L. Field’s Tavern Sign


L. Field’s Tavern sign

The tavern, which stood on a plot next to what is now the Leverett Family Library, had been owned by Fields since 1790. It was a landmark for the town, and even for Franklin County, for 156 years. It was perhaps at it’s highest popularity when it was operated by Lucius Field and his wife Virtue Ashley Field. At that time, it had two ballrooms: one on the first floor, in the newer part of the building, which was later converted into bedrooms; and one on the second floor, which was virtually unchanged since the building’s construction. Both were used for “rollicking dances” where youth would have a chaperoned opportunity to court and the town at large would get the chance to celebrate holidays and let their hair down, so to speak. Yes, the Field tavern was the main nightlife of Leverett. The Fields themselves were also pillars of the nearby Congregational Church. Accordingly, the lancers, quadrilles, and money music enjoyed at the tavern were all church-approved.

Apparently, the Pacific lodge of Masons met in secret at the tavern. Bradford M. Field, for whom the next door library-turned-museum was named, discovered the official order of constitution of the lodge, and it was placed on display in the lower front hall.

As far as food at the tavern went, the Field often laid their tables with fresh fish from the nearby pond (pickerel, perch, and trout from the Field farm on special occasions). They were famed for their good food, and Mrs. Field accompanied her wonderful food with the best china available. But let us not forget drinks! Flasks and decanters were filled in autumn in preparation of a spectacular New Year’s celebration.

A library was also kept by the Fields, which was later incorporated into the Bradford Field Memorial Library. Besides keeping the tavern, most other members of the Field family were farmers and upstanding citizens very much involved with the town’s functioning and well-being.

References: Springfield Republican, August 20, 1944