New Innkeepers at Wilder Farm Inn
By Francis Moran
Meet Luke and Linda Iannuzzi, new owners of the Wilder
Farm Inn in Waitsfield, for over ten years it has been their dream
to own and operate their own bed & breakfast.
After many years of searching, they discovered the
Mad River Valley, and were fortunate enough to find the inn for
sale. As tempting as was to say, “We’ll take it,”
Luke and Linda, with daughter Jordan, had a lot to think about.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but we
realized this was a special place, and the area has a lot to offer,
both as a location to operate an inn and as a place to raise a family,”
Realizing this, the New Jersey natives, where they still have family,
packed up, left their old lives behind and moved in to there new
home this past summer.
Luke and Linda are organic gardeners. Luke is an accomplished
potter and cook as well. A recent visit proved Luke serves up a
hearty and delicious three-course breakfast of organic whole-wheat
pancakes - concocted from his own special recipes, eggs, muffins,
and fresh squeezed juice.
“We like to fill them up before they leave,”
said Linda. “We’ve been lucky to meet so many wonderful
people who have visited, that’s the best part about it. Our
daughter loves it here very much. We feel very fortunate to call
this home,” said Luke.
“In the evening we like to provide complimentary
cordials. And now with winter and ski season we have the makings
of smores by the fireplace,” said Linda.
The inn stands on the original 200-acre farm purchased
by Orcas Wilder in 1795 and overlooks the Mad River Valley.
The inn is on the national historic registry of buildings,
and its eight guestrooms are large and beautifully decorated with
antiques, many of them family pieces refurbished by Luke. Each room
has a private bath, fragranced with organic lavender soap. Comfortable
featherbeds tempt any visitor to sleep in late.
The architectural style of the building is a Gothic
Revival Classic Cottage. The property was farmed by generations
of Wilders until 1946 when it was sold to Vaughn Estey.
The house was built in three stages. The main structure
was built circa 1860. Typical Gothic Revival style features are
its steeply pitched roof with overhanging bracketed eaves and large
central cross gable.
In the 1890s a long 1 ½ story, gable-roofed
wing was added to the back of the house, with a three-sided shed
at the rear. In 1985 the dwelling and 3 ½ acres of land were
sold and turned into the Wilder Farm Inn.
“This seemed like such a perfect move for us,
between the natural beauty and our love for what we like to do;
gardening, cooking, entertaining, and helping make people feel at
home,” Linda said.