White Horse Tavern, Newport

White Horse Tavern, Newport

The White Horse Tavern holds a special place in American history as one of the oldest tavern buildings in the United States. The story of the White Horse Tavern begins in 1652 when English immigrant Francis Brindley constructed the original building on this site, laying the foundations of what would become an enduring legacy. The property was granted to Brindley by his brother-in-law William Coddington, making it a cherished piece of land even from its inception.

In 1673, the building found a new purpose as William Mayes purchased the lot and transformed the structure into a bustling tavern. It became a hub for the local community, serving not only as a place to enjoy drinks and meals but also as a venue for significant gatherings. The tavern was used for Rhode Island General Assembly meetings, as a courthouse, and even as a city hall, further entrenching its place in the heart of Newport.

As the years passed, the Mayes family took over the establishment, with William Mayes, Jr. continuing the tavern's operation well into the early eighteenth century. However, it was in 1730, under the ownership of Jonathan Nichols, that the establishment adopted the name by which it's known today, "The White Horse Tavern."

Throughout its storied history, the tavern bore witness to pivotal moments in American history. During the American Revolution, it played host to Tories and British troops during the British occupation of Newport, particularly during the Battle of Rhode Island, underscoring its role in the ebb and flow of the nation's struggle for independence.

In the twentieth century, the Van Bueren family generously donated funds to the Preservation Society of Newport, ensuring the restoration of the building in 1952 after years of neglect during its time as a boarding house. This marked a crucial turning point in the tavern's history, as it was once again revived and rejuvenated to serve its original purpose.

Today, the White Horse Tavern stands as a cherished piece of Newport's rich heritage, providing a space where visitors can step back in time while indulging in modern culinary delights.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Newport. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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White Horse Tavern on Map

Sight Name: White Horse Tavern
Sight Location: Newport, USA (See walking tours in Newport)
Sight Type: Food/Drink
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Newport, Rhode Island

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