Homestead Inn plays 'integral' role in community

There’s a new face at the Homestead Inn in New Milford.

Natasha Melichar recently marked her six-month anniversary as manager of the historic inn.

The public will have an opportunity to meet Melichar and visit the historic inn at the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce’s next Business Scene March 19.

The inn will serve as the host site for the informal business networking opportunity, co-sponsored this month by the inn and Brookfield Technology Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“It’s perfect,” said of the bed and breakfast located on Elm Street that she was drawn to last fall. “It’s a small town with a cute downtown you can walk to.”

The manager said the area is steeped in outdoor recreational opportunities, another reason she appreciates living in this region.

“The Homestead Inn plays an integral part of our business community in New Milford,” said New Milford Mayor Pete Bass.

“With their renovations, the Homestead Inn is a wonderful place for a romantic weekend getaway, to the quick overnight corporate stay,” he said.

Melichar is looking to display the inn’s history.

“I’ve been digging through memorabilia and want to showcase the inn’s history,” the new manager said.

She said she would like to eventually compile a coffee table book featuring old photographs of the inn so guests can peruse it during their stay.

The inn has been a mainstay in downtown New Milford for more than 90 years under various owners.

Most recently, John Farley purchased the inn and annex and completed significant upgrades and redecorating.

Farley re-opened the inn in the spring of 2016, after it closed in March 2015, when the former owner, Sherry Greenman, returned to her native Philippines.

The improvements enhanced the inn’s offerings but retained the historic architecture of the circa-1853 Elm Street main building.

The inn is comprised of the 8,843-square-foot main house and the accompanying 4,000-square foot annex known as the Treadwell Annex, built circa 1938.

The inn boasts 16 rooms between the main house and the Treadwell Annex.

“The house is beautiful,” said Melichar, who operated a bed and breakfast in Escalante, Utah, for three years before moving to New Milford to take the job at the Homestead Inn.

The main building, built as a private home in 1853 by John Prime Treadwell and used by his family until 1915, has nine guest rooms, each designed with traditional and classic touches that reflect the history of the town and the inn’s guests.

Melichar said the inn has a steady stream of guests, although certain times of the year are busier than others.

Many families of students who attend private schools in the Greater New Milford area often stay at the inn, as do those who attend the annual Gilmore Girls Fan Fest held in the community the past few years.

“We love working with the inn,” said Kelly Slonaker, marketing and communications staff writer at Canterbury School, a private school in New Milford.

The school presents families of students with a list of local places to stay while visiting. The Homestead Inn is on the list.

“It’s not just because (the inn) is right down the road, which is conveniently located, but the rooms are lovely and beautiful,” Slonaker said.

“The staff is accommodating, and the food is delicious,” she said.

Families of students at The Gunnery, a private school in Washington, also stay at the inn.

“We have lots of visiting families stay there and the feedback I’ve received has all been positive,” said Alexandra V. Ince, director of enrollment.

Doctors and families of patients at New Milford Hospital — right across the street from the inn — are frequent guests also.

Weddings are another popular reason the inn draws guests, especially in summer and fall.

Often, a bride and groom will rent the main house and/or the Treadwell Annex for their festivities.

Slonaker, who will get married this summer, said she worked with the inn to coordinate plans for her bridal party to stay at the bed and breakfast.

“They’re really wonderful in helping to get everything organized,” she said, praising the staff.

Richard McGrath was a guest at the inn two years ago, before Farley purchased the business, but described his stay as “a great experience.”

Melichar noted a complimentary three-course, hot-plate breakfast freshly cooked is served to guests of the main house. The breakfast is available for an additional charge for those staying in the Treadwell Annex.

Besides Melichar, the inn employs two cooks/housekeepers. The manager said she hopes to soon hire an assistant.

The manager said she visits businesses throughout town, especially those in the village center, and works with some local restaurants to offer inn guests discounts.

A board with brochures showcasing many local attractions hangs in the lobby, where guests can also purchase ceramic Homestead Inn mugs.

For more information, call the Homestead Inn at 5 Elm St., New Milford, at 860-354-4080 or visit