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.
Colonial, Fairfield, Taverns & Inns