What is today The Wilmington Inn & Tavern, started out as Joseph Courtemanche's newly constructed personal residence in 1894. Joseph Courtemanche was a French Canadian immigrant who settled here, in the valley, and became a successful businessman. He bought and ran the first electrical generator that lit the streets of Wilmington. In addition he had a successful horse carriage business that was run out of what today we call the Carriage House. He built his house purposefully on top of a large hill that overlooked Main Street at a time when there were few trees to obstruct the view; it was assumed by many that he did this so he could look out above all of the busy-ness of the town.
Years later, in the 1940s and early 50's the house was owned by the Sage family as their personal residence. They sold the house to Bruce Gavit in the 50's where he raised his family and eventually turned it into the Gavit Lodge, a mecca for skiers at a time when downhill skiing was breaking out due to the invention of the ski-lift. Much of the inn's current form owe's credit to Bruce and his family including the tiger maple bar which was once their family's dinner table. The restaurant, too, was builit by Bruce with his own hands and a friend of his on a foundation set by the Sage family, though at the time it was not run as a restaurant but as a family room.
The next owner renamed it the Red Shutter Inn and it had remained the Red Shutter for nearly 50 years until we came along and changed it to the Wilmington Inn & Tavern.
We are still piecing together the exact history of the inn's ownerships and dates but over the years it has been owned by:
The Courtemanche's & descendants The Sage Family Bruce Gavit and family Charles and Loretta Max and Carolyn Thad and Renee Lyons Gerry and Lucylee Gingras Hannah and Aimee Waller John and Rachel Pilcher
Joseph Courtemanche's Home circa 1895
now The Wilmington Inn & Tavern