I am fascinated by early American history, and I love to learn new things about it. So I headed over to Fraunces Tavern Museum recently to learn a bit more about the role of Lower Manhattan in the American Revolution.
What first struck me about Fraunces Tavern was the building itself. Through decades of skyscraper construction in Lower Manhattan, this historic structure has been perfectly preserved—though not without a fight! In the early 1900s the tavern was saved from demolition and sold to the Sons of the Revolution who opened the museum in 1907.
Since then the museum has expanded with an extensive gallery of paintings and artifacts. Be sure to check out the Revolution and the City exhibit. It holds some amazing artifacts, including a cannonball similar to one that crashed through the tavern’s roof in 1775 and a piece of the statue of King George III that stood in Bowling Green until 1776, when Patriots pulled it down and melted most of it into musket balls.
While you wander through the galleries at Fraunces, be sure to step into the Long Room. It was here that George Washington gave his famous farewell speech to the officers of the Continental Army. The museum has recreated the space to reflect its layout in 1783. It’s easy to picture General Washington standing at the front of the room addressing his officers.
The museum is open from noon to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 PM on Sundays through the end of the summer. Feeling hungry after your journey through history? The first floor of the tavern has been recently renovated and serves lunch and dinner.