Address: 2 Olde Bedford Way
Current Use: Restaurant/Tavern
Historical Use: Residential and Agriculture/Farm
Construction Date: 1810
Source: History of Bedford NH (1972)
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Dairy Barn (1880)
Korkin House (1820)
Gift Shop (1920)
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The 1810 Gordon-Woodbury farmhouse and its large late-19th-century dairy barn survive today as the Bedford Village Inn, located on a 5.01-acre lot at the northwest corner of NH Route 101 and Olde Bedford Way. The house is at the northeastern edge of the area known historically as Bedford Center and about three-quarters of a mile from the Bedford Town Hall and Presbyterian Meeting House at the center of the village. Bedford Center Road branches off of NH Route 101 at the southwest corner of the property.
The handsome Federal-style Gordon-Woodbury farmhouse was reportedly built by Josiah Gordon, a veteran of the American Revolution who moved to Bedford after the war.
Eliza and Peter Woodbury
The farm eventually passed to Gordon’s daughter Eliza (1797-1885) and her husband Dr. Peter P. Woodbury (1791-1860) who moved to Bedford in 1815 from Francestown. As was the practice at the time, Woodbury received his medical training through apprenticeship at a very young age, although he attended a six-month course of medical lectures at Yale College prior to moving to Bedford.
Charles H. Woodbury (1840-1893), the son of Peter P. and Eliza Woodbury, was a farmer and attorney. It is likely that he was responsible for the construction of the large dairy barn (now used as a reception space and rooms at the Bedford Village Inn). The addition of a dairy farm was common during this time, especially in the farms near to cities (such as Manchester).
Martha and George Woodbury
For many years following Charles Woodbury’s death in 1893, Mrs. Charles H. Woodbury and her grandchildren Martha R. Woodbury and George Woodbury owned the farm, which by this time had grown from 50 to 350 acres.
John W. McDole, a tenant, also lived in the house and worked the farm.
Henry and Olga Wheeler
The property remained in the Gordon-Woodbury family until being sold to Henry and Olga Wheeler in 1940. The Wheelers raised prized Shetland ponies. Around 1956, only three or four years after the construction of the NH Route 101 bypass, the Wheelers moved to the Town of Jaffey because of the construction of the busy road.
Ralph and Sybil Fletcher
The Wheelers sold the farm to Ralph and Sybil Fletcher who then sold off the pasturage on the southeast side of the highway, ending the need for livestock on the farm. The rest of the farm was subdivided for development over the next 30 years. By the time the farmhouse and barn were purchased in the early 1980s for a restaurant and inn, the lot containing the buildings had shrunk to about 5 acres.
Jack and Andrea Carnevale
The Bedford Village Inn opened in 1986. It has been owned by Jack and Andrea Carnevale since 1990.
The Carnevale’s made extensive improvements to the property converting the farm into a restaurant and inn. Landscape improvements and plantings fill the barnyard between the barn and house creating a lawn and garden for special events. A former outbuilding was converted into a gift shop.
In 2003, the Carnevale’s purchased a house located on a lot immediately north of their property at 8 Olde Bedford Way. This house, known as the Korkin House, or sometimes as the Gordon-Woodbury House (not to be confused with the main farmhouse that is now the inn), is a 1820 Federal-style house that may have some portion that dates to 1763 based on a date inscribed in the framing. The house was moved several hundred feet to the south onto the Carnevale property and rotated 180 degrees so it no longer faces the Olde Bedford Way. It has been remodeled as additional lodging and restyled as the “Gordon Cottage.”
This house was likely owned by Dr. Paul Tenney and at one time by Dr. Peter P. Woodbury, who also owned the adjacent Gordon-Woodbury Farm. Later owners included David McAfee, Bradbury Rowe, John W. McDole, Robert Currier, Patrick Connor, Albert Borque, Lane Fearon and Eugene Van Loan IIII.