Sun Tavern (1780)

May 6th, 2010 Posted in Colonial, Fairfield, Taverns & Inns

Sun Tavern, on the Fairfield Green, was built about 1780, replacing an earlier Sun Tavern, burnt during the British raid of 1779. The Tavern was operated by Samuel Penfield, who acquired the property in 1761. George Washington stayed at the Tavern the night of October 16, 1789, during a presidential tour of New England. The building, which had an early ballroom on the third floor, remained a tavern until Penfield’s death in 1811, after which it passed through several owners as a private home. It was purchased by Robert Manuel Smith in 1885 and remained in the Smith family until 1977. The following year, it was acquired by the Town of Fairfield and was used as the Town Historian’s residence into the early 1990s. Still owned by the town, Sun Tavern has been recently restored and is now managed as a historic site by the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Sun Tavern (1780)”

  2. By Marcia Miner on May 10, 2010

    There is no historic proof that has been discovered by the Fairfield Museum and History Center that Washington slept at the Sun Tavern. His diary does not say he stay over night at the Sun Tavern specifically. It would be great to have indisputable facts on this.

  3. By Sean Butler on May 31, 2013

    I am the great grandson of Leslie W. Rolfe and Elizabeth D Rolfe, owners of the land on which the Sun Tavern and the Historical Society sit, where they and two more generations (myself included) lived until the land was sold to the town in 1978. There’s no mention of those three generations and to my knowledge they are not a part of the Smith family.

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