The Grape: Secret meeting place for Lancaster’s Sons of Liberty

If you are looking for the epicenter for the spirit of independence in Lancaster County, look no further than 30 North Queen Street. It was here that the Grape Hotel once stood. Established in 1742, the Grape was instantly recognizable with its large bunch of grapes as its tavern sign.

The wooden cluster of grapes from the Grape Tavern on display at LancasterHistory.

Owned and operated by patriotic proprietor Adam Reigart, the tavern served as general headquarters and meeting place for many meetings of Revolutionary patriots during the 1770s.

A few days after the news of the Battle of Lexington reached Lancaster, a meeting of citizens was held there on April 27, 1775, to raise companies of one hundred volunteers each and to make a survey of the available powder and lead in the community.

“Call to Arms” at the Grape by Charles X. Carlson

Numerous revolutionary groups and committees such as the Committee of Observation and of the Supreme Executive Committee also met at the Grape. These “committees” were groups of local Patriots who acted as a shadow government usurping control of the Thirteen Colonies from royal officials during the American Revolution.

A plaque on 32-34 North Queen Street which tells about the Grape Hotel.

Later, before becoming the 15th President, James Buchanan, was said to frequent the Grape Hotel as one of his favorite places to dine.


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