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Record 204/301
Interior of room in Richardson Tavern, Burlington MA. "In any account of old Lexington reference must be made to the Taverns. There were at least eight, probably more, doing business at various times. Lexington was a comfortable day's journey from Boston, which perhaps accounts for the number of Taverns. They fulfilled the duty of hotel and post office, catering in some cases to the better class of travelers and in others to the drovers and back country traders, trappers and farmers. In addition to the stage-coaches, there were the great 4 by 6 horse carts and too, great numbers of cattle, pigs, turkeys, and geese driven on foot from the distant towns to the Boston market. The Taverns were the scene of all local festivities. That usually meant a hall for cotillions and similar old time dances. In order to save space these halls were arranged that they could be cut up, by using temporary partitions, into small bed-rooms. It also meant that on dance nights most of the drovers, etc. would sleep on the hay in the barn. At Buckman Tavern and Simonds Tavern on Bedford Street (nearly opposite the Parker School), these partitions were like enormous shutters and when needed were set in grooves in the floor and ceiling. I have used for illustration the Ball-Room of the Richardson Tavern. It is not in Lexington, but is just over the line in Burlington, at the corner of Adams and Lowell streets. The house was built well before the Revolution. It has one very rare feature, the ceiling of the second floor is not flat but follows the arch of the roof. The partition on the left was the temporary one. In this case it was hinged at the roof and could be hauled up out of the way with block and tackle. One hundred years ago this was a busy section and the Tavern was a popular one. The Ball-Room being used for dances and religious services. At one time there was a small store downstairs. The kitchen is interesting due to the low ceiling. I cannot stand up straight under the summer beam across the middle of the room. This picture was taken in 1925 when Mr. Dunning, President of Dover Stamping Company, used it for a summer home. Burned to the ground January 1938."
Lantern Slides -Richardson Tavern, Burlington MA -Cary Memorial Library 2016. All rights reserved.
Richardson Tavern interior

The Edwin B. Worthen Collection, Cary Memorial Library

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Last modified on: March 22, 2016