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Wanted: New Owner for Old Inn

Have you ever wanted to own an inn located in a quintessential New England town? Has your educational institution outgrown its current home? Interested in developing a mixed-use project that incorporates housing for local seniors? The town of Petersham wants to hear from you to explore these and other possibilities. The town has issued an “all options” RFP and is looking for a new owner that has both the vision and capacity to reimagine, reuse, and reactivate the long vacant, town owned Nichewaug Inn and Academy.

The Nichewaug Inn constructed in 1899, and located on the Common in the Petersham Common National Register and Local Historic District, is a stick style building which served as a successful inn and resort for almost 50 years. In 1951 the inn was purchased by the Sisters of Maria Assumpta who subsequently built a brick addition and used the property for a parochial girl’s residential school and then retreat center. Since 1985 the property has had a number of owners and has been owned by the town since 2007. The Nichewaug Inn was listed on Preservation Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resource list in 2003.

Last month, I had the opportunity to tour the interior of this unique property. In my work as PM’s Circuit Rider for central and western MA, I have followed the efforts of local advocates, community residents and town leaders as they discussed the future of this local landmark. It was amazing to finally glimpse inside the Inn which retains many of its original architectural details and is in good shape given its age. In addition to numerous fireplaces and rooms, the inn includes grand staircases and a music room/ chapel with walls and ceiling covered in wood shingles. I had always heard about how large the complex was, and walking the corridors convinced me that this property offers a lot of space and potential. Located on a 6.6 acre site facing the Petersham Town Common and adjacent to the Petersham Memorial Library, the Nichewaug Inn is in walking distance to the Town Hall, post office and the Petersham Country Store where you can get a great cup of coffee, delicious baked goods, and even purchase local produce and baked goods.

To learn more about this interesting property and opportunity, visit the Nichewaug Property Page on the town website where you will find a wealth of information including photographs, floor plans and elevations, a market and feasibility study done in 2015, and copy of the current RFP. Proposals are due January 19, 2018. Questions? Contact Henry Woolsey, Vice Chair of the Petersham Selectboard at

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