Last week’s Presidents Day Photo Challenge fooled some of our most historic-minded Westporters.
Sure, in 1775 George Washington stopped (and slept) at the Disbrow Tavern, the site of the present-day Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. He returned 5 years later.
A plaque marks the spot, by the elm tree where Church Lane meets Myrtle Avenue. But that’s not the marker that Kathie Motes Bennewitz’s image showed. (Click here to see.)
A similar plaque is partially hidden near the Christ & Holy Trinity (and Assumption Church) cemetery, on Kings Highway North. It’s across from the grassy area by Old Hill Road that, in Revolutionary times, served as a militia training and parade ground.
Elaine Marino, Bob Grant, Michael Calise and Morley Boyd all knew the correct location of this plaque.
Elaine also pointed out — to my great embarrassment — this was a previous Photo Challenge, in July 2018. (I really should read “06880,” right?)
During the Washington Bi-Centennial Celebration in 1932, the Compo Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a bronze plaque at the base of the tree.
The plaque on Kings Highway does not indicate who placed it there.
The downtown plaque is more weather-beaten than its cemetery counterpart. It says: “George Washington stopped for refreshments at this tavern, June 28, 1775.” It also has the bicentennial dates: “1732-1932.”
That Disbrow Tavern visit — and the next — were not the only 2 times Washington stopped (and slept) here. As president, he spent the night of November 11, 1789 at Captain Ozias Marvin’s tavern, at what is now the north side of Post Road West, opposite Kings Highway South.
Sarah Marvin and her daughters cooked up a presidential feast: loaves of brown bread and pies, vegetables from their farm, huge roasts.
Yet Washington asked for only a bowl of bread and milk. To add insult to injury, he wrote in his diary: It was “not a good house, though the people of it were disposed to do all they could to accommodate me.”
No matter. For years thereafter, Marvin Tavern was known as the Washington Inn.
But enough about yesterday. Here is today’s Photo Challenge. if you know where in Westport you would see it, click “Comments” below.