The history of the Colonial Inn extends three century. The original house was built in 1716 as a private residence for the Minot family in Concord, Massachusetts. Captain John Minot was a soldier and physician. It served an important purpose during the Revolutionary War.
One of the inn's original buildings was used as a storehouse for arms and provisions in 1775. The British attempted to seize and destroy the town militia's supplies. However, the met the Minutemen on North Bridge on April 19th. This became the first battle in the Revolutionary War known as battle of Lexington and Concord. Owner Dr. Timothy Minot, also a physician tended to the wounded from the battle. In 1889, the Minot house along with two nineteenth-century buildings became an inn.
Parts of the establishment were used as variety store and the town's center of commerce during the first half of the nineteenth century. It was also used as a residence. Henry David Thoreau and his family moved in to the inn in the early 1800s. His grandfather owned one of the houses that now make up the inn. Thoreau occupied the property between 1835 and 1837 while attending Harvard. Beginning in the mid 1800s, the building served as a boarding house and then a small hotel, named the Thoreau House after Henry's aunts, the "Thoreau Girls." It wasn't renamed Concord's Colonial Inn until 1900. German Hotelier Jurgen Demisch bought the property in 1988 and put it through a transformation, taking its historical background and combining it with modern services. The Colonial Inn has seen its share of famous guests including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Shirley Temple and Steve Martin. However, some believe guests and soldiers never checked out.
One room in the inn is reported to hold most of the paranormal cards. Room 24 is in the oldest part of the inn. It was room in the original Minot residence and also was used as makeshift morgue during the Revolutionary War. Those who have stayed in the room have witnessed a variety of activity. The first reportedly haunted happening in the haunted room took place in 1966, when a woman on her honeymoon was awakened by a gray, shadowy figure appeared a few feet from the edge of the bed. Other guests since have told tales of strange sensations, voices, dreams, door open and close, and apparitions of two bloodied soldiers in the middle of the night. A woman in blue is seen in the Merchant's Row Restaurant. Another woman is seen descending down the stairs. Footsteps have been heard coming from that area as well. These are among various other claims experienced throughout the inn.
No one knows for sure who the apparitions are but there are several candidates. Some speculate that Room 24 is haunted by soldiers who died under Dr. Minot's care, or perhaps the spirit is Dr. Minot. But others have described a woman, wearing Native American dress. It might also be members of Henry David Thoreau's family. Whoever they may be, the ghosts have always been described as friendly. If you ever find yourself in Concord, Massachusetts, stop by the Colonial Inn and be sure to request Room 24.