The '76 House

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The '76 House
Old 76 House Tappan NY.JPG
The Old 76 House (2010)
The '76 House is located in New York
The '76 House
The '76 House is located in the United States
The '76 House
Location110 Main St, Tappan, New York
Coordinates41°1′18″N 73°56′52″W / 41.02167°N 73.94778°W / 41.02167; -73.94778Coordinates: 41°1′18″N 73°56′52″W / 41.02167°N 73.94778°W / 41.02167; -73.94778
Part ofTappan Historic District
NRHP reference No.90000689[1]

The '76 House, also known as the Old '76 House, is a Colonial-era structure built as a home and tavern in Tappan, New York, in 1754 by Casparus Mabie, a merchant and tavern-keeper.



In spite of local claims of much earlier construction (dating to founding of Tappan in 1686), the '76 House appears only to predate the American Revolution by several decades. The earliest confirmed dates concerning any structure on or near the site involve one Antie Myers, a widow, who was licensed in 1705 to sell drink, "as per her recognizance," in her house in the immediate neighborhood of today's '76 House.[citation needed] After her death around 1721 her home was purchased by Yoast Mabie, a brother of Casparus. The house was demolished in 1835. In 1753, Casparus Mabie bought a piece of land from Cornelis Myers, Antie's son.

The following year he built a house on this lot on what was to become Main Street in Tappan. He included space for a tavern, probably no more than a few tables and benches in a corner of the front room. Two years later, in 1756, court records indicate that the "Supervisors for the County of Orange [met] at the House of Casparus Maybe, in Orange Town October the 5th Anno Domine 1756." These documents describe meetings of the Board of Supervisors over the years and provide details of the food and ale they consumed and the business they conducted.[2]

The Old '76 House, established 1755 – '76 House, where Major John André was confined

An old hearsay that the '76 House was known as "Mabie's Inn", home to Yoast Mabie, and the site of the signing of the Orangetown Resolutions in 1774, has been disproved by historians. Mabie's actual house, around the corner, was demolished.[3]

Revolutionary headquarters[edit]

The '76 House was often used during the American Revolutionary War as a meeting place for local Patriots.[citation needed] For a few days in 1780, it served as the prison of the Revolution's most notorious spy, Major John André. When the Continental Army encamped in Tappan, the house was the headquarters for General Nathanael Greene.[citation needed] By this time, owner Casparus Mabie had built another house for his family on "very good upland" behind the '76 House on what is today called André Hill, where the spy was hanged after his trial in the Tappan Reformed Church.[citation needed] General George Washington did not attend the trial, nor did he "question" André, as some sources claim. In fact, Washington did not respond to the spy's request that he be shot as befitted a gentleman and an officer rather than hanged like a common criminal.[4]

As the war continued, Fort Lee in New Jersey and New York City were British strongholds, West Point was a Revolutionary stronghold, and Tappan became a front line in the conflict. George Washington made the nearby De Wint House his headquarters. Once again, despite local claims, there is no documentary evidence that he ever drank or ate at the '76 House. He brought his own chef to Tappan with him, Samuel Fraunces of Fraunces Tavern. Nor is there evidence that he met the British Commander Carleton at the '76 House at the end of the war. The dinner they had together in Tappan was at the De Wint House, prepared by Fraunces, and another aboard the H.M.S. Perseverance.[5]


In 1987, Rob Norden purchased the restaurant, which is now owned and operated by his son, also Rob.[citation needed] The Nordens undertook a significant research and restoration project to restore the older appearance and deal with structural problems. The foundation was strengthened with concrete. The floor and ceiling joists, weakened by sagging of the foundation, were replaced by others from a barn in Ontario as old as the tavern, and the floorboards were replaced with similar boards from a schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. The '76 House is a contributing property to the Tappan Historic District.[6]


Several scenes from "College", the fifth episode of The Sopranos first season, were shot at the Old 76 House[7] as were several scenes from the movie Stepmom starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Howard I. Durie, "Andre's Prison, The '76 House, A History, Relics (Pascack Historical Society), vols. 24 and 25 (1981-1982), nos. 131-137. Also, Orange County Court Records, Deed Book A, pp. 37, 38. And Firth Haring Fabend, "The '76 House: An 18th-Century Tavern or Not?" South of the Mountains (Historical Society of Rockland County), vol. 50 (January–March 2006), pp. 19–21. A longer version of this article appears on Maps of this neighborhood and its neighbors appear in Tappan: 300 Years, 1686-1986 (Tappantown Historical Society, 1988), p. 26.
  3. ^ Durie, 1981-1982. David Cole, History of Rockland County, NY (New York: 1884), p. 27. The text of the Orangetown Resolutions was printed in the New York Journal, or General Advertiser, ed. John Holt, on July 14, 1774, Issue 1645, page 3. The paper clearly states that the Resolutions were signed in the "house of Yoast Mabie," which as noted above was around the corner from Casparus's house, today the '76 House restaurant.
  4. ^ Cole, 1884, chs. IV-XIII. Fabend, 2006, p. 20.
  5. ^ Isabelle K. Savell, Wine and Bitters, An account of the meetings in 1783 at Tappan, N.Y. and aboard H.M.S. Perseverance, between George Washington and Sir Guy Carleton, commanding generals of the American and British forces at the close of the Revolution (Historical Society of Rockland County), 1975.
  6. ^ Alicia A. Jettner (October 1989). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Tappan Historic District". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
  7. ^ Sopranos Location guide: Maine restaurant
  8. ^ IMDb trivia section for Stepmom

External links[edit]