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Phelps Tavern, ca. 1771 - Simsbury


The Phelps house and tavern was owned by five generations of the Phelps family for nearly two hundred years.  The building served as family home, canal hotel, lodge meeting site, entertainment hall, and local tavern.  From 1786 until 1849, three generations of fathers and sons, and one widow, served as tavern-keepers. 

Built for Elisha Phelps in 1771, the house may include part of an earlier “dwelling” constructed by 1761.  The building was a family residence until Noah Phelps, Elisha Phelps’ brother, acquired the first tavern license in 1786.  His son Noah A. Phelps ran the tavern from around 1805 until his death in 1817.  His widow Charlotte operated the tavern herself until her son, Jeffery Phelps, purchased the property in 1820. 

Jeffery Phelps ran the tavern for 29 years, closing the business in 1849 to devote himself to agriculture and other interests. The building was remodeled in 1879 and 1915 by resident family members, and remained a family home until it was given to the Simsbury Historical Society in 1962 as a gift by Mary Phelps Ensign Lovejoy. The last family occupants were the family of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey O. Phelps, 4th.






Simsbury Historical Society
800 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070