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