The house at 1155 Main Street in Glastonbury was built c. 1800 and served as a tavern, complete with a second-floor ballroom, in the early nineteenth century. Run by Elijah Miller, whose family had owned the property since the early eighteenth century and had an earlier tavern, it was a stopping place for travelers who had crossed to the east side of the Connecticut River on the Nayaug ferry. The house has an ell that may have been an earlier house. It also has a second entrance on the south side, not visible in the photo above. The front portico is a c. 1946 addition.
Born in Stonington, John Breed (1752-1803) later settled in Colchester, where he married Lucy Bulkeley (born 1749) on 13 May 1773. He purchased land on Town Street (now South Main Street), then the main road between between New London and Hartford, and built a tavern in 1777. It had a large ballroom that extended the entire width of the house on the third floor. The Wooster Lodge of Masons met at the tavern between 1789 and 1801. Breed was also a gold and silversmith. After Breed died, his widow continued to operate the tavern until her own death in 1821. It was then purchased to become the residence of Elisha Avery, a wealthy Groton merchant and manufacturer. He died a year after buying the house (208 South Main Street), but it remained in his family for many generations. There is an old English Bank type barn on the property.
In 1760, Eleazar Lord, Sr. deeded an acre of land at what is now 86 Town Street in Norwich to his son, Eleazar Lord, Jr., who proceeded to build a tavern (c. 1760-1770). Lord’s Tavern was also called the Compass House because it faces due north. The tavern popular with lawyers, who came to attend session at the court house which was located across the street. The tavern’s hooded entryway is a nineteenth-century addition. At various times, the ell of the building was used as a post office. Lord’s Tavern was in danger of being torn down in 1972. After a lengthy court battle, the building became the first purchase of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation in 1976. Today the restored building is used for offices.
At 2 South Grand Street at its intersection with Mountain Road in West Suffield is a building consisting of two attached sections. The oldest part of the structure dates to circa 1750. For many years the building was the Terrett House Hotel and tavern. In 1837, the first post office in West Suffield was operated out of the Terrett House, the tavern-keeper serving as the postmaster. The Terrett House was where the second murder in Suffield history took place. As reported in the Hartford Courant on October 28, 1862 (“Murder at West Suffield”):
James Drake, keeper of a hotel at West Suffield, was shot dead on Saturday afternoon by a man named Cullen, a cigar maker, who works at Westfield, but whose family resides at West Suffield. It is said Cullen has allowed himself to be jealous of Drake, (but probably without cause), and has threatened his life on several occasions. Saturday afternoon he came home, and with a loaded revolver went directly to the hotel of Drake, for the purpose of shooting him. He fired two shots into Drake while he was behind the bar, but neither of them proved serious; the latter then ran out of doors and around the house, pursued by Cullen; and as he was again entering the door, a third shot entered his heart, proving fatal
Cullen was soon arrested. The hotel seems to have changed hands a number of times. On April 12, 1904, the Courant noted:
The West Suffield Hotel, better known as the Terrett House, has again changed hands, Alanson Hoffman having sold out his interests to Landlord F. Hart of North Bloomfeld. A telephone service has been added and other improvements have been made.
The Courant reported another sale on March 8, 1910, by Patrick J. Murphy to Charles C. Anderson, “who has had charge of the Buckngham Stables in Springfield for several years.” In 1915, Anderson and James Mitchell, proprietor of the Suffield House, another tavern, were fined $150 each for selling liquor on May 2 to 20-year-old William A. Coulson, who later that same night killed John Wardosky with his automobile while under the influence of liquor. Coulson was charged with manslaughter and pleaded no contest. The tavern-keepers’ fine included the additional charge of “permitting a minor to loiter about their places of business.” (“Liquor Drinking Up Suffield Way.” Hartford Courant, June 10, 1915). An owner in 1990 spray painted the building florescent orange to vent his frustration at bureaucratic red tape that had stalled his efforts to renovate the building to become and arts and crafts mall! A later owner restored it as a multi-family home.
The Pinney Tavern, located at 7 Robertsville Road in Riverton, Barkhamsted, is a Federal-style residence, which served for a time as a tavern and inn. Built in 1828, it was originally the home of D.C.Y. Moore (Marquis De Casso Y Rujo Moore), a physician and son of Apollos Moore. One of several brick houses built in Riverton for members of the Moore family, the house was later given by Apollos Moore to his daughter Nancy (1798-1889), who married Rueben Pinney (for whom the tavern was named). Their daughter, Jeanette, married Charles Miller Coe and the house was later home to their son, Leon Apollos Coe, a mechanic who resided in Riverton after 1890.
Sarah Kemble Knight (1666-1727) was a colonial-era teacher and businesswoman. She is best known for the diary she kept of a journey from Boston to New York City in 1704 (pdf). Born in Boston, she came to Norwich in 1698 and was a storekeeper and innkeeper. Sarah Knight later returned to Boston but came back to Norwich in 1717. A two-handled silver communion cup that she gave to the Church of Christ in Norwich in 1722 is now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The tavern she operated in Norwich was built c. 1698-1717. It was enlarged by Andre Richards in 1734. A later innkeeper was Joseph Peck (1706-1776), who purchased the building from Capt. Philip Turner around 1754. As related by Mary Elizabeth Perkins in Old Houses of the Antient Town of Norwich (1895):
This inn was one of the three celebrated taverns on the Green, and some old people still remember the large old elm which stood in front of the house, among the boughs of which was built a platform or arbor, approached by a wooden walk from one of the upper windows. From this high station, the orators of the day held forth on public occasions, and here tables were set, and refreshments served.
On June 7, 1767, a notable celebration took place at Peck’s Tavern to celebrate the election of John Wilkes to Parliament. In front of the building, which is located at 8 Elm Avenue, is a cast iron fence, erected in the late nineteenth century.
At 3 Devotion Road, at the intersection of routes 14 and 97 across from Scotland Green in Scotland, stands the Tracey-Watson House. Once used as a tavern, it was built for Lemuel Pettengill circa 1760. The house is currently home to the editorial offices of Tea A Magazine. There is also an historic barn on the property.