Inn that inspired Longfellow: Guests, give us our stuff back

Published 10:12 am Monday, September 19, 2016

SUDBURY, Mass. — A historic Massachusetts inn that inspired poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and was once owned by automotive pioneer Henry Ford wants its stuff back — no questions asked.

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury is celebrating its 300th anniversary by offering amnesty for former guests who may have —ahem — “secretly checked out” inn property. Return it, and management says it won’t pursue criminal charges.

Innkeeper Steve Pickford tells The Boston Globe he’s particularly interested in recovering a copy of the Declaration of Independence belonging to Revolutionary War-era innkeeper Ezekiel Howe. It went missing in the 1950s.

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Pickford says guests have also absconded with stamped silverware, pewter serving pieces, antique dishes and paintings.

The inn opened in August 1716 and bills itself as the oldest operating inn in the country.