Buckman Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts
|Location||1 Bedford Street, Lexington, Massachusetts|
|NRHP Reference #||66000137|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||January 20, 1961|
Buckman Tavern is a historic American Revolutionary War site associated with the revolution's very first battle, the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It is located on the Battle Green in Lexington, Massachusetts and operated as a museum by the Lexington Historical Society.
The Tavern was built about 1690 by Benjamin Muzzey (April 16, 1657 - March 28, 1735), and with license granted in 1693 was the first Public House in Lexington. Muzzey ran it for years, then his son John, and then at the time of the battle it was run by John's granddaughter and her husband John Buckman, a member of the Lexington Training Band. In those years the tavern was a favorite gathering place for militiamen on days when they trained on the Lexington Green. (Lexington, unlike other local communities, did not establish a minuteman company, instead maintaining a "training band" [an old English phrase for a militia company] for local defense).
The Battle of Lexington and Concord took form before dawn on April 19, 1775 as, having received word that the regular army had left Boston in force to seize and destroy military supplies in Concord, several dozen militiamen gathered on the town common, and then eventually went to the Tavern to await the British troops' arrival. Definite word reached them just before sunrise, and Captain Parker's company of militia left the tavern to assemble in two ranks on the common. Following the arrival of the army, a single shot was fired, by whom, we still do not know. With this shot, the American Revolutionary War began.
Although best known as the headquarters of the militia, Buckman Tavern is also noteworthy as perhaps the busiest of Lexington's 18th century taverns. It housed the first village store in Lexington, and later, in 1812, the first town post office.
The Tavern's interior appears today very much as it did in 1775 and one can see the restored 18th-century taproom with large fireplace and central chimney. Among the many items on display is the old front door, with its bullet hole possibly made by a British musket ball during the battle, and a portrait of John Buckman.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Buckman Tavern". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
- Polly M. Rettig and C. E. Shedd, Jr. (December 23, 1974) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Buckman Tavern, National Park Service and Accompanying four photos, from 1974
- "A Bucknam/Buckman genealogy, some descendants of William Bucknam of Charlestown and Malden, and John Buckman of Boston" published 1988 by Gateway press http://openlibrary.org/b/OL2069042M/Bucknam/Buckman-genealogy
Media related to Buckman Tavern at Wikimedia Commons