The Four Columns Inn is located on The Village Green of Newfane in Southern Vermont. The Inn and the Vikkage appear much the same as they did in the 1800’s. Founded as ‘Fane’ in 1753, the town originated on a mountain top 2 miles southwest of its current location on a site now known as old Newfane Hill.
Within a few years there were twenty houses, a court house, an academy, three stores, two hotels, a meeting house, various repair shops, a jail and a whipping post. (You can visit the original site. This is one of our favorite, more strenuous walks from the Inn).
Newfane became the shire town (the county seat) in 1787, and in 1825 the hardy citizens decided to move their village down off the hill to the flats around Smith Brook, then known as Fayetteville, where there were only a few houses. They dismantled several of the original buildings, brought them down on ox sleds and rebuilt them around the new village green. Among these were part of the Old Newfane Inn and the two houses just south of the church. But mostly they had to build anew. In that first year a general store quickly appeared where the Newfane Market now stands, while the county erected a brand new court house and jail at a cost of $10,000. The Windham County Courthouse remains as the prominent structure on the Village Green, and the jail is now the Sherriff’s office directly across Route 30.
A meetinghouse went up in 1832 (now Union Hall) as did the Kimball-Benedict House , one of the first new homes built along Pleasant Street bordering the Village Green. A few years later the Congregational Church was constructed adjacent the Kimball-Benedict property. This home would eventually become the Four Columns Inn, and the street is now West Street . These iconic buildings on the Green remain very much the same as the day they were constructed. With so much of the original architecture still intact, a visit to Newfane offers visitors an authentic view of another time and place in our American History. Newfane Village is on the roster of National Historic landmarks.