The Fairfield Inn – Celebrating 260 Years
With origins dating to 1757, The Fairfield Inn is one of America’s oldest, continuously operated Inns. The Inn offers all the refinement and charm one would expect from a small luxury hotel. Individually decorated bedrooms, spacious private bathrooms, and elegant, tastefully furnished suites and parlors invite you to relax. Proud to be celebrating and serving fine food and spirits to travelers and guests for over 260 years.
Built nineteen years before the Declaration of Independence, The Fairfield Inn was originally the Mansion House of Squire Miller, an original founder of the town. In the 260 years that have passed, the Mansion House has seen many famous Americans such as Patrick Henry, Thaddeus Stevens, Generals Robert E. Lee & J.E.B. Stuart, Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Plank and Mamie Eisenhower.
When the Battle of Gettysburg was over, the Confederate Army retreated West through Fairfield, General Robert E. Lee and his officers rode right past the Inn. After touring the Battlefield, we invite you to retreat to our style of history and hospitality. Unwind in one of our luxurious suites or guest rooms. Sip hot spiced cider by one of our eight fireplaces or have a drink in Squire Miller’s Tavern. Enjoy seasonal specialties on our front porch or dine in the original Mansion House. From our famous Chicken & Biscuits to our Chef’s signature dishes featuring the finest hand cut steaks and fresh seafood, taste why over four centuries of fine service and culinary expertise make dining at The Fairfield Inn a deliciously unique experience.
Meet the Innkeeper
Lewis Armistead was one of the brigade commanders under division commander George Pickett. Armistead was from a good Virginia family, and attended West Point. He was expelled from West Point after he broke a dinner plate over the head of fellow cadet Jubal Early. (You can’t have your future officers and gentleman behaving in such a rude manner.) When Virginia seceded from the Union, Armistead raised a regiment in his home town, and became regimental commander. Kind of like when Matthew Broderick became regimental commander of the 54th Massachusetts regiment. Anyway, Armistead was a brave soldier, and was promoted to brigadier general with his own brigade. This was his position when he was at the battle of Gettysburg. Armistead led his brigade into “the angle” and turned the Union artillery around. Before too long, he was mortally wounded, and carried off the field. He died a few days later.
Now fast forward to 1998. John’s best friend is a re-enactor (those are people who like to dress in heavy wool clothing in July in Gettysburg), and Art is a member of a re-enactment group called the “Lo Armistead Group”. In 1998 the group convinced the then owners of the farm on which Armistead dies to place a commemorative plaque on the building. John and Katherine were invited to the ceremony. They came to Gettysburg on July 2nd and tried to find a hotel room. (This is where you convulse in laughter since it’s the busiest weekend of the year, and no rooms are available). They wound up staying in Chambersburg, twenty some miles to the west. On the way back to their hotel room, they saw a sign on Route 30 that said “winery”. They worked their way back to the winery and took a tasting. Sometime during the conversation, the then owner of the winery informed them that the winery was for sale. They call him back two days later (Katherine says it was one day) and said that they would take it. So John and Katherine are here as a direct result of the battle of Gettysburg!
Now fast forward to 2012. There is a sign outside the Historic Fairfield Inn that said “Auction”. Unfortunately, John was scheduled to be out of town on the day of the auction.
But Katherine wasn’t.
So John took over the reins of the Historic Fairfield Inn on April 17th, 2013 following a successful run as co-owner of the famous Adams County Winery in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania. He is the 27th Innkeeper in the Inn’s history. In his 15 years as co-owner of the winery, John helped transform the small winery to one of the most popular in the state. The Fairfield Inn proudly serves Adams County Winery’s wines, many of which John helped craft. We invite you to try some with your next meal.
John has been active in the community by serving on the board of directors of both the Gettysburg-Adams Chamber of Commerce, the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, and as President of the Gettysburg Rotary Club 2009-10).
“I intend to carry on a long tradition of providing superior lodging, excellent food, and preserving the historical nature of the Historic Fairfield Inn.”
Take the Tour
While visiting, if we don’t have Inn guests, take the Inn’s FREE History Tour which will transport you through time pointing out interesting sites such as where President & Mrs. Eisenhower enjoyed their dinners, you can see (or sleep) in the room General J.E.B. Stuart stayed in or where General Robert E. Lee ate, view the room where Statesman Patrick Henry (1736-99), famous for the quote: “Give me liberty or give me death” conducted meetings, as well as many other historically interesting sites and stories including the hidden Underground Railroad room. Travel back four centuries and Experience America…Then and Now!