Historic Inn Offering Amnesty For Guests Who Pilfered Items In The Past

Image courtesy of NCinDC

If you’re the kind of person who may, ahem, “accidentally” walk off with more than a few free bottles of lotion when you check out of a hotel, this message could be for you: a historic inn in Massachusetts is asking that guests (or their descendants) return any property they may have taken in the past, no questions asked.

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA inspired poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Tales of Wayside Inn,” and was once owned by Henry Ford. In the years since it opened its doors on Aug. 28, 1716, guests have checked out with a few additional items in their bags to remember the place by, items the inn is now seeking as parts of its 300th anniversary celebration, The Boston Globe reports.

“As you know, at hotels people tend to grab stuff here and there,” innkeeper Steve Pickford told the Globe. “Over many years, things disappear.”

What kinds of things? There was the copy of the Declaration of Independence that belonged to Revolutionary War-era innkeeper Ezekiel Howe that disappeared in the 1950s, as well as things like stamped silverware, antique dishes, pewter serving pieces, and paintings.

No one will give you the stink eye if you do return something, but the innkeepers wouldn’t mind hearing any interesting tales about the artifacts if you’ve got one to offer.

Pickford heard of a similar amnesty program at other historic hotels and sites, so he thought he’d try it out.

“We want to give everyone an opportunity to look through their things,” Pickford told the Globe. “You never know what’s going to be turned in.”

The Wayside Inn wants that soap dish back [The Boston Globe]