The White Horse Tavern. My imagination kinda runs wild when I find myself in a place this old.

I know. I know. In Europe, things were quite established in 1658 when this building was built.

Well, this isn’t Europe. This is Newport, Rhode Island, and The White Horse Horse Tavern is old to me. In fact, it’s the oldest tavern in America. The structure was originally built as a residence. The tavern transition occurred in 1673.

My intent here is not a restaurant review . Suffice it to say, dinner was fantastic last evening, but I’m as much taken by the fact that folks were milling around here in this very dining room 368 years ago.

That was 124 years before our Declaration of Independence was signed ! WOW ! What were residents talking about in this room back then ? Politics ? King George ? A crop in the tiny plot they’d managed to clear thus far ?

America was but an infant and many “Americans” were still loyal to the British crown. What fascinates me is the fact that a handful of them had boarded some rudimentary ship and turned their lives totally upside down on a new continent. Who does that ?

Some of them may have been in this room.

Europe had been “built out” for centuries. America was wilderness, her natives living still in teepees and, understandably, not always welcoming.

I am intrigued by those 124 years of sunrises and sunsets between the building of this tavern and a miraculous congregation of brilliant minds in Philadelphia that placed America on new footing. Surely there’s plenty of Americans who don’t even recognize the breadth of our history before the Liberty Bell tolled.


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