The historic Wayside Inn Grist Mill is one of the most beautiful and romantic locations in all of Massachusetts. The grist mill can be found on the property of The Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts. This Inn is the oldest operating Inn in the country and has the historic character, charm, and beauty to prove it. The Wayside Inn Historic Site is made up of four main buildings; the Inn, the Grist Mill, the Chapel, and the Schoolhouse. On April 4, 1973, the Grist Mill and surrounding Wayside Inn Historic District were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Henry Ford, the iconic automobile maker, was the last private owner of the inn and he acquired the inn in 1923. Ford sought to develop a historically oriented village and museum so in 1924 he acquired 3,000 acres around the historic inn. Under his direction, the Wayside Inn Grist Mill was constructed as a replica of a traditional grist mill from the early 1740s. The first time the mill was used was on Thanksgiving Day in 1929. The mill is powered by water and uses two independent grinding stones to make cornmeal and wheat flour. The mill has been meticulously maintained over the years and still produces grains for use and sale at the Inn.
Pepperidge Farm, the American commercial bakery company founded in 1937, was one of the biggest buyers of the Wayside Inn Grist Mill products in the 1950s and 60s. From 1952 to 1967, the company purchased 48 tons of whole wheat flour per month from the grist mill in Sudbury. Pepperidge Farm even based its logo on the beautiful Grist Mill.
Before passing away, Ford set up a non-profit organization that continues to operate the whole property. Today, visitors are welcome to walk around the mill. It has become a popular spot for picnics, reading, and taking photos. Often times you will find families and couples having their photos taken. Parking is located right in front of the mill. Dogs are allowed at the Wayside Inn Grist Mill on leash.
Looking for more great spots to explore nearby? Check out the GoXplr Massachusetts Map at goxplr.com/map/massachusetts!
- Opened: 1929
- Original function: Water-powered stone mill producing cornmeal & wheat flour.
- Architect(s): Multiple
- Year added to NRHP: 1973
- NRHP number: 73000307
- Status: Public
- Admission cost: Free