Buckman Tavern

April 19, 1775

Buckman Tavern is a historic Revolutionary War site associated with the revolution’s very first battle, the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It is located on the Green in Lexington, Massachusetts and operated as a museum by the Lexington Historical Society.

The Buckman Tavern is located on the Lexington Battle Green and was built about 1690 by Benjamin Muzzey. A license was granted in 1693 and it became the first Public House in Lexington. Muzzey operated the tavern for years before his son John took over. At the time of the Battle of Lexington, Muzzey’s granddaughter and her husband John Buckman were running it. John was a member of the Lexington Minuteman Company and the minutemen enjoyed gathering there when they were training on the Lexington Green. On the dawn of April 19, 1775, several dozen minutemen gathered around the tavern to wait for British troops who were coming westward to seize arms in Concord. Just before sunrise, Captain Parker’s company of minutemen left the tavern and formed two lines on the common to oppose the advancing British troops. As the British arrived, a single shot was fired, which was thought to have come from the tavern. After the Revolutionary War, this tavern contained Lexington’s first village store and later on in 1812, the town’s first post office. Today, the tavern is operated as a museum by the Lexington Historical Society.

The Battle of Lexington and Concord took form before dawn on April 19, 1775 as several dozen minutemen gathered in the Tavern to await the British troops’ arrival. Definite word reached them just before sunrise, and Captain Parker’s company of minutemen left the tavern to assemble in two long lines on the common. Following the arrival of the British, a single shot was fired: with this shot the American Revolution began.

Although best known as the headquarters of the minutemen, Buckman Tavern is also noteworthy as perhaps the busiest of Lexington’s 18th century taverns. It housed the first village store in Lexington, and later, in 1812, the first town post office.

The Tavern’s interior appears today very much as it did in 1775 and one can see the restored 18th-century taproom with large fireplace and central chimney. Among the many items on display is the old front door, with its bullet hole made by a British musket ball during the battle, and a portrait of John Buckman.