Now an immediate neighbor to the relocated Lum House (PR11), this austere, three-bay brick Federal building with arched dormers and a narrow, fanlit front door formerly stood south of the C&D Canal at Summit. Over the years, confusion arose as to which building had actually been Buck Tavern and whether this one—considered the most likely candidate—was old enough to have hosted George Washington, who occasionally “Din'd at the Buck.” In 1963, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, altering the route of the canal, intended to demolish the building. Instead, the Corps donated it to the state under the condition that it be moved within weeks. As the structure was dismantled brick-by-brick under the supervision of architect George F. Bennett, it was discovered that a carpenter had written in red crayon inside an attic dormer, “John Bayly June 19, 1821,” which rules out any visits by Washington. Like the Lum House next door, it is now boarded up. In 2004, the state announced a plan to have “resident curators” pay to restore Buck Tavern and the Lum House, then live in them rent-free for life.
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