13 Colonies

Weekend Walks in Historic New England
Holyoke's Semi-Centennial Celebration

August 31 to September 3, 1923

Crafts Tavern, Holyoke, MA

Crafts Tavern
Built in 1785

       Craft's Tavern is one of the two oldest buildings in Holyoke. It was built in 1785, for Abner Miller, whose people had been in Holyoke at least a generation earlier. In the records of the Morgan family, now headed by J. Pierpont Morgan of New York, it is stated that "Ye Olde Tyme Craft's Tavern" was built by Archibald Morgan, from whom the present family of international bankers is descended.
       It must have been that Archibald Morgan was the man who actually built this old tavern. Its first landlord and owner, however, was Abner Miller, and it was known as the Abner Miller Inn until it was bought by Chester Craft in 1832. The Tavern was maintained as a tavern, general store and post office until 1872.
       It is a very great loss to local history that there are nowhere any records of the people of distinction who must have stopped at the Tavern during the 87 years of service as a public hostelry.
       On the direct post road running north and south, half way between the main post roads across the State, the Tavern must have sheltered many people whose names have gone into the history. Lafayette must have passed this way when he traveled from Northampton to Springfield. He would hardly have passed without pause. But there is no record of this.
       That the Tavern was a favorite stopping place for the men who carried the trade up and down the Connecticut Valley is related in every old family that has inherited memories of its service. There are many stories connected with the Tavern merriment.
       There was a mail twice a day, carried by stage coach, through practically the entire life of the tavern as a public hostelry. The Craft family held its ownership of the Tavern from 1832 until last week, when title was passed to the City of Holyoke. Nearly fifty acres of land on the hill back of the Tavern has been purchased for a park for future development for the citizens of Holyoke.
       The Tavern is to be removed to another site on the property to make way for the extension of Dwight Street to connect with the Easthampton Road. The plan is to restore the Tavern and use it for a museum, dedicated to the perpetuation of articles and records that have to do with the history of Holyoke. This latter program has been undertaken as a private responsibility on the part of a group of interested citizens.

[Transcriber's Note: Craft's Tavern was located approximately where Lynch Middle School is today, Northampton Street and Easthampton Road. This item is reproduced from a two-page flyer, presumably distributed during the Semi-Centennial Celebration week.]

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