Buckman Tavern


Buckman Tavern in Lexington

  • In 1714 Lexington Selectmen gave John Muzzey permission to keep a Publique House of Entertainment.
  • Acquired by the town of Lexington in 1913; administered by the Lexington Historical Society.
  • The Tavern appears in the background of nearly every illustration depicting the brief fight between the British light infantry and the minutemen.
  • In addition to its mission as a historic museum, Buckman Tavern also serves as headquarters for the Lexington Minute Men, Inc.

View Larger Map

Built about 1709, in 1775 it was owned and operated by John Buckman, a member of the Lexington Minuteman Company. It was a favorite gathering place for the citizen-soldiers on days when they trained on the Lexington Green. In the early hours of 19 April 1775, 80 militia men waited at Buckman Tavern for the arrival of the British Regulars from Boston, in the engagement that started the American Revolution.

Although best known for its role in the Battle of Lexington / Concord, Buckman Tavern is noteworthy for being one of the busiest 18th-century taverns in the town of Lexington. With its central location, it was convenient for both churchgoers during their Sunday nooning by a warm fire (church was not heated) and for drovers bringing their herds to market.

A two-story clapboard building with a taproom and large fireplace, the Tavern is virtually the same as at the time of the battle. Open for guided tours.

But Adams did not just read books. He battled them. The casual presumption that there is some kind of rough correlation between the books in the library of any prominent historical figure and the person’s cast of mind would encounter catastrophe with Adams, because he tended to buy and read book with which he profoundly disagreed. Then, as he read, he recorded in the margins and at the bottom of the pages his usually hostile opinions of the arguments and authors.... [T]he Adams marginalia constitute evidence more revealing of his convictions about political theory than any of his official publications.

Joseph J. Ellis
Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (1993)