HENRY FORD’S HISTORIC
WAYSIDE COUNTRY STORE
1015 Boston Post Rd E, Rt 20
Marlborough, MA 01752(508) 481-3458
In 1923, automobile manufacturer Henry Ford purchased Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. He acquired acreage, buildings, and antiquities with the intention of creating a living museum of Americana. After expanding the property to 3,000 acres within the towns of Sudbury and Marlborough, he added several buildings including the one-room Redstone School (relocated to the site in 1925), a fully functioning Grist Mill (erected in 1929), and the Martha-Mary Chapel, named for Henry and C lara Ford’s mothers (built in 1940 from trees felled in the Hurricane of 1938).
In 1928, Ford purchased the Parmenter-Garfield General Store in Sudbury Center. This historic building was erected in 1790 and served as the town post office and general store as well as a school for advanced students. James Garfield, nephew of proprietor Garfield, briefly worked there as a summer teacher years before becoming the 20th President of the United States.
Ford had the structure sawed in half and hauled by teams of oxen to its present site at Hager’s Pond on Route 20 in Marlborough. It opened anew as the Wayside Inn Roadside Market on June 20, 1930 with Clara Ford on hand to assist the first customers. Its name was eventually changed to Wayside Country Store. A dam at one end of the pond accounts for the store’s slogan “Best Country Store by a Dam Site”.
The building’s interior remains as it did when Henry Ford had it renovated. Its foundation was crafted from boulders dug from the grounds, and the basement supporting pillars are huge tree trunks.The stairs leading from the cellar are hand carved from solid wood logs and the steps are held together with wooden pegs. Ford arranged it so the pegs in every third step were loose and creaked when stepped on, giving notice of any burglar climbing the stairs.
Milton R. Swanson bought the store from the Fords in 1947. He won favor for submitting plans describing how he proposed to preserve the original atmosphere, appearance and operations of the Country Store. Although the store has changed to keep pace with the times, visit here is still reminiscent of days of yore. Originally, a single candy counter was housed in the rear of the Country Store. But in 1963 that counter was enlarged and relocated to its own building next door where homemade fudge was prepared in the back room. The Candy Store expanded again in 1984, doubling in size. In 2005 it moved to its current location attached to the Country Store.
Ownership of the store changed hands through the years and has been owned and operated by the Scerra family since 1975. The business is currently run by Robert and Deborah (Scerra) Eager.
Make a day of it by visiting us and frequenting the other fine shops within the complex. The spot remains a nostalgic destination for families from around the world.
Wayside Country Store is one of the largest dealers of Byers’ Choice Carolers. We also carry other collectibles such as Kindles, Jim Shore and Possible Dream Santas. We stock a wide variety of gifts including the Bluebirds of Happiness and Historic Marlborough and Sudbury area throws. Shop our vast selection of New England and Boston souvenirs, or browse our intriguing book selections.
The 2nd floor holds impressive collections of jigsaw puzzles, wind chimes, toys and games, and a sale section bursting with good deals.
If you’re hungry amble over to Madrid European Bakery or Stephen Anthony’s Restaurant, both found in the complex. The restaurant opens early, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. You’ll have a fun time! We have a nice pond on the grounds, and the kids will love feeding the ducks. You may even spot a swan or two!
Sunday - Wednesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday - Saturday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
We now specialize in candy bouquets for every occasion, and centerpieces for functions and parties. Balloons are also offered to add a festive touch to any gathering.
We can assist you with corporate gifts too. Chocolate boxes of assorted truffles, creams, caramels and nuts are an excellent option. Or choose boxes of savory Winfrey’s Fudge.