Doug Haynes welcomes guests to Ridgefield, Connecticut’s historic Fountain Inn
Experiencing a historic inn is like gaining a window into Colonial America’s storied past. In Ridgefield, Connecticut, the recently opened Fountain Inn offers an elegant ambience befitting this 18th-century home’s historic origin.
Owned and operated by former Ridgefield resident Doug Haynes and his wife, Laurice, this inviting bed-and-breakfast brings a welcome respite from the 21st-century’s fast-paced lifestyle and generic accommodations. Here, history and supreme comfort effortlessly blend to provide guests with an experience unlike any other.
The Fountain Inn’s Historic Character
The Fountain Inn is the former Ridgefield home of noted loyalist David Hoyt. Located at the junction of West Lane and Main Street, Hoyt’s “city home in the country” was constructed in 1740. At that time, the David Hoyt house was considered the town’s most elegant residence. Today, Ridgefield’s signature Cass Gilbert Fountain is situated in front of the expansive property.
As a historical sidenote, the David Hoyt house played a role in the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Ridgefield. After stomping the Colonial militia elsewhere on Main Street, British Gen. William Tryon turned his attention to nearby Keeler Tavern, the militia’s headquarters.
While Gen. Tryon’s troops practiced their artillery-firing skills on the building, David Hoyt paid a visit to the British encampment. He formally demanded a cease-fire, as he was concerned about wayward cannonballs damaging his home.
In 1790, the Revolutionary War had ended, and the fledgling United States of America was quickly taking shape. With Ridgefield’s British influence diminishing by the day, David Hoyt finally had enough. He left his renowned home and sailed back to England, with patriot Thaddeus Keeler taking ownership of the property. The home stayed in the Keeler family until the early 20th century.
Doug Haynes Acquires the David Hoyt Home
More recently, businessman Doug Haynes acquired the David Hoyt property. He and his wife, Laurice, along with their five children, previously used the eight-bedroom house as their primary residence. Today, the Haynes family makes their home in Scarborough, New York.
Doug Haynes, who serves as Managing Director of Council Advisors, advises public and private companies’ top-tier executives. An accomplished equity hedge fund manager and business advisor for over 30 years,, he previously led McKinsey & Company’s Northeast US region and contributed to leadership of the high tech industry practice.
The Grand Restoration Takes Place
The Fountain Inn retains many of the David Hoyt home’s original elements. Several rooms feature original plaster crown moldings, and many lower floors’ window panes are composed of 1700s-era glass. The Fountain Inn’s 11 fireplaces, a primary heat source during the Colonial period, have been returned to their former elegance.
The historic home’s restoration showcases the elegant salon, integrated during the mid-1800s period. This well-appointed gathering spot highlights a carved Italian marble mantel. During the same period, a grand staircase was added, incorporating six half-flights that reach the home’s third level.
The Fountain Inn’s elegant appointments enhance its timeless appeal. Era-appropriate color palettes, window treatments, and lighting fixtures create an 18th-century ambience. Period-style seating pieces, accompanied by beautifully styled occasional tables, are thoughtfully arranged to promote good conversation. Colorful fresh flowers enhance many rooms’ appearance.
A Welcoming 21st-Century Retreat
In the 21st century, the impeccably restored Fountain Inn offers historic accommodations enhanced by modern conveniences. Doug Haynes’ former Ridgefield residence features four luxuriously furnished guest suites.
Downstairs, a well-appointed dining room easily accommodates 30 guests for a satisfying breakfast. The Fountain Inn also continues the custom of afternoon tea, serving iced tea and cookies during the late-afternoon hours.
Other gathering spots include the spacious salon, a comfortable sitting room, and a library offering space for reading or reflection. Outside, a patio overlooks the gardens, beckoning guests for morning coffee or afternoon relaxation.
Ideal Special Occasion Venue
Besides providing exceptional accommodations, the Fountain Inn lends itself to multiple special occasion uses. The property is ideal for weddings, with on-site accommodations for the wedding party.
The second-floor sitting room, with its adjacent powder room, serves as an optional wedding preparation area for the bride and her attendants. The dining room can be reconfigured as an elegant reception venue.
Business-focused guests will appreciate the well-equipped conference room. Furnishings include a spacious, round table along with standard business conveniences. Together, these amenities make this space ideal for webinars, strategic planning sessions, and executive retreats.
Blending the Past and the Present
The Fountain Inn’s 18th-century origin and its connection to the Revolutionary War make this property a notable part of American history. Today, the Inn’s timeless styling, elegant furnishings, and modern conveniences offer guests a truly distinctive lodging experience. View the Fountain Inn website for complete details on this exceptional property.