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5. Gaylordsville a Serene Riverside Village

Continue on Rte. 7 north to the quaint village of Gaylordsville founded in 1725. Historic sites in Gaylordsville include the Little Red Schoolhouse (Gaylord Rd.) circa 1740, Brown's Forge, Merwinsville Hotel and a plaque where a 300-year old oak tree called the Washington Oak once stood. It was here that General Washington held council with his staff on Sept. 20, 1780.

To reach Merwinsville Hotel and Brown's Forge, cross the bridge, take a sharp right by the post office, follow Riverview Rd., a left on Station Rd.; cross the railroad tracks, take a left on Brown's Forge Rd. Merwinsville Hotel, on the National Register of Historic Places is on the left. The hotel opened its doors to the public in 1843. It represents the legacy of the gilded age when steam trains linked steamship ports on Long Island Sound to the Litchfield Hills. Trains would stop in Merwinsville for lunch before continuing on with their passengers. By 1877, with the introduction of faster trains and dining cars, the Merwinsville meal stop became unnecessary and finally the hotel was forced to close.