Archive for the ‘Taverns & Inns’ Category

Levi Ward Tavern (1799)

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Haddam, Houses, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

The house at 389 Saybrook Road in Haddam, across from the road leading to Higganum Landing, was operated as a tavern during the area’s heyday as a river port and shipbuilding center. The house was built between 1799 and 1802, the year the Middlesex Turnpike opened. It was erected by Dr. Levi Ward (1771-1861), who soon left Connecticut, as related in Fifty Puritan Ancestors (1902), by Elizabeth Todd Nash:

Levi Ward, Jr., son of Levi and Mary Meigs Ward, born July 29, 1771, graduated at Yale College, studied medicine under Dr. Jonathan Todd, and took his M.D.; married Mehitable Hand, youngest daughter of Capt. Daniel Hand.

. . . .

In 1807 Levi Ward, Sr., John Ward and Levi Ward, M.D., went to the “Genesee Country” [in New York State] to settle. Bergen was then in the wilderness and Indians, bears, wolves, deer, were the neighbors of the little company from Haddam. Dr. Ward was the only physician in that locality, and he was sent for from distant settlements, entailing long wearisome journeys through the forests.

In 1817, from his new home in Bergen, Dr. Ward sold the tavern in Connecticut to George Smith. It was acquired by Cornelius Brainerd (1811-1884) in 1849. As described in The genealogy of the Brainerd-Brainard family in America, 1649-1908, Vol. II (1908), by Lucy Abigail Brainard:

In his earlier years he was a manufacturer of clocks. He was commissioner on roads and ferries in 1868, and commissioner to the Superior Court about 22 years. He was collector in the Second Congressional District in 1864 and the four years following. He was several years justice of the peace and selectman. He was nominated to the Whig State Convention Dec. 23, 1848. He was a committee to procure recruits in the late Civil War. He was county commissioner in 1855 and ’56. He represented the Nineteenth District in 1867 and ’68 in the Connecticut Senate, and was chairman of the committee on agriculture, on contested elections and on education. He introduced the bill for free schools and through his influence it was passed. He has been called “The father of free schools.” He held many offices in the gift of the people, both local and state wise, and was for a number of years United States deputy collector of internal revenue.

He was a power in politics in the Nineteenth District,clear headed and far seeing, doing good service for the Republican Party. His judgment was good and when followed, success in almost every case resulted. Firm and unyielding as a rock, he was nevertheless a true, tried and trustworthy friend. He never dissembled and never betrayed the trust and confidence placed in him. He was treasurer and director in the Higganum Savings Bank from its establishment, and director in “The Bank of New England,” East Haddam, from 1857 to ’74, inclusive.

Mixer Tavern (1710)

Thursday, June 8th, 2017 Posted in Ashford, Colonial, Taverns & Inns | 2 Comments »

The oldest sections of the Mixer Tavern, a five-bay, wood-frame building at 14 Westford Road [the intersection of Westford Road (CT 89) and Pompey Hollow Road (US 44)] in Ashford, date to 1710, the year John Mixer (born 1667/8) purchased the property and applied for a tavern license. In 1722 he moved to Suffield. From 1757 to 1799, the Tavern was known as Clark’s Tavern, owned and operated by Benjamin Clark. The Marquis de Chastellux and four other French officers of Rochambeau’s army stopped here on November 5, 1782. It was next owned by Joseph Palmer, a doctor and brigadier general in the militia. The Palmer family owned it until 1845. In later years, it was called the General Palmer Inn and the Pompey Hollow Inn. The building has been expanded over the years and underwent restoration in the 1920s and again since then. It is now a private residence.

Gurley Tavern (1822)

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 Posted in Chaplin, Federal Style, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

The old Gurley Tavern at 42 Chaplin Street in Chaplin is an impressively detailed Federal-style residence. It was built c. 1822, the year the Town of Chaplin was incorporated, as a stagecoach inn. An upstairs ballroom, which later housed a private school, has since been converted to a bedroom and bathroom. An addition connects the building to a barn at the rear. During the twentieth century, for fifty years the former tavern was the residence of quilt maker Ruth Snow Bowen and was known as The Quilt Shop. The Chaplin Post Office was located in the north parlor from 1950 to 1965. The building, later in rough condition, underwent a major restoration in 1999-2000. It began taking guests as the Old Gurley Tavern Country Inn, but was later subject to a foreclosure.

Gaines House (1800)

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Plymouth, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

Built c. 1800, the house at 2 North Street, corner of Main Street, in Plymouth Center is thought to have once been the Red Tavern, an inn on the Hartford Turnpike. In the mid-nineteenth century it was the home of George Pierpont and later became the rectory of the neighboring Episcopal Church, which is now the Baptist Church. Owned by the Baptist Church, the building is now called Gaines House.

Dr. Samuel Rose House (1775)

Saturday, December 10th, 2016 Posted in Colonial, Coventry, Houses, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

Dr. Samuel Rose House (1775)

The house at 54 High Street in Coventry was built in 1775 by Dr. Samuel Rose (1748-1780). An army surgeon in the Revolutionary War, Dr. Rose married Nathan Hale‘s sister Elizabeth in 1773. In the the nineteenth century the house was used as a tavern. It remained in the Rose family until the death of Royal Rose at age 95 in 1951.

Jesse Brown Tavern (1790)

Saturday, November 26th, 2016 Posted in Federal Style, Norwich, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

Jesse Brown Tavern

Jesse Brown’s house in Norwich, at 77 East Town Street, facing Norwichtown Green, was licensed as a tavern and stage coach stop in 1790. President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams were guests at the Tavern on August 1, 1797. The Tavern was sold to William Williams of New London in 1814. Captain Bela Peck owned it from 1817 until his death in 1850. The next owner, Moses Pierce, bought the building in 1855. He gave it to the United Workers of Norwich to be used as a home for poor and orphaned children. It was called the Rock Nook Home, which is today part of United Community & Family Services.

Silvermine Tavern (1810)

Thursday, November 24th, 2016 Posted in Federal Style, Industrial, Norwalk, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

Silvermine Tavern

Happy Thanksgiving!
When the historic Silvermine Tavern, located in the Silvermine section of Norwalk, closed in 2009, it was the end of an 80 year local institution. Several buildings make up the original Silvermine Tavern complex, including an old mill with origins in the seventeenth century, a coach house and a gatehouse that has since been attached to the main Tavern building. This structure has a plaque indicating that it was built c. 1810 as the Joseph Cocker Cotton Factory. Cocker’s business was an expensive undertaking and when he passed away unexpectedly in 1812 he left an estate that was heavily in debt. His widow Sally died the following year and Stephen Abbott acquired the property, but he too fell into debt and sold it in 1816 to his son. By that time the building had had new wings constructed for living quarters and a weaving shop. The factory continued on under various owners until, including David Comstock, who manufactured hats, until it was acquired in the 1850s by Henry Guthrie, an immigrant from England who owned a shipyard and three water-powered mills. Guthrie produced knobs for doors and furniture and local girls sanded, varnished and packed them for shipping in what would become the Tavern’s living room.

Otto Goldstein purchased the building in 1906. He also owned the nearby Red Mill, built c. 1800, which he used for his fur processing business. Goldstein lived in the former factory where he also had a taproom where he sold drinks to the local community of Silvermine, which was then becoming an artists’ colony. With the repeal of Prohibition, J. Kenneth Byard bought the property in 1929 and named it the Silvermine Tavern, offering dining and overnight accommodations. Ownership of the Tavern passed to I.M. Weiss in 1948. The Whitman family operated it from 1955 until the restaurant closed in 2009. It then continued for a few years as a bed & breakfast.

In 2013-2014 the property was acquired by developer Andrew Glazer, who is currently redeveloping the site. He renovated the store to become his new office and the mill house (called the Red Mill, it once had a water wheel) next to the Tavern to become his residence. He also built four new houses and a community barn on the Tavern’s old parking lot, the profits from them to support the next phase of the project, which is to extensively modernize and eventually reopen the Tavern itself. The interior is being gutted and the restaurant adapted from the sprawling space that seated 200 to a new space that will seat 60. The picture above was taken in 2014, before the current renovation work on the main Tavern building began earlier this year.

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