The historic Merwinsville Hotel in the Gaylordsville section of New Milford, a testament to the era when the railroads were king, presents the final weekend of its annual Christmas/holiday show Dec. 2, 3, and 4.
There will be Christmas trees and wreaths for sale, gift items in the Christmas Shoppe, baked goods, chili to warm up guests, a model train layout, and an extensive collection of Nutcrackers—including Frankenstein.
Another fixture at the trackside hotel and rest stop that opened in 1843, and has been undergoing a restoration since being rescued from near ruin in 1971, is Jeremy Ruman, president of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization Merwinsville Hotel Restoration, Inc.
Restoring and choreographing a vibrant role for this piece of local railroading history is one of her passions. Her “day job” is serving as the legal assistant to Cramer & Anderson Partner Arthur C. Weinshank.
Ms. Ruman handles all administrative aspects of Attorney Weinshank’s tax, estate and elder law planning practice and devotes a substantial amount of time to interacting with his clients.
“It’s a great historic building,” Ms. Ruman said of the Merwinsville Hotel, whose long and fascinating story is told on the Restoration’s website.
“As you enter the Hotel today, you get a sense of what it was like 170 years ago as passengers stepped off the railroad on their way from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to summer homes in Pittsfield, Massachusetts,” the About section says in part.
Keeping the hotel’s history alive and vibrant is a family affair for Ms. Ruman, whose father, George Haase, began the restoration efforts in 1971, “when the hotel was really ready to fall down.”
“He really gathered the neighborhood together to save it,” Ms. Ruman said of her father. Now, she leads the Restoration board, and her sister, Jennifer Haase, is Vice President of the Board for the all-volunteer effort.
“We’ve got a third floor ballroom we’d love to get restored,” said Ms. Ruman, noting that the building was painted this past spring, and the porches were repaired this year. “So the building’s looking really nice.”
Which makes it a perfect time for a visit—and to partake in the seasonal charm and festivities of the holiday show, which also features Dickens Villages and Worlds Fair Amusement Park Miniatures.
There is no admission fee for the holiday show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and from 10 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Jeremy Ruman may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 860-355-2631, ext. 132.
Cramer & Anderson has offices in New Milford, Litchfield, Danbury, Kent and Washington Depot. For more information, see the website at crameranderson.com or call the New Milford office at (860) 355-2631.