The History of The Sun Tavern

sun-tavern-historyThe front part of The Sun Tavern was built in 1741. At the end of the nineteenth century it was owned by Lysander Walker who gained dubious fame when his story was published in the Boston Herald in an article titled “Last Duxbury Hermit”.

For some time Duxbury folk knew that all was not well with Lysander. With the stubbornness of advancing years intermixed with pride and sentiment he refused to leave the house which had sheltered him for so long and which he still called home.

In Duxbury, however, as in all small communities where the smoke of wood-burning stoves hangs heavy on the evening fog, a feeling of friendliness prevails, Lysander Walker had neighbors. Hardly a day went by that some member of the Belknap family did not drop in for a friendly word or to leave some tit-bit to tempt an appetite made dull by solitude. The children always watched as they passed by for the American flag which was the signal that something was needed at the store. The flag was always hung at the corner of the house. On October 3, 1928 Gladys Belknap 11 yrs. old saw the flag was hung union down at the corner of the house. They found Lysander seated on a sofa. Beside him still tightly gripped was a loaded revolver from which one shot had been fired. Lysander had signaled one last time in a way which would never be forgotten. The Tavern recently received a post card from Gladys Belknap confirming this story.

After Walker’s death Father Francis Keegan purchased the property for his summer residence. He befriended Mary Hackett and financed her education at Salem State Normal School. In the early 1930’s he suggested she take over his house to run as a restaurant. This small eating place was very successful. Situated in the heart of Cranberry plantations it was famous for its quaintness, beautiful flowers and delightful meals.

David Wells bought Mary Hackett’s in 1964 and changed the name to Fiddler’s Green Restaurant to convey the feeling of an English Pub. David also put the house on the map for he claimed it was inhabited by the ghost of Lysander Walker. Each night when the restaurant was being closed down and every candle extinguished on the tables, just one would be relit as David, the last to leave, was about to walk out the back door. Of course David was teased about his “Ghost”. Late one night the alarm went off and the police arrived to investigate. After checking the entire building and finding nothing, they closed the door and started up the path. Suddenly each officer heard footsteps in the restaurant. With guns drawn they entered the house but found no one. Never again was David ridiculed about his ghost!

In 1987 the restaurant was named The Sun Tavern as it remains today.

Larry and Carol Friedman as well as Lysander welcome you back! We previously owned the Tavern from 1996 to 2001. When it became available again we could not resist the lure and charm of this enchanting property. The Sun Tavern in all of its incarnations is woven into the lives of countless people who have walked through its doors.

To this day many have experienced Lysander’s presence. Those who have experienced it will never forget, those that doubt only need to ask Larry when you see him in the restaurant