The Shoreham Inn was erected in or around 1790 by Joseph Miller, who sold it in 1802 to Thomas J. Ormsbee. He occupied it as a residence and store until 1804, after which it changed owners quite frequently.
From 1828 to his death in 1845 Robert R. Hunsden kept it as a public house. During this period it was known as the Hunsden Hotel. Colonel F. M. Wilcox, Mr. Ensign, George L. Deming, and A. J. Bennett followed until 1870, when D. J. Wright came into possession.
Next, the property was owned by a stock company composed of men who lived in the town. At some point it has also been known as the Bissell Hotel.
Around 1900 it was purchased by Adelbert Dudley, who operated it as as hotel until the late 1920’s. Around 1930 Mr. Dudley sold it to Lucien Vaillencourt who discontinued the hotel and used part of the dining room as a bar, where beer was dispensed.
In the mid 1960’s we know it was divided into apartments until 1973 when Fred and Cleo Alter purchased the Inn and restored it to a working inn and ran it for about 25 years. In 1996 Jim and Julie Ortuno bought the Inn and made many improvements and updates.
Dominic and Molly Francis bought the Shoreham Inn in 2003. The first major change was the installation of the pub, using an ‘over-mantle’ mirror brought with us from Greenwich, England as the centerpiece.
In 2009, they restored a mid 19th century Sheep Barn directly behind the Inn that now houses our three large loft-style suites. In the 1800’s, Larrabee’s Point here in Shoreham was one of two wool depots in the state and Addison County became the foremost sheep-raising county in the state, boasting the highest concentration of sheep in any county in the country at the time. The lower floor of the suites would have once housed the sheep, while the loft would have stored hay, and then been used for wool cleaning and storage once shearing occurred.
In 2017, Andrew and Elizabeth Done purchased the Inn from Molly and Dominic and will continue the great hospitality that the Francis’s have been know for.
If you have more interest in the history of Shoreham, we have a wonderful and active local Historical Society. One member, Susan MacIntire, has written a new book as part of the Images of America series on Shoreham. We have copies for sale here at the Inn, or you can find more information here at the Shoreham Historical Society website.