The Sweetwater Hotel – A Summer Retreat

Hayden Homestead at Fawn Lake - Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
Hayden Homestead at Fawn Lake – Image (c) Bedford Historical Society

Submitted by the Bedford Historical Society

In the 1890s, Dr. William Richardson Hayden, proprietor of the health resort at Bedford Springs, replaced his Springs Hotel with the much larger, luxurious Sweetwater Hotel, which stood near Springs Road just north of Fawn Lake.

Observation tower at Fawn Lake - Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
Observation tower at Fawn Lake – Image (c) Bedford Historical Society

Its amenities included 300 rooms, a ballroom, and bowling alley.

The resort also included formal gardens, springhouses, and observation tower, stables, a carriageway around Fawn lake, and a steam launch.

A pharmaceutical factory for Dr. Haysen’s patent medicines is still standing and has been converted to condominiums.

The photos show The Sweetwater Hotel, the formal gardens by the edge of Fawn Lake, the observation tower perched on a hill above the lake, and two of three spring houses.

Lakeside, Dr. Hayden’s home, was located along Sweetwater Avenue on the other side of Fawn Lake.

Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
The hotel's spring house - Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
The hotel’s spring house – Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
Formal lakeside garden - Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
Formal lakeside garden – Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
The hotel's formal garden - Image (c) Bedford Historical Society
The hotel’s formal garden – Image (c) Bedford Historical Society

This photo is brought to you courtesy of the Bedford Historical Society. The Society was founded in 1893 and exists today to preserve Bedford’s history. Learn more about the Society at its web page, www.bedfordmahistory.org or on its Facebook page. Visit the Historical Society in its archives in the Bedford Police Station. Contact the Society by email at info@bedfordmahistory.org or call 781-275-7276 for hours or directions.


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Brian O.
Brian O.
8 years ago

13, July 1901 Cambridge Chronicle

HOTEL SWEETWATER, Bedford Springs, Mass.

Only 17 miles from Boston by the B.and M. R.R. or the Lowell electric road from Arlington Heights. Acres of fine groves, affording out-door rest and recreation. Drives, beautiful scenery, rooms with baths, livery accommodations. Passenger elevator, electric lights, and hotel up-to-date in all particulars. Bowling alleys of latest pattern, tennis, billiards, pool, croquet, and a nine-hole golf course on grounds. For terms, circulars and Information apply to A. R. STURGIS, Manager, Bedford Springs, Mass. Telephone, No. Lexington 38-5.

Cheryl Lyman Simons
Cheryl Lyman Simons
8 years ago

These are amazing pictures! I have to say as a resident of Sweetwater Ave., it saddens me that almost nothing still exists of this beautiful retreat. It would be a shame to loose the lake as well.

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