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Stratford Inn, The - Colonial inn built in 1774 on the sitcom NEWHART/CBS/1982-90.

STratford Inn - Sign - NEWHART

Located at 28 Westbrook Road off Route # 22 in the rural town of Norwich, Vermont (a.k.a. "River City"), the Stratford Inn was purchased by Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart), a New York writer of "how-to" books and his beautiful wife, Joanna (Mary Frann) who renovated the inn and opened its doors as a roadside respite for tired travelers.

George Utley (Tom Poston), the inn's dull but friendly handyman, was a descendant of the original settlers who founded the town of Norwich. Reportedly, there had been an Utley tending the inn for more than 200 years. Leslie Vanderkellen (Jennifer Holmes) and later her cousin, Stephanie (Julia Duffy) worked as the inn's housemaid.

After moving in, Dick and Joanna discovered their inn had been used as a Revolutionary bordello and the saying "George Washington slept here" took on a whole new meaning. The basement of the Stratford Inn revealed the buried remains of a 300 year-old corpse of Mrs. Sarah Newton, a woman hung for being a witch.

Waybury Inn - Then
Waybury Inn - Then

The Waybury Inn - Now
Waybury Inn - Now

On May 21st, 1990 (the final episode of the series) Dick Loudon refused to sell his property to Mr. Takadachi (Gebbe Watanabe), a Japanese businessman who offered to buy the entire town. When Dick refused to sell (everyone else did), a golf course was built around his historic inn, thus making it a hazard on the 14th fairway of the luxurious Tagadachivilee Hotel and Country Club's golf course.

Consequently, Dick gets bonked in the head by a stray flying golf ball, he awakes not as Dick Loudon but Robert Hartley, a Chicago psychiatrist featured on the classic BOB NEWHART SHOW/CBS/1972-78. It seemed that the entire scenario of the Stratford Inn and its eccentric characters was only a dream.

TRIVIA NOTE: In reality, the inn seen on the series is called "The Waybury Inn," built as a coach stop in 1810 by John Foot at the base of the Green Mountains on the edge of the Middlebury Gap. Long known as the "Glen House," the inn is located five miles south of the town on US #7, then east on Vermont 125 in East Middlebury, Vermont, the inn (a National Historic Site) is located at 457 Main Street, East Middlebury, VT 05740. It has 12 double occupancy rooms, a dining room, and a pub that hosted weekend folk singers. Poet Robert Frost once lived a few miles away, and often visited the inn for a meal and company.

Its real owners (1985-90) were Jim and Betty Riley who received a small royalty for letting the program use scenes of their home on the program (TV Guide 1/5-11/1985). In 1990, two local residents Marty and Marcia Schuppert purchased the inn. 

The Waybury Inn houses memorabilia from the NEWHART show like the "Minute Man Cafe" sign used in the dining room and the "Stratford Inn" sign used as the facade of the Inn.

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