The Wayside Inn is the oldest operating Inn in the country. Established as Howe’s Tavern in 1716, it’s now a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. The Inn is also known as Longfellow’s Wayside Inn to capitalize on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Tales of a Wayside Inn”, a book of poems published in 1863 after the author visited here.
Henry Ford purchased the property in 1923, making expansions that included a fully-functional replica of a grist mill. Pepperidge Farm used the Wayside Grist Mill as a full-time production facility between 1952 and 1967. The grist mill remains on the Pepperidge Farm logo to this day.
GRIST MILL POND
The Wayside Inn Grist Mill itself is a popular photo destination. But in autumn, some of the best color can be found on the nearby Grist Mill Pond. The pond is surrounded by beautiful deciduous trees, and is frequent host to lots of pretty birds such as ducks and swans.
Water flowing from the Grist Mill Pond produces the power needed to turn the mill wheel. On a windless morning, a mirror reflection of the flora adorning its shores is cast upon the pond surface.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH
The best time of year to photograph the Grist Mill Pond is at the peak of foliage in October. This is mainly a morning destination, so sunrise is the ideal time to capture the scene in golden light.
The Wayside Inn Grist Mill Pond runs east-west, between Wayside Inn Road and Boston Post Road (Route 20) in Sudbury.
Set your GPS to 72 Wayside Inn Road in Sudbury — this will take you to the Wayside Inn. About a quarter-mile west of the Inn, you’ll find the Wayside Inn Grist Mill set back a bit from the road.
Park at the pull-off near the grist mill, head to the mill, cross the little bridge, and then climb up the stairs to arrive in back of the grist mill. Now turn right and follow the path to reach the pond.
Not much to worry about here unless you harass the ducks. Enjoy the scenery!