Sutton Massachusetts

Town of Sutton
Worcester County

Plank Tavern / The Old Sutton Tavern

Notes from the History of Sutton, 1878

The building, one of the most ancient landmarks of Sutton, known in early times as the "Plank Tavern," and in later years as the old Sutton Tavern, was built about the year 1727 by Philip Chase. ... in 1724 he moved into Sutton. After his death his son Follansbee came into the possession of the tavern, paying the other heirs their portion. After the decease of Follansbee it came into possession of Thomas Follansbee Chase, who occupied it as a residence until the year 1800, when he removed to Paris, Maine. The tavern in its construction differed for the ordinary buildings of the period.

As will be seen by the engraving that represents it as it originally appeared, the siding consists of thick oak planks nailed perpendicularly to the frame, and at each end of the upper corners the planking is placed diagonally, for the purpose of giving additional strength in bracing the buildilng. The clapboards were not added until a later period. They were cloven by hand and fastened by hand-made nails, cut nails being then unknown.

The chimney was massive in size, and the fire-places throughout the building were of ample dimensions. The foundation of the chimney, laid with huge stones, occupied nearly one-third of the cellar. The interior was double-lathed and plastered, rendering it a remakrably warm house in coldest weather.

The windows had glass 6x8 inches, and the sash were of unequal size, the upper ones contianing eight lights and the lower ones twelve. The building was owned by different members of the Chase family upward of three-quarters of a century. The portrait is from a silhouette likeness of Thomas Follansbee Chase, the last one of the family to whom it beloned. He sold it to Paul and Luther Whiting, from whom it passed into the possession of M. M. Hovey, and from him was purchased by the present owner, Mr. S.B. Holbrook, who was recently removed the building a short distance to the rear of its original location. Tradition tells us that the old tavern was a noted gathering place previous to and during the war for independence, but history supplies little information respecting the scenes and incidents that transpired there.

Plank Tavern

From Donna

The "Plank Tavern" also known as the Sutton Tavern was in Sutton Center sort of in-between the current gas station and apt house (former Methodist Church) on the corner of Singletary Ave and Boston Road. This corner has a very interesting history dating back to the first settlement days, but would take me too long to get into it all. Anyway the Plank Tavern was removed many, many years ago (picture, drawing of it in Sutton History Vol I). A portion of it was used in a house further down Singletary Avenue....and the rest of it disposed of in some other mannner.

The understanding I have is that the Plank Tavern was more a common man type of place, while the LeBaron Tavern (Wally Johnson's) was more elaborate. There was a livery stable across from the Plank Tavern that was I'm sure good for businss. It is likely the Plank Tavern was existence in the early to mid 1700's in some form on that spot.

Houses in Sutton Massachusetts