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.
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’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.
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.
In 1714, John Twitchell (c. 1699-1739) built a small one-story with attic dwelling at what is now 90 Oxford Road in Oxford. Around 1741 the Washband (or Washburn) family purchased the property and enlarged the house to serve as a tavern. In 1784, coinciding with the opening of the Oxford Turnpike, the family enlarged the building again, adding what amounted to a new house attached to the old one. The Washband family operated the tavern for several generations. Before the Civil War, the tavern was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Hiding places are said to exist in the cellar. The former tavern is now home to Daoud & Associates.
At the corner of Old Colony Road and Westford Road in Eastford (one of the buildings at 245 Old Colony Road near Eastford Green) is a former inn. The earliest part of the building is the rear ell, erected c. 1790-1800. The front section was built c. 1820–1835–1843. The building served as an inn, originally called the Eastford House. For a time, starting in the 1840s, the inn was called the Temperance House. In 1918 the property was acquired by Waldo and Beatrice Kennedy, who renamed it the General Lyon Inn in honor of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, an Eastford native who was the first Union general killed during the Civil War. He died at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri on August 10, 1861. Many of those who attended Gen. Lyon’s funeral in Eastford stayed at the inn. Beatrice E. Kennedy continued to operate the inn and restaurant until 1975. The Inn finally closed in 1979 and is now the Gen. Lyon Apartments.
The house at 439 Simsbury Road in Bloomfield was built in 1750 by a member of the Cadwell family. The site was once headquarters of the Hartford to Wesfield stage line. In 1830, the house was purchased by James Prosser, who remodeled it to become the Prosser Inn. James’ son, Levi Prosser, later lived in Massachusetts. In 1900 he left one sixth of his estate ($16,255.85) to the Town of Bloomfield to establish what is now the Prosser Public Library.