Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Wilmington Inn Blog- History of the property

We hope everyone has been enjoying fall, we have had a busy foliage season and have enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures, sunny days, and great color of course! Recently we hosted a meeting of the Wilmington Historical Society.  They were excited to see the Inn as many of these folks have memories of playing with past owner’s children in the Inn during the 50’s and 60’s.  After sitting in on this meeting, listening and contributing what we know about the history of the Inn, we thought what a great idea for a blog post!  In this post, we will enlighten you with some brief history of the Inn as a building but mostly about the original family.

The Inn was built in 1894 by Joseph Courtemanche (this is where our suite with this name comes from!) Joseph Courtemanche came to Wilmington from Quebec in 1873 when he was 20 years old. His first occupation in Wilmington was a blacksmith. In 1875 he married a local girl named Jennie Wheeler, they had 4 children.

The Carriage House was built in 1876, the main house would follow and be built 18 years later.  The carriage house, when built served as his workshop with a woodshop on the 1st floor and a paint shop on the second. This enabled Joseph not only to do all needed repairs both wood and iron, but he developed a successful business manufacturing sleds, carriages, dump carts, etc.  Fast forward to the Inn Years, the carriage house was converted to 4 additional guest rooms (to accompany the main house) in 1989.

In 1894 in addition to being the year the Main house was built, Joseph Courtemanche answered pleas from town’s people and took the responsibility of installing an electric light plant for the village. 36 incandescent lights were put in town, as well as some lights in local residences. Lights stayed on only until 11pm unless something very special was happening in town.  The Courtemanche’s ran the plant until 1930 when New England Power Co bought it.

The property was a private residence until becoming the Gavit Lodge in 1956; during this time the ski industry was starting to boom with the invention of the ski lift.  The next owner changed the name to the Red Shutter Inn which remained the name till 2006 when the name was then changed to the Wilmington Inn & Tavern.  The Inn is currently called the Wilmington Inn after the tavern was closed in 2013.

In 2011 Hurricane Irene hit Wilmington, but the Inns’ location up on the hill saved it from any devastation.  The State of Vermont & more specifically Wilmington got hit with severe flooding causing 6-10 feet of water to flood downtown Wilmington & other parts of Vermont.  Vermont residents came together & rebuilt the state one road and building at a time. 

We have so enjoyed meeting many locals and past owners who have shared a lot of history and stories with us about “the old days” and what they remember. We love that we have started a new chapter for the Inn while continuing to grow it and make improvements all while keeping the history intact.  We hope to see you soon if you haven’t made it to meet us in person and see all we have done so far! If you are one of the many people we have had the privilege of welcoming to the Inn we can’t wait to welcome you back.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Day Trips Galore

Happy Fall!

As you have seen in previous blogs we have sent, Wilmington has SO much to offer.  We wanted to give you a sneak peek into destinations NSEW (north, south, east, west) of Wilmington.  All of these spots are within an hour drive of the Inn.

Mount Snow – 8 miles North
Mount Snow is the closest ski mountain to Wilmington.  Mount Snow has lots of fun summer\fall activities such as; mountain biking, golf, scenic chairlifts & more.  During the winter time, Mount Snow has 87 trail lifts, 20 chairlifts & 587 acres of land.  Besides skiing, they also offer Snowmobiling, tubing & snow-shoeing.  Make sure to check out their website for all of their fun events year round.
Want to go to the mountain & not worry about driving? Take the Moover- The Moover is a free bus from downtown Wilmington directly to Mount Snow year-round.

Brattleboro, VT- 19 miles East
Downtown Brattleboro is the cultural & economic hub for Southern Vermont and the region.
Known for its fun and funky art vibe, Downtown Brattleboro’s compact, walkable footprint houses an incredible variety of entertainment venues.
Looking to shop while you’re there? Among others, Downtown Brattleboro offers: 4 independent bookstores, 3 sporting goods shops, 2 record shops, 4 vintage boutiques, 3 jewelers, and an abundance of galleries, studios, and local crafts folks. All within an easy stroll.
If you like to eat and drink, you’ll find Downtown Brattleboro has become a true foodie destination. Specialties range from Thai to Farm Fresh, Vegan, Fine Dining, Italian, and more. A year-round Farmer’s Market, award-winning Co-op, pubs, distillers, artisanal food creators, and 4 local breweries round out the offerings.
Visit here to see what they recommend doing if there for a day.

Bennington, VT- 20 miles West
Bennington has a rich cultural heritage, beginning with the Native Americans drawn by an abundance of fish & game in & along the area’s numerous waterways.  In 1749, New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth chartered the first town in the territory now known as Vermont, and named it Bennington, in honor of himself.  The town’s original settlement was formed in the area known today as Old Bennington in 1761 by Congregational Separatists from Connecticut & Massachusetts.   The independent spirit of these early settlers was reflected in their overt resistance to land claims from New York Colony & eventually led to the formation of a local citizen militia headed by Ethan Allen, which came to be known as the Green Mountain Boys.

The Bennington Monument is a great spot to visit to learn more about this famous battle.  While there is a lot more to do in this great city, Bennington is a great stop over town before heading North into Vermont on Route 7 Byway. 

North Adams MA & Williamstown- 24 miles South
The smallest town in Massachusetts!  Filled with lots to do and home of MASS MOCA. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is a museum in a converted factory building complex located in North Adams, Massachusetts. It is one of the largest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States.  For more to do in the area visit:
Also explore Williamstown, home of the Clark Art Institute & Williams College

Stratton VT- 24 miles North
Stratton Mountain is easy drive from Wilmington if you are looking for a change of pace.  In the Summer, Stratton offers an adventure park with tons of fun activities for all such as kayaking, hiking, ATV Tours & a full ropes course.  During the Winter, Stratton offers 97 trails, 11 lift with 670 acres of land.
While visiting Stratton, check out Hamilton Falls.  A great natural sight to see in the Vermont- multiple options to hike in from easy to moderate; perfect for all ages.

Shellburne, MA- 32 miles South
Shelburne Falls is the business district shared by the towns of Buckland and Shelburne. Once a prime Salmon fishing spot for native Americans, the village gradually emerged more than a century ago as a manufacturing community centered around industry on the Deerfield River. The village experienced a revitalization in the 1980s and 1990s, and unlike many similar communities, evolved and continues to be a vital downtown with a growing reputation as an arts community. The village resisted the "urban renewal" trend of the 1950s and 1960s, which has left this generation with an historic, turn-of-the-century setting for a unique mix of locally owned businesses.

Shelburne Falls is home to the world-famous Bridge of Flowers, which attracts more than 35,000 visitors a year, as well as the Glacial Potholes, a curiously beautiful rock formation. The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum celebrates the village's transportation heritage.

Manchester VT- 44 miles North West
A vibrant, creative community tucked in the valley of the Green Mountains, where big, undiscovered experiences await. Where you can sip, savor, and shop. Where you can unplug, restore, and recharge. With world-class recreational activities and premiere cultural events at your fingertips, we don't blame you if you never want to go home. 

Manchester is a town in southern Vermont that homes Hildene, the estate of Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert, which has a Georgian Revival mansion, gardens and a farm. In Manchester there is also The American Museum of Fly Fishing with displays rods, flies and angling-related art. Nearby, the Southern Vermont Arts Center has varied exhibits, a sculpture garden and a performance space, plus sprawling grounds with forest paths. West of town, a trail climbs Mount Equinox.

While in town you can also browse designer outlets and locally owned shops. Visit here to see more of all that Manchester has to offer.

These are just a few of the easy day trips from downtown Wilmington.  Every day we find out about new day trips for people explore! Don’t forget to book soon for foliage (leaves are already turning!) and ski season.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Wilmington Inn Blog: Featured Summer & Fall Events

Greetings from The Wilmington Inn!  We are enjoying a busy summer & looking forward to all that is to come in the next few months.   We are happy to announce that we received a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor- thank you to everyone for your great reviews!

We are glad to report that our first flyfishing weekend was a success!  We had 1.5 days of successful fishing.  Everyone caught some fish & we even had one guest catch one of every species in the Deerfield River!  Like our Facebook page to be notified when we reveal the dates for our Fall Flyfishing weekend soon. Wilmington Inn Facebook page
In the last blog, we listed some links to events coming up but wanted to share more information about the major events for the remainder of the summer season. If there is one thing we have been told its how busy August to the end of October is as far as room availability in the Valley so book soon to be sure to lock in our great rates.
Blueberry Festival: July 28th- August 6th

This is a fun filled festival for all ages!  Lots of different activities all centered around blueberries- great family activity!
July 28 - Blueberry Jello Slip & Slide  
July 29 - Blueberry Parade -  Dover,  Blueberry Bash - Mount Snow Resort
July 30 - Blueberry Splash - Harriman Reservoir, Wilmington
August 4 - Blueberry Chalk Walk & Car Show - Jacksonville
August 5 - Blueberry Block Party – Wilmington

100th Annual Deerfield Valley Farmers’ Day Fair: August 10- 13
This fair has grown so much over the last CENTURY & there is lots of fun to be had!
Fair Hours:
Friday August 10th: 5p-10pm
Saturday August 11th: 8am to 10pm
Sunday August 12th: 10am to 4pm
Special events:
August 10- Truck Pull
August 11- Country Jam & Kids Tractor Pull
August 12- Pie Eating contest, Classic Car show, Horse Draw & much more!
August 13- Demolition Derby!

The 23rd Annual Mount Snow Brewer’s Festival: September 2nd & September 3rd
Love Beer?  Then you will love this event!  Named one of the named one of The 20 Best Summer Destinations In Ski Country by FREESKIER Magazine. 50+ breweries on hand pouring 100+ beers!  Live music all weekend long! 
Take the Moovers bus from downtown Willmington right to Mount Snow- no need to drive!
Gates open each day at 12:3pm & close at 6:30pm

10th Annual Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival: September 22-24

Wine Enthusiast or Wine lovers will enjoy this festival!  Over 50+ wineries, cheese & farm fresh products are displayed at the festival!  There are tons of different events all weekend long!
 September 22- Wilmington Village Wine Tasting Stroll & Soup Contest
September 23- Mount Snow Resort Grand Tasting
September 24- Vermont Wildlife Festival

We are picking up quick for these events so get your rooms fast!  We look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Thank you,

Megan & Charlie Foster

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mid Summer Blog- restaurant options & more!

Hello from The Wilmington Inn!  We are rolling into the summer season & loving every moment of our adventure!  Wilmington is a beautiful town with plenty to do & restaurants galore!  In this blog we are going to concentrate on our local restaurants.  We are lucky to have multiple restaurants within walking distance from the inn.   We are even more lucky that the brand NEW sidewalk ends right at the inn!! 

In order to keep it simple, here is a chart of the restaurants in downtown Wilmington.  There are many more restaurants in the area but this list concentrates on the locations that you can walk to from the Wilmington Inn.

And here is a description of the restaurants as well:

Hope this helps on your next adventure to Wilmington!

We are excited to share more news about the inn & the area for your reading pleasure!

v  Renovations are completed at the inn, here is what we have done so far!

-          Introduction of “Grey Lady Suite” on 3rd floor of inn
-          Updated to commercial kitchen
-          Updated Front Patio to enhance view of the Deerfield River
-          Remodel fire pit & new furniture
-          Painted exterior of the building
-          Remodeled Jenny’s Room

v  We have also rolled out two new discounts for year-round use.  Effective immediately for new reservations, AAA Members & Seniors over 60 will receive 10% off room rates
v  Reminder about our fishing package on July 7-9- rooms still available!

Wilmington Area news

Upcoming events

July 2-4th Independence Day Celebrations! 
July 8th Singer & Songwriter Jeff Campbell at Memorial Hall
July 15th Singer & Songwriter Deadgrass at Memorial Hall
July 15- August 13 Marlboro Music Festival
July 28- August 6th Vermont’s Blueberry Festival

And here are some great new local specials for travelers to the area!

Haystack Golf is running some fantastic weekday golf specials!  Where else can you find 18 holes of golf with a cart for $32  (Monday-Wednesday)!!  Come stay at the Wilmington Inn & hit the links!
Mount Snow’s Mountain Bike Park is a wonderful place for the adventure seekers!

We hope everyone enjoys reading our blog!  We look forward to seeing everyone in Wilmington soon.

Charlie & Megan Foster

Monday, May 29, 2017

Summer has arrived in Wilmington!

Summer is here!!

In past blog posts, we have mentioned a few times the various activities that people can enjoy in the area. Every guest that visits the Wilmington Inn has expressed surprise when they hear about all of the adventures that await everyone in the Deerfield Valley year round. We have received lots of questions about various activities so we wanted to send out our top 5 favorite things (right now) to do.  The list is based off our personal enjoyment & interests; with that in mind there is no rhyme or reason to the order of the list.

5. Hiking & Mountain Biking
There are some amazing hiking trails within walking distance of downtown Wilmington.  Here is a link to our local trail map: 
Or if you are looking for different options here are some great spots to go:

4. Zoar Outdoor
Zoar Outdoor is a regional company that offers multiple outdoor adventures & rentals to offer up lots of different things to do.  Zoar is located directly across the street from the Wilmington Inn allowing you to take advantage of all activities without using your car! Zoar offers the following rentals in Wilmington; paddle boarding, kayaking & mountain bikes.  Let the Adventure begin!   Mention you are staying at the Wilmington Inn & receive 10% off!

3. Adams Farm
Adams Farm is a family run farm since 1865 & the farm is currently owned & operated by the 5th generation owner, Kip Adams.  Adams Farm is a terrific location to visit with lots of different fun activities.  On the farm, they offer; petting zoo, horseback riding, paintball, fishing, Farm to Table BBQ and many more activities.  You can check their website here- reservations recommended:

2. Boat Rental & Harriman Reservoir (also known as the Lake around these parts)
The main drag through Wilmington is the Molly Stark Byway or Route 9.   Molly Stark Byway follows the expansive Harriman Reservoir (also known as Lake Whitingham) for more than a mile.  The Lake is a power reservoir owned & operated by TransCanada.  The Lake is over 8 miles long & features 28 miles of winding coastline.  People say the Lake can appear packed & you can always find a quiet Spot!  With that in mind, there are lots of things to do.   There  are some great beach areas & swimming holes. 
We recommend you check out High Country Marine, they rent everything from Wave Runners to Pontoon boats:  

1. Fishing
Fishing is #1 because Charlie is an avid fisherman for saltwater & freshwater.  Keep in mind, fishing is one of his hobbies,  but he by no means a pro.  As we all know Vermont is a land locked state so saltwater fishing is out of question; but the freshwater fishing is plentiful.  In Wilmington you can fish from a boat or there is great shore fishing.  Recently, the Wilmington Inn partnered with Brian Lynch of Pheasant Tail Tours to be the exclusive fly-fishing guide for the Wilmington Inn.  Brian is a local guide who fishing on the Deerfield River & other local spots.  Check out Brian’s website for more information

With Fishing on the mind, we are excited to roll out our first fly-fishing weekend at the Wilmington Inn July -8-9!   The Inn will be open only to guests who book the fly-fishing package so everyone can sit around in the evening and share tales about the great fish they have caught!  The package includes:
  • Fly-fishing with two guides on Sunday July 9th for 4-5 hours in the morning at a local fishing spots along the Deerfield River & local rivers
  • Fly-fishing gear is available (request ahead of time)
  • Welcome reception Saturday July 8th at the inn with complimentary appetizers, fly tying, & maybe a few more surprises
  • Complimentary breakfast Sunday morning before departing for fly-fishing
  • Bagged lunch to have on fishing trip
This amazing package is available at a discounted rate of $125 plus room accommodations.  You can't beat this price!  Want to make a weekend out of it?  Arrive Friday night & fly fish Saturday as well for an additional $85 ($210 package on website), or use Saturday to relax and explore this great town.
                Reservations can be booked in several ways:

Hope everyone enjoyed learning about all of the various activities in Wilmington!  Come up & visit soon!  Excited for the new renovations? Like our Facebook page to see the before & after!

See you soon!

Megan & Charlie Foster

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spring Newsletter

For our entire lives we have always assumed that in order to experience Vermont, you had to travel several hours into the state to experience most of what Vermont has to offer.  That all changed when we moved to Wilmington.  As many of you know, Wilmington is located in Southern Vermont & an easy drive to all major cities on the East Coast. Visiting us here is an easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of the real world.

As new transplants to Southern Vermont, we had little knowledge that there were tons of adventures & events in the Deerfield Valley all year long.  Every guest that we interacted with this winter had no idea that the Deerfield Valley had so many fun activities in the summer and fall. So we decided to take on the important task & educate everyone on upcoming activities & events.


Right now while you are sitting in your office or riding the subway from work, start dreaming about your next adventure.  Where can you escape to that you don't have to drive all night for 2 days of fun.  One of the benefits of the Deerfield Valley is that it offers lots of adventures in the immediate area of the Inn!  In order to keep everyone reading, here are some easy bullets about the various things to do this summer & fall!
Summer Activities
- Lots of Water Sports (bring your own or rentals available) on the lake!
- Mountain biking (bring your own or rentals available)
- Hiking for all different skill levels
- Farm activities, animals & games
- Outdoor furniture for relaxation
- Boat Rentals
- Shopping Galore

Check out the Southern Vermont Chamber of Commerce for more info!


Like what you have seen so far?  There is lots of more information to come.  For events, we are only going to concentrate on events through Fall 2017.  Looking for that getaway weekend spot, this is it!  Here is some of what is going on around here this summer & fall!

Summer Events

Memorial Day weekend May 26-29
- Make a Wish Duck Race & Block Party May 29
- Wilmington Parade May 29

Tough Mudder June 24 & 25

Independence Day July 1- July 5
- Events throughout the valley all weekend long!

Marlboro Music Festival July 15- August 13                               

Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival July 28- August 6

100th Annual Farmer's Day Fair & Demo Derby August 17-20

Mount Snow Brewer's Festival September 2-3

9th Annual Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival September 22-24

Enjoy taking a look at these sites, so many great activities & events!  Feel free to reach out to us for more information.

We are cruising through our renovations with great work from Lost Boys Construction & local vendors!  We have found some fun surprises in this historic building & we are enjoying the renovation process.  Once we are completed in a few weeks, we will send out some great pictures!

Next blog we are going to provide some more details about all summer activities up here & how to reach all the different vendors.  From musical acts to pontoon boat rentals there is tons of stuff to do!

Thank you for everyone's feedback on our blog!  We have decided to keep the information on our newsletter & blog identical to make it easier to read.  We look forward to welcoming everyone up soon!

Thank you,

Megan & Charlie Foster

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Snow is melting in Wilmington Vermont!

It has been a wet & dreary week at the Wilmington Inn, luckily we had some great guests to help start our newest puzzle and venture into town for some shopping & dinner.  The snow is beginning to retreat as we begin the next chapter for the Wilmington Inn.  We have heard amazing stories about the effect of summer on the town & the visitors the town attracts. Thank you to everyone who came out for the Chili & Craft Beer Festival! Robin created an amazing chili that tied for 2nd place!

Before the sunrise of summer, we are going to take advantage of spring time to complete some updates on the inn.  After Easter weekend, we plan on closing for two weeks till May 1st to complete some cosmetic updates to the inn's interior & exterior.

We have two major projects that we are excited to share (hopefully we will have pictures to follow soon).  First, we plan on upgrading & restoring the front porch to it's original condition & adding in some bar top around the railing.  Megan & I enjoy looking out over the river on a daily basis & we look forward to sharing this upgraded view with all of our guests.  Lastly, we will be converting our third floor to an additional guest suite & increasing the number of rooms to 10.  By mid-May, we will be introducing our two-bedroom suite for guest reservations.  This suite is being renovated with families in mind to keep everyone together.

Now while New England residents consider April & May "Mud Season," there is still plenty to do!  We recommend driving down towards Shelburne Falls which is about 35 minutes south of the Inn.  Shelburne Falls has lots of great things to do in springtime from the Bridge of Flowers to the Trolley Museum.  The Bridge of Flowers is beautiful this time of the year as the flowers begin to bloom.

The most expansive element of "mud season," is the melting of the winter snow.  While it is impossible to drive on dirt roads, the water does an impressive job of filling all of the various waterways throughout the state.  With this in mind, we are happy to announce an exclusive offer with Zoar Outdoors.  On Saturday May 6th, the US Army of Engineers has scheduled a release of the West River.  We have teamed up with Zoar outdoor to offer a package for guests to stay overnight with us & go whitewater rafting on the West River.  Zoar will pick up Saturday & Sunday at the inn & return everyone at the end of the adventure.  Here is the link for this great offer:

Lastly, we would like to extend our gratitude to all of the local contractors who have assisted in planning for the renovations.  We also want to extend a huge thank you to Sam King of Lost Boys Construction for assisting us non-stop in all aspects of the inn purchase & renovation.

For our next blog, we look forward to sharing some pictures of our renovations as well as some fun May activities including information about Memorial Day weekend in Wilmington.

We appreciate everyone continue to follow our blog posts!  Please enter your email address in the "Follow by Email" section in the top right section.

Thank you,

Charlie & Megan Foster