Around 1830, Abdiel Kent, son of early Calais settler Remember Kent, opened a shoemaking shop with his brother Ira in the area already known as Kents Corners. In 1837 he purchased a brickyard near the Robinson sawmill (WA7) and built this exceptionally well-preserved two-and-a-half-story, four-chimney Georgian-plan hotel, facing the Montpelier to Newport stagecoach road. With granite lintels and a recessed, trabeated entrance, it is a straightforward example of the simple brick Greek Revival buildings found throughout most of northern Vermont. It is also a good example of the local use of “brick nogging,” in which the walls are not structural but are tied into a structural wood frame.
Behind the inn, facing the side road, is a one-story wood-frame ell Abdiel began in 1833 as a temporary dwelling while the hotel was under construction. It connects to a two-story, wood-frame store, where Abdiel began selling Kent shoes and general merchandise to neighbors and travelers. On the stream east of the inn, he built a tannery, to produce leather for the shoes and for saddlery and harnesses, for which the shop became well known. After marrying Fanny Curtiss in 1846, he closed the hotel and concentrated on his ness manufacturing in 1862 and shoes about 1870. Abdiel's sons Howard and Herbert eventually took over the Kent brothers' business, and after Herbert died in 1916, the hotel changed hands several times before returning to Kent ownership in 1930. In 1953 it was donated to the Vermont Historical Society and today is a State Historic Site.