The Sauk and Potawatomi Indians first traversed this main thoroughfare as a portion of the Sauk Trail. It became a military road after Congress appropriated funds in the 1820s for survey and construction of a route from Detroit to Chicago. Built about 1830 on this site, the Clinton Inn served travelers on the Chicago Road who journeyed by stagecoach, covered wagon, and horseback. Originally called the Eagle Hotel, the Inn became the Union Hotel during the Civil War and lodged soldiers coming to and from the front. Walter Hubell Smith purchased the Inn in 1864. His daughter and heir, Mary Ella Smith sold the building in 1927 to Henry Ford who moved it to Greenfield Village.
There the Inn was restored and reopened in 1929.