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Old Ordinary

21 Lincoln Street ~ 1688

In the 1600s, an ordinary described a tavern or public house that accommodated travelers by stagecoach or ferry, as well as local folk. Food and drink were originally served here at a common table at a regular time of day for a fixed price. Thomas Andrews and his first wife Abigail (Lincoln), were the first ordinary owners living here with their 6 children starting in 1688. At that time, the house had only two rooms, one below and one above. Francis and Hannah Barker expanded the home in 1740 and 1760 raising their family and running the tavern successfully for another 55 years. In 1871, new owners Abiel and Deborah (Humphrey) Wilder changed the name to Wilders Tavern. Deborah became locally famous for her mulled cider, which was a favorite of Daniel Webster, a regular customer.

Only the first floor of the Old Ordinary is open during the House Tour, but visitors can get a good glimpse of life in the Colonial era by viewing the kitchen and tool room. The tap room has tavern tables all original to the Barker era. The dining room contains portraits of General Benjamin Lincoln, who served directly under George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and Barnabas Lincoln, a ship captain who was captured by pirates and lived to tell about it.

Open hours: 12:00 – 3:30 pm.

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