Doug and Shelly Sawyer


In the Spring of 2001, Shelly and Doug Sawyer purchased the inn after searching for two years. It was during their time living in England, that Shelly dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast. When they saw the Lilac Inn it was love at first sight. 

Vermont, with over 600 bed and breakfasts and country inns, is known worldwide for its hospitality and is often called “bed and breakfast central”. However, most of these properties started life as taverns, stagecoach stops or farm houses and have been adapted for guests. What the Sawyers loved about The Lilac Inn was its unique history as a grand house designed for entertaining. From its inception, the home was built with large guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms, generous public spaces, a commercial kitchen and public bathrooms. Except for the front desk the layout of the inn is the same as it was when it was a private residence over a hundred years ago.

The original horseshoe shape of the building with a tree at its heart, now features a cobblestone courtyard perfect for outdoor weddings of up to 240 guests. The spacious ballroom is a popular year round Vermont wedding destination for weddings of up to 130 guests. The Lilac Inn has been selected as one of the leading 100 best U.S. wedding destinations by Kathryn Gabriel Loving.

In the tradition of a stately home custom built for grand entertainment, the Sawyer’s have updated the “Arches” and its gardens to make the The Lilac Inn a leading destination for romantic Vermont getaways and destination weddings.