Outside, a white sign with “The Boxwood” in black lettering hangs in contrast to the building’s pale greenish-gray exterior, though the antiques shop that was once housed there has been shuttered for more than a decade.
While it may be hard to comprehend, this unassuming building, called the Dielman Inn, has played a major role in the town’s history.
But first: The Boxwood. This antique shop was opened in early 1960 by Robert and Julia Cairns, and Julia operated the shop, which specialized in Carroll County and Pennsylvania Dutch pieces, until about 2003. Born in New Windsor and passionate about the town’s and county’s history, Julia lived in New Windsor for nearly her entire life. She passed away in 2010 at the age of 96.
Julia was familiar with some of the other incarnations of the Dielman Inn before she and her husband bought the 40-room building in 1959; she attended “a two-room private school” at the inn and also lived there in 1946, “when the war put housing at a premium,” according to an article about the Cairns and the inn in a 1971 issue of The News.
The Dielman Inn could be considered synonymous with New Windsor history. Located at the main intersection of town at High and Main streets, “[t]he Inn has always been an integral part of the economic engine of New Windsor,” according to town documents. “The history of the Inn has been well-documented, serving as a road house for travelers in its earliest days, a health resort and tourist destination and, more recently, housing an antique shop and several small businesses.”
In the late 1700s, a portion of the building was originally the tavern of New Windsor’s founder, Isaac Atlee. As the town became known for its sulphur springs, the building and its popularity grew, and it became a tourist destination for those wanting to escape summer city living.
Louis W. Dielman bought the inn in 1864, and it was run by the Dielman family until 1927; the property stayed in the family until it was sold to the Cairnses.
In 2011, the New Windsor Town Council voted to purchase the property, and redevelopment plans are currently in progress.
Here are some links to photos of the Dielman Inn through the years:
Sources: Carroll County Times, October 28, 2009, December 26, 2010, October 6, 2011; The News, February 4, 1960, January 11, 1971; Town of New Windsor Dielman Inn document