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History of the Bottle Hill Tavern

The Bottle Hill Historic District was settled in the early 1700’s, and eventually became the Borough of Madison. Initial construction on The Bottle Hill Tavern began ca. 1812 on the site of an older inn of the same name.

In 1819, its owners, Matthias Burnet and Baxter Sayre, sold the Bottle Hill Tavern to Colonel Stephen D. Hunting of the Morris County Militia. It long served as a stop for Paulus Hook, Newark, Springfield, Chatham, and Bottle Hill to Morristown. 

In 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette visited the Tavern. Lafayette was a French military officer who served under George Washington in the Continental Army and was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine. During the French Revolution, he served as a leader of the Garde Nationale. 

In 1922 the First National Bank purchased the site for a new building and intended to tear down the old tavern. The Madison Historical Society was founded by a group of very civic-minded citizens committed to saving one of the most historic structures in Madison, the Bottle Hill Tavern that stood on the corner of Main St. and Waverly Place where the Chase Bank now stands.

Led by Mrs. Calvin Anderson, Mrs. Anderson Case, Mrs. Fitshugh C. Speer, Lloyd W. Smith and Arthur W. Buttenheim, a successful fundraising effort was completed to pay for the cost of moving the Tavern to a location further down Main Street. After the move took place in 1923, it became the home for the Historical Society until the late 1940s when the Society moved to the Madison Public Library that now houses the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts. 

Over the years, the Bottle Hill Tavern’s location has varied and has been known as the Waverly House, the Madison House, and the Bottle Hill Tavern. Over the past 25 years, The Mullins family ran “Poor Herbies” from 1992 until 2017 until its closure and purchase last December when four long-time Madison residents purchased the establishment and renamed it the Bottle Hill Tavern, celebrating the great history of Madison, NJ. 

The new owners and their families (Horn, Haralampoudis, Flemming, and Horsey) are committed to honoring the success of the Mullins Family for the past 25 years, as well as the great history of our tavern through the celebration of great food and drinks, great experiences and most of all ... great neighbors!

All of us, and our families, look forward to welcoming you all back home to Madison’s Original Family Tavern!