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New York State's Hudson Valley stretching north of New York City is filled with artisan food producers, bucolic scenery, and a wide array of historic inns and bed and breakfasts. One lesser known attraction is the region's horse racing heritage dating back to the 1700s. The village of Goshen is home to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, along with a historic track built in 1838 now incorporated into the museum and still in operation today. In fact, what were once horse stables that directly opened onto the track now serve as exhibit space.
Just two blocks away, historic Stagecoach Inn was an integral part of New York State's horse racing scene beginning in the early 1800s when Imported Messenger, a famous English thoroughbred, was stabled on the property establishing the bloodline for Rysdyk’s Hambletonian, who in turn became sire of all standard breds. Hambletonian and his offspring solidified Goshen's reputation as the country's "trotting horse mecca”.
Stagecoach Inn began its first life as an inn in 1791 when owner Anthony Dobbin observed coaches cutting through his property on the way to the Albany Post Road. He capitalized on the traffic by opening an inn, which quickly became a popular place to gather and recharge.
Stagecoach Inn continued evolving into the late 1800s when owner John J. Heard enlarged the original brick structure with a wooden addition. After Heard, the property was bought by Nicholas Franchot as an investment and would later sell it to his daughter Janet and her first husband, William Hickok IV, a descendant of “Wild Bill” Hickok. From that time until 1985, it remained in the family as a private residence until Margo and William Hickok decided to open part of the house again as a bed and breakfast. Long after her husband’s death, Margo continued running the inn showcasing its history and accompanying antiques until her death in 2014.
Soon after, the inn was purchased by current owners Faith Ferguson and Ron Boire, who spent over a year renovating every aspect of the property opening it again in 2016, along with dining just months later.
Custom-upholstered headboards, color-coordinated ceramic lamps on the nightstands, luxurious linens and throws, re-framed wall art, and reupholstered antique furniture define five well-appointed guest rooms upstairs. Each has a unique attribute like a working fireplace in the Hickok and Margo rooms while a 1917 art-deco tub graces the bathroom of the Guggenheim.
Common areas on the ground floor invite relaxation without the cluttered ambiance prevalent in so many historic inns. One of the two dining rooms, called the Spode, is named after the one of a kind Spode china collection on display. The solarium, originally added to the house in 1917, was included in the 2016 restoration while the back porch was completely rebuilt with a blue stone patio and covered with a roof expanding the property's year round dining options.
Scratch made dishes like brisket tacos and prosciutto-and-spinach-stuffed chicken are masterfully prepared by onsite chef Shawn Hubbell fitfully complimenting the inn's elegant historic ambiance. Chef Hubbell and his team source local ingredients throughout the year from the many farms nearby including Pine Hill Farm. You may also find local beers on the menu from surrounding Long Lot, Rushing Duck, and Glenmere breweries along with wines from Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, which are all less than 20 minutes drive away perfect for exploring on your own.
Photos: Stagecoach Inn and Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored visit.