The Captivating Story and History of the Merwinsville Hotel in Gaylordsville
For 50 years during the the 1800s, the New Milford village of Gaylordsville had an identity crisis. Its name kept flipping back and forth between Gaylordsville and Merwinsville, based on whether the Gaylords or the Merwins were in charge of the post office.
The history of the Merwinsville Hotel began in 1837 when surveyors for the Housatonic Railroad were discussing the best route for the railroad up the valley through Gaylordsville. They spent a few nights in the hotel, west of the river, run by Sylvanus Merwin, a shrewd businessman.
Upon learning in 1842 that the Housatonic Railroad would be routed through the area, he purchased land that required it to cross land he controlled.
He then negotiated with the railroad executives for the placement of the hotel, requiring that the train stop there for a meal and that the station be named "Merwinsville." As a result, the hotel was open for service in 1843 when the train service was inaugurated.