Race Brook Lodge



The Known, Improvised, and Fabricated History of The Stagecoach Tavern

The Stagecoach Tavern at Race Brook Lodge

The Known, Improvised, and Fabricated History of The Stagecoach Tavern.

The Stagecoach Tavern sign (since 1829)

For centuries, Undermountain Road has served as the stagecoach route between Hartford and Albany, following the Housatonic River, and this old tavern has welcomed weary travellers and frontier settlers as a watering hole since the beginning. Back in the late 16th century, Johan Reyes (Race) made his way over the mountain, fleeing feudal life in the Hudson Valley. In the 1750s Colonel Frederic Andrews met Reyes descendant, James Race on the banks of the Housatonic River and they endeavored to build a farmhouse, which is now The Tavern dining area.

David Rothstein stands in front of a painting of Captain Shays at The Stagecoach Inn

David Rothstein stands in front of a painting of Captain Shays at The Stagecoach Inn

Captain Daniel Shays’ and other revolutionary war veterans, used to frequent The Stagecoach Tavern. Mr. Shays rose to the rank of Captain in the Revolutionary war against the British. He fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of Lexington and the Battle of Saratoga. He was wounded during the war and resigned from the military, in 1780. Upon returning home, like many other ss veteran farmers, he was summoned to court for unpaid debts, which he could not pay in gold as demanded because he was never compensated for military service. Shays and his associates marched unsuccessfully on the Springfield Armory in 1787, in the first armed uprising against the newly formed United States. It is believed Shays and his comrades conspired to plan their insurrection within these very walls over a tankard of grog.
In 1829 when the Hartford—Albany stage needed to stop regularly to change horses, The Giles Andrews Tavern was born. The modern incarnation of the Stagecoach Hill Inn was established as The Stagecoach Hill Inn by Mr & Mrs Michael Kahler, currently of Lakeville CT, in the 1956. Mr & Mrs Kahler can still be found on occasion enjoying Fish & Chips at table 96. In the 60’s Scottie and Wilber Wheeler evolved The Stagecoach into a wild piano bar hangout for the Lime Rock Racetrack.
Fast forward to the year 1990, when Captain Dave Rothstein of “The Music Inn”, homeland of a jazz, rock, art, and film counterculture in Lenox in the 1970s, retired from an architectural career under Louis Kahn. Along with daughter Sarah, and sons Michael and Casey, Capt. Dave bought the Race Brook Lodge buildings, later in 2001, they acquired the Coach House and Tavern property which had been operating separately. For the last 21 years this family has cared for these 100 acres on the slopes of Mount Race and continued to house weary travellers and the new modern frontier settlers from nearby cities.

We hope you enjoy the sense of history among these old beams which shelter you as you experience, farm-fresh ingredients, much of it grown right here on the property!