WPA Walking Tour – Site of Cooper’s Tavern

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Stop number three is the site of Cooper’s Tavern.

“In the Tavern, two middle aged men, Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship,

sitting over their toddy, were killed on April 19, when the Redcoats,

rushing through the town, fired blindly through the windows.”

The site of Cooper's Tavern is marked by this tablet... and this Starbucks (which doesn't serve toddy.) September 5, 2010.

7 thoughts on “WPA Walking Tour – Site of Cooper’s Tavern

  1. Later in the day, Cooper’s Tavern served as a triage site, or “hospital”, for victims of the April 19 skirmish. The redoubtable Samuel Whittemore was taken there after his one-man stand ( “one shot wound and thirteen bayonet wounds” Cutter-p.76) against those pesky redcoats.

    What a great idea, this WPA tour! Thank you.

  2. How long would the walking tour be, if one actually walked it? My sense of the geography is sketchy, of course, but you seem to be covering a lot of ground!

  3. Jason Winship is my 1st Cousin 7 Times Removed. I have been very interested in my mother’s ancestors and was astonished to find the information about Jason and Jabez. I have been to MA to see the marker listing the military men and 2 civilians who died that day. Was amazed that there were only 8 as reading in the history books it sounded like so many more died.

    1. Marie, thanks for leaving the comment, it’s always great to hear from the descendant of a true patriot. Where was the marker that you visited? On Thursday the 16th, I’ll post a picture of the monument in the Old Burying Ground of Menotomy, listing the “Revolutionary Soldiers known to be Buried In This Cemetery.” There are 34 names on this monument (Menotomy was the site of the bloodiest fighting on the opening day of the Revolution) including “John Winship” and “Jason Winship, Patriot.” I also previously posted a picture of the Cooper’s Tavern Marker, that shows a (slightly) different view of it. https://arlingtonpictures.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/coopers-tavern/

  4. In September of 2012 Cooper’s Tavern will be re-born near the same spot as the original. The modern day tavern will pay tribute to Winship, Wyman, and of course Captain Samuel Whittemore, by serving up some of their favorite Colonial time drinks, and posting their stories around the tavern.

  5. Sadly, the deaths of Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship were not the result of rushed troops ” “firing blindly through the windows” The deposition of the tavern owner still exists. It’s rather graphic, but makes it clear the killings were deliberate and brutal.

    (deposition 25)

    I imagine the WPA version was cleaned up in light of the interwar quasi-alliance with the UK, and wanting to not unduly ruffle feathers. Certainly, those making the depositions had their own agenda – but even the bare description of the wounds found is inconsistent with the WPA account.

    Crazy living here, hunh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s