White Horse Tavern (Newport, Rhode Island)

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White Horse Tavern
The White Horse Tavern Newport Rhode Island est. 1673.jpg
White Horse Tavern in 2017
White Horse Tavern (Newport, Rhode Island) is located in Rhode Island
White Horse Tavern (Newport, Rhode Island)
White Horse Tavern (Newport, Rhode Island) is located in the United States
White Horse Tavern (Newport, Rhode Island)
LocationNewport, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°29′30″N 71°18′51″W / 41.49167°N 71.31417°W / 41.49167; -71.31417Coordinates: 41°29′30″N 71°18′51″W / 41.49167°N 71.31417°W / 41.49167; -71.31417
Part ofNewport Historic District (ID68000001[1])
NRHP reference No.72000032[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPFebruary 23, 1972
Designated NHLDCPNovember 24, 1968

The White Horse Tavern was constructed before 1673 and is believed to be the oldest tavern building in the United States.[2] It is located on the corner of Farewell and Marlborough streets in Newport, Rhode Island.


The tavern in 2009

Francis Brinley, an English immigrant, constructed the original building on the site in 1652.[2] In 1673, he sold the lot to William Mayes who enlarged the building to become a tavern.[2] The building was also used for large meetings, including use as a Rhode Island General Assembly meeting place, a court house, and a city hall.[2] William Mayes obtained a tavern license in 1687, and his son William Mayes, Jr. operated it through the early eighteenth century.[2] The operation was named "The White Horse Tavern" in 1730 by owner Jonathan Nichols.[2]

Tories and British troops were quartered there during the British occupation of Newport in the American Revolution, around the time of the Battle of Rhode Island.[2] Newport's Van Bueren family donated money to the private Preservation Society of Newport to restore the building in 1952, after years of neglect as a boarding house.[2] After the restoration, the building was sold and once again operated as a private tavern and restaurant,[2] and it remains a popular drinking and dining location today.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Architectural Heritage of Newport, Rhode Island" - Page 433 by Antoinette Forrester Downing, Vincent Joseph Scully - 1967
  3. ^ http://www.whitehorsetavern.com/history.htm