For the past one hundred years, The Yankee Pedlar Inn, which opened as Conley’s Inn has been the place to both stay and dine in Western Connecticut. The Inn was opened on July 28, 1891, by Frank Conley who came to the United States from Ireland as a nine year old apprentice shoemaker. With his wife, Alice Tryon of Massachusetts, Conley gained prior experience in the hotel business. (Gelston House, East Haddam and Allen House, Torrington)
However, Frank Conley’s personal ambition was to open a hotel that was the equal of any in the state. In November 1890, Conley brought, for $8,000 a 100′ by 214′ lot on the corner of Main Street and Maiden Lane. The plans called for a very modern structure four stories tall of pallet brick, trimmed with Vermont Marble. A wide verandah 114′ x 60′ ran along both street sides of the hotel.
Inside the hotel -marble floors in a black and white diagonal mosaic, wainscoted carpeted floors and there were pictures on every wall. Fifty two bedrooms with 41 for transients. Private and public dining rooms to seat 150 people at one sitting. The chairs and tables were of antique oak, each room had a two-light chandelier and hot water was always available. In essence, the last word in late Victorian hotel comfort and elegance.