We recently made it back to Lexington, Mass., one of our favorite towns in the United States and the birthplace of American Liberty. This 333-year-old place has super interesting ties to the Revolutionary War.
According to signage out front of the Sanderson House, built in 1689: “The Sanderson House is believed to be Lexington’s few remaining 17th century structures. With its neighbors, the Munroe Tavern and the white Mason house across the road, it is part of a group of very early buildings. Two clues to their age ar the massive supporting beams and huge chimneys.”
With the Munroe Tavern, this house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the events of April 18, 1775.
“On the evening of April 18, 1775 Sargent Munroe received news that a group of British soldiers had been spotted on the road out from Boston,” says the town of Lexington website. “Munroe, suspecting trouble, gathered eight other Minute Men to guard the parsonage of Reverend Jonas Clarke where John Hancock and Samuel Adams were spending the night. When fighting erupted between the Colonists and British on the 19th, both William Munroe and Samuel Sanderson were among Captain Parker’s troop of defending Minute Men.
On the afternoon of April 19th , the Munroe Tavern served as a temporary field headquarters and hospital for the British Redcoats during their retreat from Concord back to Boston. The Tavern was apparently insufficient to hold all those who needed care and at least one man was deposited at the Sanderson House.
General Percy, leading a relief force of British soldiers to rescue the exhausted troops, mounted two field pieces to cover the road. One of these was placed on the hill behind the Sanderson House and the Tavern, the other was across the street. When Molly Sanderson returned to her home late in the afternoon after the British had left Lexington, she found the cow which had been part of her dowry slaughtered wantonly, and a bleeding British soldier in the bed.
Years later, she would recall that she had given him such a tongue-lashing that he was afraid
to eat the food she gave him for fear of being poisoned. It is said that the soldier recovered and lived in Lexington for many years.”