Thursday, August 7, 2008

Col. Joshua Herndon Tavern

Col. Joshua Harnden Tavern
430 Salem St.
Wilmington, Ma.

This Tavern was built by Col. Joshua Harnden (1732-1807) ca. 1770 and operated as a Public Tavern from 1794-1807. Col. Harnden was a Revolutionary War veteran who had answered the alarm of April 19, 1775 and fought at Lexington. In 1818 Silas Brown bought the property and operated it as a farm. The farm at one time had several large outbuildings and much more land than the present day property. The Browns kept the family farm for some 125 years. During the 19th century it is believed that the farm served as way-station on the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves heading north to Canada.

In 1973 the main building was in disrepair and slated for demolition. Recognising its historical importance the Town of Wilmington took the property by eminent domain. The Joshua Harnden Tavern is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Wilmington Historical Society now runs the Tavern as a museum and has tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There is also agricultural machinery and reproductions of Colonial Militia flags on display in the carriage house adjacent to the Tavern.

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