Archive 2008 - 2019

Once a Tavern

by Ken Henderson

Holliston has a rich connection to the early days of our country when you see authentic, antique homes.  That is, homes looking today as they did since first built.  Such is the case at the Littlefield Tavern, the home of Ben Clarkson and his wife Emily.  They live comfortably in a well-maintained colonial home on Washington St heading toward Milford.  Ben had driven past the long saltbox style house many times and when he saw it was for sale, he was first at the door to buy it.

Seen above, Ben checks that's newest Cub Reporter Ken Henderson is getting the facts down correctly.

Their home, once a tavern as of 1751, was part of a 500-acre land grant from the king of England in the late 1600’s. From a modest two room startup, the house grew with additions to its present size.  A stagecoach stop, militia meeting spot, and of course a tavern are all part of its history.  If only the walls could talk!  What stories we’d hear. (Speaking of walls, two of the walls are on hinges and can be swung open to create bigger rooms!)

Did Washington drink a tankard of brew here?  Did Paul Revere’s family, living in hiding out at the corner of Marshall and Gorwin, visit the tavern? No guest book was found… There’s so much to investigate about this 300+ year old home/tavern.  Relics are unearthed frequently including Indian arrowheads, pottery, crockery and metal artifacts from centuries ago.  Even a more recent Kampersal dairy creamer pint was found.

Ben’s passion for history and the house involves his avocation of restoring and repairing antiques of all kinds. In the workshop, Riverbend Restorations, items are restored to their original condition often requiring extensive research into how it was done long ago.  A visit with Ben at the Littlefield Tavern is only a glimpse into where the love of authentic, antique homes can take you.  Carry on Ben, a piece of history is in your hands.


Comments (1)

I was expecting to read about your family's experiences in that home, Ken, and a description of the upstairs ballroom with its removable walls. Walking onto the floorboards into the house felt like a step back via time machine - as if I were really transported - and I swear, there are echoes of parties and stories whispered nightly.

Mary | 2019-01-20 12:37:16