Inn’s current owner, Barbara Colorio. The inn is also supposed to be haunted by a ghost named Harriet. In fact, it was actually featured on the Sci Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters.
As the story goes, Harriet was a young lady from a well to do family from New York. She'd fallen in love with a young, local farmer but was forbidden to see him as he was beneath the family's social stature. This young man went to war and she moved on.
Some time later, he returned to Sandisfield and it happened to be the same day Harriet was to marry her fiancé. Having heard this news, the young man rushed to the inn to stop the wedding, only to find out he was too late. It's said that he rushed into the ballroom, pulled a pistol and yelled "if I can't have you no one can!" and he shot her. Harriet fled from the ballroom and into a bedroom across the hall (room #4 now if you're interested). It's here that she died a short time later. It's actually this room which is reportedly one of the most "active" rooms in the inn.
It’s also been said that the young man was immediately taken into custody by the local law enforcement, and subsequently hanged the following day behind the New Boston Inn.
Since, it's been rumored that the inn has been haunted by the ghost of Harriet. Doors have been known to open and close on their own. Folks have heard footsteps walking up and down the hall. Voices have been heard and many other strange events have occurred.
Barbara shared a few stories of her own with us. She's had guests leave in the middle of the night with no explanation, folks who've reported seeing both male and female ghosts. She once walked into one of the rooms mid week, when she's not open, only to find obvious signs that someone had actually slept in the bed the prior night. There had been no one there, but she could clearly see the imprint on the sheets and mattress where it appeared someone had slept on their side...
Another story she shared was one about a couple who'd arrived for their wedding. They had rented out the inn for the weekend for the festivities. When they came to the door they asked Barbara who had arrived before them. She reported that no one had and inquired as to why they'd asked. Apparently, they clearly saw a man in one of the upstairs windows holding a book and looking out at them. They went upstairs to make sure there was nobody there and indeed found the rest of the inn to be empty.
One final story she shared involved her beautiful collection of music boxes which she proudly displays in the upstairs hallway. She'd had a handful of guests on one weekend who'd been downstairs in the bar well into the evening. They all turned in for the evening and had just settled into their rooms. Barbara was downstairs cleaning up from another long day at the Inn when suddenly, all of her music boxes started playing music at once.
Barbara rushed upstarts as the guests burst out of their rooms to see what was going on. It appears as though the music boxes began playing on their own and after several minutes, they began to wind down. The crazy thing is they all started at once. It's not as though one started, then the next, and so on, they all began at once. Suffice it to say this incident goes unexplained to this day.
Though we didn't see anything out of the ordinary when we visite, other than elegant accommodations in an incredibly beautiful area, perhaps you will. Whether you’re an amateur ghost hunter, a fall "leaf peeper" as we like to call them here in New England, a biker looking for an adventure, or someone just looking for a cool place to stay, the New Boston Inn should make it on your list of places to visit.
For directions to the New Boston Inn, we would like to share one of the rides featured on our website called the Barkhampstead loop.
- Turn left out of the Summer House parking lot on to 10-202 heading towards Granby, CT.
In Granby, turn right on to Route 20 at the light.
- Turn left on to Route 219 towards Barkhamsted. You will arrive at a stop sign, turn left to continue on 219 towards Barkhampsted.
- Be sure to stop at the rest stop before or after the dam at the lake. This is a beautiful place to take a break and snap a few pictures.
- Follow 219 until you reach route 318 and then 181. You should continue to follow 181 towards Winsted.
- Turn right on Route 44 still heading towards Winsted. If you’re interested in having a coffee or need a quick rest stop, be sure to visit the Dunkin Donuts on 3 Main Street in Winsted, CT. This will be the last opportunity to stop for a little while and is roughly the halfway point for your trip.
- Shortly after passing Dunkin Donuts you’ll turn right on to Route 8 heading towards Massachusetts.
NOTE: Shortly after getting on Route 8, you will see signs for the Colbrook River Lake boat ramp. Be sure to take a few minutes to stop here and take in one of the hidden treasures here in North Western Connecticut. If you’re lucky, the access gate on the far side of the parking lot will be open. If so, be sure to venture down this road as it will reconnect with Route 8. At the stop sign at the end, take a right to resume your trip.
- Follow route 8 into Sandisfield, MA.
NOTE: In Sandisfield, if you’re simply following the original ride, you will turn right on Route 57 and follow this back into the center of Southwick. To visit the New Boston Inn, you will pass this turn, take the sharp left across the bridge, and the New Boston Inn will be right in front of you as you come across the bridge. Continue onto Route 57 West and the parking lot is just beyond the building.
- To get back to Southwick, get back on 57, and backtrack to the original turn, just over the bridge.
In the Southwick Center, you will again intersect with Route 10-202 where you will take a left. This will bring you back to the Summer House at the top of the hill.
A great place to visit on your way back down the mountain is the Granville Country Store. It’s located on your right as you come own Route 57 into the center of Granville. They make some of the best cheeses I’ve ever eaten. Make sure to stop in and grab some for later!
Also, don’t be a stranger, share your riding experiences with us! Whether it’s your experience running one of our routes, or sharing one of your own, we’d love to hear from you.
Haunted Destination New Boston Inn
Originally featured in our Haunted New England handout at the Springfield Motorcycle Show...
Please visit their website today...