I’ve been to the oldest tavern in Nevada, the Genoa Bar in Gardnerville. It started as “Fettic’s Exchange” in 1884 and is worth a visit if you’re in Reno or South Lake Tahoe. While in Genoa, have dinner at my favorite French Restaurant, La Ferme.
But I digress… this post is about the oldest bar in Massachusetts which to my great dismay is actually just an archaeological site now. The Wellfleet Tavern Site is on Great Island in Wellfleet Bay about 14 miles from Provincetown. The bay is surrounded by the Cape Cod National Seashore on both sides. The old tavern site is on Great Island which is connected to the Cape by a long sand spit. The site was excavated in 1970 and analysis of the artifacts revealed bar room activity from 1690 to 1740. The artifacts found included a “high number of drinking vessels”.
The Great Island Trail is a nice walk anytime of year. You can get to the tavern site on either side of the headland. We crossed over the dunes and walked the beach for about 1/2 hour before reaching the trail up into the Pitch Pine forest on Great Island. In January, the snow was too deep to get over to the tavern site so we enjoyed the view of Cape Cod bay and head back the way we came in.
A few of the locals: