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Black Tavern
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
DudleyMA BlackTavern.jpg
Black Tavern is located in Massachusetts
Black Tavern
Location in Massachusetts
Black Tavern is located in the United States
Black Tavern
Location in the United States
Location 138-142 Dudley Center Rd., Dudley, Massachusetts
Built c. 1803 (1803)
Architect Healy, Hezekiah
Architectural style Federal
Part of Dudley Hill Historic District (ID100004707)
NRHP reference No. 85000981 (original)
10000928 (increase)
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 9, 1985
Boundary increase November 17, 2010
Designated CP December 2, 2019

The Black Tavern is an historic tavern at 138-142 Dudley Center Road in Dudley, Massachusetts. The main block of the tavern was built c. 1803, and is one of the town's finest examples of Federal period architecture. It originally housed a major stop on the stagecoach route between Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut. It is now maintained by a local preservation organization, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. In 2010 the listing was expanded to include the adjacent barn and annex, which the society acquired in 2000.

Description and history

The Black Tavern is located in the town center of Dudley, at the northeast corner of Dudley Center and Tanyard Roads, just north of the Nichols College campus. It is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, with a gabled roof and clapboarded exterior. Its main block is five bays wide, with a center entrance framed by symmetrically placed sash windows. A two-story ell extends to the left side, with a four-bay facade. A single-story porch extends across the full width of both of these sections. The main entrance has a finely detailed Federal period surround, including fluted pilasters and a half-round transom window.

Dudley was about halfway between Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, and was a major stopping point on the stagecoach route. The tavern was built about 1803-04 by Hezekiah Healy, and served both the transient stage traveler as well as local residents. The building was given its name after Healy supposedly decided to paint it black, reasoning that that color required less maintenance. The building was extended by an ell to the rear in 1810 and another to the left side in 1835. The porch running across its front that was added c. 1890. In the 20th century the building was used by nearby Nichols College as a dormitory until 1980, after which it was given to the Black Tavern Society, a local nonprofit established to preserve the structure.

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