Built in 1735, the Munroe Tavern in Lexington, Mass., not only has a storied history, it “has served the public on nearly a continuous basis as a retail shop, tavern and after 1911, as a museum,” says the Lexington Historical Society’s structure report.
“Its use reflects the importance taverns had in early American life, as venues for exchange of information and discussion, and for sustenance and community.”
The Munroe Tavern played an integral role in the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, when British soldiers took over the place.
“Earl Percy commandeered the tavern for his headquarters and as a place to treat wounded redcoats on the retreat from Concord on the afternoon of the nineteeth,” the report says.
British redcoats trashed the place and set a fire that was quickly extinguished. The Tavern caretaker, John Raymond, was killed, while Anna Munroe and her children hid in the woods, terrified.
William Munroe was sergeant of Lexington Minutemen and played an important role in several events of April 18-19, 1775, which contributes to the historical significance of the Tavern.
In addition, George Washington dined here on Nov. 5, 1789.
The building served as a Tavern under the Munroe family until 1850. It became a private residence (still in the Munroe family) in 1860, but it was opened to groups as a meeting place.
In 1911, it was acquired by the Lexington Historical Society and has operated as museum ever since. Visitors can learn about the British soldiers perspective of the renowned battle, and check out where George Washington munched his vittles.