Skip to main content
Dutch ColonialFairfieldMuseums

Sun Tavern

By February 15, 2024July 5th, 2024No Comments

Sun Tavern, Fairfield, Connecticut:

In 1761 Samuel Penfield bought 1.5 acres with “buildings thereon standing” from Thomas and Hannah Gibbs. He opened a tavern that was burnt to the ground during “Tryon’s Raid” on July 7, 1779. British troops torched much of Fairfield including several homes, the courthouse and the church. Penfield quickly rebuilt a Dutch Colonial style inn and tavern circa 1780.

President George Washington stayed here on October 16, 1789, during his tour of New England. John and Abigail Adams were also guests at Sun Tavern. Usually referred to as Penfield’s at the time, visitors gave the place beaming reviews. The early American haunt once had a ballroom on the third floor. Sun Tavern operated until the death of Samuel Penfield in 1811.

Penfield’s tavern became a private home. The historic parcel was purchased by Robert Manuel Smith in 1885, and it remained in the Smith family until 1977. Then the Town of Fairfield acquired the property and used it as a residence for Town Historians in the early 1990s. Sun Tavern is now a house museum curated by the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

View on Instagram:


Weston Ulbrich

Weston Ulbrich

Born and raised in Connecticut, I am a proud Nutmegger. I believe that "Life is for Service" and my enthusiasm for helping others shapes my work as a Realtor. Let's create a win-win relationship. Call or text 203.605.6086.