The Inn is undoubtedly the longest continuing business in town. Municipal amalgamation is another transformation through which the City has evolved. It became necessary for the honest merchants in town to stand up for themselves and root out the problem before outsiders might interfere. Captain Wadsworth and his men defended the site to the death. In classic Sudbury style, they decided to take matters into their own hands and do something about it. In the years 1854 and 1855 they emplyed a young college student as a summer teacher, the nephew of proprietor Garfield. The town’s records and various personal accounts provide us with a quaint picture of life in those times. The notion of a Chamber of Commerce would have seemed ludicrous to our founding fathers. In the winter of 1882–83, about 3,350 workers arrived on the site of modern Sudbury. Iron ore was mined from the bogs at the current site of Nashawtuc Country club. And, of course, there was Eziekiel How, Innkeeper of the Black Horse Tavern, later to be known as the Wayside Inn. As Sudbury’s original borders were quite large and travel to meetinghouse/parish could oftentimes prove difficult, a second meeting hall was built in 1723, west of the river where the Unitarian church is now. Sudbury Center continued in the role of the political, religious and cultural center of the town in the 1800′s, much as it had since earliest times. A series of fires altered South Sudbury dramatically near the end of the century. This gristmill was disassembled 70 years later by Henry Ford and used to create the Wayside Inn’s. Sudbury's origins can be traced back to 1883 and the development of the transnational railway. While the specific problems may be relative to the times, the tradition of civic involvement forged here in Sudbury remains a constant. Nonetheless, Sudbury’s farmers and merchants earned the reputation as masters of “yankee chess,” the art of bartering and extracting the greatest price possible from the Boston buyers and the growing number of people passing through Sudbury westward. Members of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce continue Sudbury’s tradition of civic responsibility. Brown made his final stand, insisting on the divine power of the church over the citizens of Sudbury, and calling in a delegation of ministers from Cambridge, Watertown and Concord in an effort to enforce his rule. Prominent guests of the Inn over the years included Presidents Calvin Coolidge and John F. Kennedy, the poet Robert Frost, Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison (who was later inspired to quote the aforementioned “Mary had a little lamb” poem as the first words ever recorded onto the phonograph). In 1954, the Sudbury Highway Department issued a report that stated the town’s growing fears succinctly: “Sudbury is about to evolve quite suddenly from a small country town into a congested residential suburb.” In 1955, Sudbury was identified as one of the 10 fastest growing towns in the state. Bentley’s, Longfellow Tennis and some others sold items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts and bumper stickers, raising thousands to fund the activities. Perhaps the most emblematic of Sudbury's various transformations is the concentrated effort at land reclamation that has been ongoing since the late seventies. the more things change, the more they stay the same” came to mind. Sudbury’s first settlers were America’s midwives and nursemaids, nurturing the infant with great personal sacrifice in the name of civic responsibility. In earlier times small village shops operated in the areaincluding the popular stage rest stop Pratts Tavern, a post office, a schoolhouse, a harness and whip shop, a coopers shop, blacksmith and axe shop, a cobbler and several grocery and dry goods stores. There was special entertainment for the children of Sudbury and Wayland, along with a parade, dinners, a concert and a “…grand illumination and fireworks display” on Sudbury’s Common. Young’s neighborhood store, located on Rt. The town of Sudbury has always taken care of itself, perhaps a throwback to colonial times when self sufficiency was the only game in town. Around the time of Sudbury’s 250th birthday, 711 were fed and housed (actually chained in at sundown to insure fulfillment of chores after food had been “provided”). True to the now legendary Sudbury tradition of civic involvement, Enoch had risen to the rank of captain of the Militia in the war of 1812.
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