Toms Brook residents buy Wayside Inn at auction

By Ryan Cornell

The historic Wayside Inn in Middletown, which has been on the market for the past six weeks, was sold at an auction on Wednesday.

Auctioneer Gordon Greene said the buying group consisted of Toms Brook residents George and Rebecca Reeves.

Greene said the total purchase price amounted to $806,250.

“Good news is that the buyers have significant plans to reopen the restaurant full time and do some upgrades to the hotel property,” he said.

Greene said the bidding started at $500,000 and there were about 55 to 60 people at the auction. Contracts were signed by the buyer and seller, Jacob and Lois Charon, at the auction, he said.

He added that the purchase agreement included that the Reeves would get 10 ducks and 10 chickens in addition to the property.

“It’s the first time I ever sold a piece of real estate with ducks and chickens as part of the purchase price,” he said.

Billing itself as the oldest continuously operated inn in the U.S., the Wayside Inn first opened in 1797 and was once owned by banker and philanthropist Leo Bernstein from 1960 until his death several years ago. The inn, located on Route 11, contains 22 rooms, a restaurant and a conference center.

The 216-year-old landmark was purchased by the Charons in a 2009 auction for $1 million. When the owners decided to auction off the restaurant and inn for health issues in early September, they listed their reserve price at $775,000.

The Reeves were unavailable for comment Wednesday evening.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com