History of Norwich Inn, Hanover, VT, Upper Valley, Hotels

A map of Hotels In Norwich VT.The Upper Valley is a beautiful place filled with its remarkable history. One of those places filled with an exciting account is also one of the best hotels in Norwich, VT. We are talking about The Norwich Inn. It’s one of the best hotels in Norwich, VT, and it holds a special place concerning the history of the Upper Valley.

Norwich Inn History Facts

  • The historic hotel built by Colonel Jasper Murdock in 1797, the Norwich Inn, served as a stagecoach tavern and hostelry for generations of travelers.
  • The Norwich Inn was the first tavern in Vermont to entertain a United States chief executive. On July 22, 1817, President James Monroe visited the hotel, and while there, he addressed the townspeople of Norwich and “partook of a dinner, prepared…in handsome style.”
  • A devastating fire in December 1889 destroyed the hotel, the Union Hall, and several neighboring structures.
  • The Inn was rebuilt behind the financing of Dr. Bowles, a local dentist, and reopened in 1890. This is now the Main Inn.
  • In 1920, Dr. Bowles sold the Inn to Charles and Mary Walker, who again named it the Norwich Inn. 
  • During the 1920s, with prohibition just starting to be enforced, townsfolk fondly recount that Mary Walker, known as “Ma,” quietly carried on the Norwich Inn’s tradition as a tavern. She did so by selling bootleg booze from the basement. Ma Walker is reputed to be the Inn’s ghost, who, according to some employees and guests, makes an appearance from time to time.
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel, “Dr. Seuss,” was a frequent patron of the Inn.
  • In 1991, Innkeepers and owners Sally and Tim Wilson began to painstakingly restore the Inn to its previous splendor as a Victorian landmark in the center of a lovely Vermont village.
  • The Inn was purchased in 2006 by Joe and Jill Lavin. They have continued in the tradition of the ongoing improvement of the Inn as it evolves through the 21st Century.
  • In 2010, the Lavins introduced a 22-room addition of modern guest rooms in the New England style; The Walker House and Ivy Lodge.

Spend Time In An Iconic Location

The Norwich Inn is one of the best and most historic hotels in Norwich, VT. There is a lot to explore when you stay here. The Norwich Inn’s history dates to 1797, located near Dartmouth College. When you stay with us, we can guarantee that you will have plenty of things to do and see. Call us today at 802-649-1143 to learn more about our Inn (or check availability online).