Facebook Image

Restaurants

The Fairfield Inn 1757 ~ Fairfield PA ~ Confederate Retreat from Gettysburg

The Fairfield Inn 1757 ~ Fairfield PA

After traversing the battle field at Gettysburg, you are left wanting another taste of the people that inhabited that brutal field. What happened when it was done, where did they go?

If you are looking for a historical eatery or a bed and breakfast to end a Gettysburg trek, the Fairfield Inn will wrap up your tour like nothing else. Generals Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart stopped for awhile, and had dinner, on their retreat out of Gettysburg.

From the moment you walk in, you are transported to another world, a world of elegance and dignity, sabers and flowing gowns. Established in 1757, the Fairfield Inn was originally a colonial meeting house and one of America's oldest continuously operated inns, greeting people for over 250 years! It also served as a Civil War Hospital, a stagecoach stop and a stop on the Underground Railroad.

The Fairfield was built 19 years before the Declaration of Independence, think on that! Many famous Americans have passed through it's hallways, including Patrick Henry (the nephew of the original owner), Thaddeus Stevens, Generals Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart, and my relatives, President and Mamie Eisenhower (who loved it so much a room was named after her!) Now that is a chunk of history you cannot miss when you are in Pennsylvania!

On a drizzly cold Mother's Day, we arrived ready to try the General's Dinner. Greeted enthusiastically by owner Sal Chandon, we were ushered through the lovely Inn to a table near a window. Beautiful linens, lovely tables, sparking crystal, with classical music playing, it all helped transport us to a finer time. We looked at the special Mother's Day menu, their chef had obviously gone all out and the food sounded wonderful. But we were on a mission. We wanted to eat what Robert E. Lee ate.

On the afternoon of July 4, 1863, General Robert E. Lee retreated West through the town of Faifield stopping for nourishment at The Fairfield Inn.


THE GENERAL'S BILL OF FARE
Soup
Hearty Ham & Bean
Salad
Mixture of Garden Greens
Entree
Chicken n'Biscuits served with a thick Chicken Gravy
Dessert
Fresh Baked Seasonal Pie

A TASTE OF HISTORY
Today, guests of The Fairfield Inn can enjoy the same meal the Confederate Generals dined on during their infamous retreat West. The above menu selections are from recipes that have been handed down from Innkeeper to Innkeeper for generations. Enjoy the General's meal or any one of the Inn's other delicious selections. (blue text is copied directly from the Inn's website, I could not rewrite that better!)

How was the General's Fare? It started with unsweet tea and the Hearty Ham and Bean Soup. I am not a ham and bean soup person, neither is my daughter and we were a little discouraged to order it, but decided to go along with the meal that General Lee ate, no matter what. When the soup came, it was one of the best soups we had ever tasted, hands down. Fabulous, creamy, delicious with subtle spices - every bite was truly heaven on earth! Served with biscuits cut into delightful star shapes, it was truly THAT good! The Chicken n'Biscuits was delicious, a creamy sauce with huge chunks of tender chicken, served over the star biscuits, with a delicate rice. The seasonal veggies were crisp tender, herbed and great! It ended with a delicious slice of wildberry pie, and the decaf was as rich and full bodied as the history that flowed through the Fairfield Inn! Our waitress was attentive and did her best to please, despite a full and busy Mother's Day crowd well into the afternoon.

When we were done with our meal, we had the pleasure of going on a special tour of the Fairfield Inn with owner Sal Chandon, who is passionate about history and what they are doing at the Inn to keep history alive. It is truly a labor of love, and this is a living history site that we wholeheartedly recommend!

It began as the Mansion House of Squire Miller, the founder of the town of Fairfield. His wife was Isabella Henry Miller, Patrick Henry's aunt, which is why he was an early visitor! They purchased 500 acres, and divided 250 acres off for the town, and 250 for their home, building in 1756. On the road between Hagerstown Maryland and York, PA (where the Continental Congress met from Sept 1777 to June 1778) people were constantly visiting. It became the first tavern house in 1786, and has been in continuous use since the Miller family first built it.

The building itself has gone through a series of additions, growing through the years, like many historic homes. It is amazing on the inside, you literally walk through different eras of history in many of the sections. From the gleaming, beautiful woodwork, to the large fireplaces used through the years, the original hand wrought iron locks on the doors, different sorts of plaster, some imbedded with bricks and period wallpaper, you feel like you are in a gracious living museum. The Fairfield Inn is filled with period antiques, elegance, hospitality and warmth. Sal took time out (on a busy Mother's Day no less) to show us the enchanting rooms for the bed and breakfast guests! Prepare to indulge in luxury when you stay, these rooms are quiet and peaceful, a world away from the lively world happening below. Elegant, appointed with antiques, huge beds piled high with luxurious linens, elegant furnishings and with private baths, we would love to come back and stay on our next trip to Gettysburg.

Our favorites were the upstairs ballroom, and the hidden window in the attic showing where slaves were hidden on the Underground Railroad stop. Dimly lit, impossible to photograph, it gives you a small taste of what it must have been like to be an escaping slave, hidden from view in the walls of this majestic home and Inn.

Living History Sites HIGHLY recommends the exquisite Fairfield Inn in Fairfield, PA! We give it FIVE stars! When you visit, be sure and tell them that Living History Sites sent you!

Joan & Sal Chandon, Owners
Kelly McEntee, Innkeeper
The Fairfield Inn 1757
'An Authentic American Treasure'
Located on The Confederate Retreat from Gettysburg,
July 4, 1863
15 West Main Street (8 miles West of Gettysburg on PA Rt. 116 West) PO Box 300
Fairfield, Pennsylvania 17320
Telephone: 717-334-8868 or 717-642-5410
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Open seven days a week for overnight guests, the Mansion House Restaurant and Squire Miller Tavern Open for Dinner Tuesday through Saturday 5:00 - 9:00 pm, for Lunch Fridays and Saturdays 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, for Colonial Sunday Brunch from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm and Sunday Dinner 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Reservations appreciated.