A Meeting Place for Townspeople and Travelers
Built in 1795, the Barnard Tavern was at the center of village life at the end of the 18th century. In the early 19th century, roads and canals improved transportation and communication between towns in the new nation. The tavern formed a center of village life, a point at which the people of Deerfield met the outside world, in the person of a stagecoach driver, itinerant artisan, or drover. Barnard Tavern, a 1795 addition to the Frary House, provided accommodations for visitors and served as a meeting place for local residents. Townspeople and travelers exchanged news and opinions, conducted business, read mail and newspapers, and posted broadsides. Meals were prepared in the kitchen, drinks served in the bar room, and dances, plays, court sessions, meetings, and auctions were held in the upstairs assembly room. The assembly room was also the site of the first meeting of the trustees of Deerfield Academy.