Elegance and Sophisticated Cuisine in the Connecticut River Valley
1889 - Present The history of The Copper Beech Inn dates back to 1889 when Archibald Welsh Comstock built his grand house and outbuildings on 53 acres in the Ivoryton section of Essex. Mr. Comstock was the son of Samuel Comstock, who in 1847, founded the S.M. Comstock Co., a chief importer of ivory and manufacturer of piano keys. When Archibald inherited the business the company, now known as Comstock, Cheney and Co., was not only manufacturing piano keys, but also billiard balls, dominoes, and combs.
The placement of this grand residence on East Main St. in Ivoryton Village followed the pattern that Samuel Comstock had established in which the executives and stockholders of his company would take up residence in lovely homes along East Main St. to the center of the village in close proximity to the sprawling factory.
In 1940, Archibald Comstock died and left his entire estate to his wife, Harriet. At that time the Ivoryton residence was valued at $20,000 and in 1958 the replacement cost for the house was almost $90,000, one of the highest in Essex.
In 1954, the property was sold and soon thereafter, became a restaurant known as the Johnny Cake Inn. In 1966, the inn was forced into foreclosure and it was purchased by Robert and Jo McKenzie of Wethersfield in 1972. In homage to the majestic Copper Beech tree gracing the entrance to the property, therein the Copper Beech Inn was created. From the very beginning the McKenzies established the renowned reputation of this restaurant and inn. The tradition of superb and innovative cuisine and gracious hospitality has been preserved throughout the past forty years, welcoming guests from near and far for a superb dining experience, a romantic getaway, or a special celebration.