Young’s Tavern (1776)

January 27th, 2010 Posted in Federal Style, Taverns & Inns, Windham

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The current sign hanging next to Young’s Tavern Apartments in Willimantic explains that the tavern was established in 1776, was later known as Hebard’s Tavern and then as the Nautchaug House, Willimantic’s first hotel. The building also served as Willimantic’s first post office. The oldest parts of the brick building date to the mid-1700s (David Young petitioned for a tavern license in 1755). A Federal-style addition containing a ballroom was constructed by Guy Hebard in 1825. As described in the History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889), edited by Richard M. Bayles:

Guy Hebard had erected a brick house on the south side of the river and opened it for the entertainment of the public. […] Here all public gatherings, Fourth of July celebrations, trainings, dancing schools, balls and other carousals of festivity were held. The old Hebard tavern was known far and wide.

In the 1840s, Gordon Hebard was a Mason and his Lodge, Eastern Star #44, met twice in the Tavern before making a permanent move from Windham Center to the rapidly growing Willimantic. Later in the nineteenth century, the hotel was known as the Natchaug House and an item in the Willimantic Chronicle from Wednesday, August 16, 1882, indicated that “the old Natchaug house” was “marked for destruction,” because “D.E. Potter and E.S. Boss have purchased it and will erect on the site a tenement block.” Somehow the building survived this threat, but it did become an apartment building and and during the following century it severely deteriorated. Starting in 1984, the building was restored by author David Morse and continues today as an apartment building.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Young’s Tavern (1776)”

  2. By Linda Loree Lazaroff on May 2, 2012

    My grandparents lived in one of the apts in the 30’s + 40’s. My mother was born in that building!

  3. By Di Bartlett on Apr 21, 2013

    I lived in the building during it’s restoration. DEFINITELY haunted. :)

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