The Old Riverton Inn was originally opened in 1796 by Jess Ives, and was known on the post route between Hartford and Albany as Ives Tavern or, as given in some records, Ives Hotel. There were several rival stage companies in operation between New Hartford and Riverton. Each stage driver stopped at his favorite inn, where he received special favors in return for bringing his passenger to that tavern.
In 1940, partitions were removed from the first floor, creating the present dining room which seats 90 guests. A barn in the yard was razed and its timbers were hewn down and used to replace some of the beams in that room. The area originally contained a famous “prohibition day bar.” At the same time a new addition containing the Hobby Horse Bar and front lounge was built. The wallpaper used in the lounge and dining room was created by Nancy McCelland and its design was taken from an old hat box. The floors of the addition were constructed of Vermont flagstone, greatly admired for its beautiful patina. Murals in the Hobby Horse Bar were painted by Bobby Walsh, who created murals at the New York World’s Fair in the late 30’s. Saddles on kegs still remain as bar stools. Porches at the front of the building were removed to create a wider swing in the roadway where the inn stands. Their removal revealed the classic architecture of the building. A bay window replaced the original front door, its glass taken from the same barn which provided the replacement beams for the refurbished dining room. The graceful fan-light door, which had originally been the entrance form the second story porch, was moved to the newly-created lobby and provides the present entrance.