Essex Inn 

Step into more than 210 years of history at the Essex Inn. 

The Essex Inn first welcomed guests to the Adirondack Coast in 1810. Once the expressway between Montreal and New York City, Essex was a thriving town on the shores of vibrant Lake Champlain when the Inn opened its doors. In fact, the historic Essex Inn is almost as old as the town itself and has always been one of the best places to stay in the Adirondacks. 

In the 1820’s Essex was the busiest seaport on the Lake. Through it funneled timber, iron, cattle and hides. At one time there were more than 10 inns in the community. As the town grew in the early 19th century, the Essex Inn was the North Country’s social hub for merchants, travelers, and residents alike.

Like many other buildings in the hamlet, the Inn was built in stages. The first structure was erected in 1810, utilizing Essex’s classic Federal style. A Greek revival colonnade was later added to the front of the building (circa 1835), adding 11 wooden columns that support the two-story building and give it the Greek temple look it still has today. But the fascinating history of this Lake Champlain hotel goes beyond its architecture.

The  Essex Inn was a hotbed of espionage in the War of 1812. “Spies and military people using the Essex ferry would hang out at the Inn trying to find intelligence,” according to local historian Morris Glenn. At that time, local militiaman Delavan Delance owned the Inn and regularly housed troops there.

Under various names, including North Hotel, the current Essex Inn is the longest-lived guest house/tavern in the region. It has continuously operated from the early lake port days until today, except for a 50-year period in the 20th Century when the building was used as a private home.

In the spring of 2010, Rick and Karen Dalton purchased the Essex Inn and immediately began a top-to-bottom renovation with new electrical, heating and plumbing systems, plus a total refurbishment of sleeping rooms and the creation of a state-of-the art commercial kitchen. In March 2015, another major renovation added the property’s two second-floor suites, along with a redesign and overhaul of the landscaping in the courtyard. Today, the Inn offers 21st Century comfort and amenities in a charming 19th century setting. In 2016, the Dalton’s purchased and restored the 160 year old adjoining Episcopal and Methodist church which now serves as an elegant event space.


About Essex, NY

Nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks, Essex New York sits along the shores of Lake Champlain, the sixth largest body of freshwater in the U.S. Often called New York’s most historic hamlet, Essex contains one of the most intact collections of pre-Civil War architecture in America. Located near the widest part of Lake Champlain, south of the Four Brothers Islands and north of the Split Rock Lighthouse, the community is served by year-round ferry service from Charlotte, Vermont, which is 15 miles south of Burlington.