The Hartwell Tavern is usually bustling with people, but we caught it on a quiet morning, which was a lovely surprise.
We sniffed this gem out several years ago in Minute Man National Historical Park, along the original Battle Road trail, which featured prominently during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. British soldiers passed by on their way from Lexington to Concord, and on the way back as well, making this a witness house.
The site regularly features re-enactments, tours of the home provided by volunteers in Colonial attire, and is a popular place to have photos done, especially in fall. (My profile picture on my About page was taken there!)
The former home and tavern was built in 1732-1733, a wedding gift to Ephriam and Elizabeth Hartwell from Ephriam’s father, Samuel. The Hartwells had nine children, and in 1756, Ephriam received a license to operate part of the home as an inn. That endeavor went on until the 1780s.
After remaining a private residence until 1967 and being modernized over the years, it was acquired by the National Park Service.
“In the 1980’s, the Park Service restored it to its 1775 appearance, however keeping its 1783 and 1830 additions. The main structure, the foundation, and most of the walls, and some of the flooring are original,” says the website. “In all, about 60 -70 % of the ‘original’ structure remains within the restored house.”
We’ll highlight many other cool spots in this park, so stay tuned!
Side notes if you visit: There is a bathroom located nearby — an ideal pitstop of you are walking the long forest path!