New Vernon Taverns
Updated: Nov 8
The Review, May 1979, Volume 2, Number 2, by Suzanne Strasenburgh
In reviewing the mid-1700s in Harding, we learned that they were three prospering and widely known taverns within the confines of a revolutionary town. Larzaliere Tavern, which stood on what is now Route 287 at the lower end of Anthony Wayne Road, was one of the most popular. General Stark had his brigade headquartered near the site, and the tavern was also said to have been visited by Generals Washington and Lafayette. It’s close proximity to the camp road and Jockey Hollow assured his popularity with the weary soldiers the tavern, which was also called the Halfmoon Tavern. It stood at its original site until the construction of Route 287, at which time the barn was dismantled and removed to be rebuilt at the Timothy Mills house on early Street in Morristown by the Morris County Historical Society. The taverns original license dates back to 1753.
The Conger Tavern was located on the corner of blue Mill Road and sand Spring Road, at approximately the site of the new townhall. The tavern in the property were owned by David and Elizabeth Conger. The Conger was reputed to be a fine in with comfortable lodging and good food. It has been said the general Washington dined numerous times at this local hostelry. The original license was issued in 1743.
The corner of Lees Hill Road and Village Road was the site of the Hedges Tavern. The property on which the tavern stood was later the site of the local store, which was later moved by Harold Maxwell to the corner of Millbrook and Village Road, we are remains today as the Village Market. Large Sunday gatherings at Hedges Tavern were not an uncommon occurrence during the good horse racing weather. According to the Reverend E.R. Murgatroyd, who published a history of the area in 1893, “horse racing, and Sabbath breaking went with tippling.” The town fathers apparently sought refuge at the Hedges, even to hold meetings. Reported Murgatroyd, “so widespread had become the curse that a squire and jury who met in the hedges to try a case -- were all drunk -- squire and jury.” The land Tavern was later, close by United efforts of the ladies of New Vernon.