Rising Sun Tavern

River & Canal Streets


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From: "A History of the City of Newark" Lewis Historical Publishing Company 1913

The Rising Sun Tavern stood about where River & Canal Streets meet, on the, then, high road from Newark to New York, the "Old Ferry Road" as it was afterward called, and from which our present Ferry Street derives its name.  Travelers going to New York passed up or down Broad Street to Market Street and then eastward to the ferry across the Passaic, over the meadows to the Hackensack and on over Bergen hill to the inn at Paulus Hook, whence they took a ferry to New York.  The Rising Sun Tavern, located as it was on a little eminence, commanded an extensive view of the river and bay and the country eastward.  It was on both arteries of communication with the outside world, the road and the river.  It seems to have been a famous place of entertainment in its time, but, unfortunately, the records of its day are exasperatingly meager.  We do know that under its roof the first lodge of Free Masons in New Jersey, St. John's, was organized.

The Rising Sun seems to have lasted after the Revolutionary War began, until 1777 and possibly afterwards, although it was too close to the bay and lower river territory over which Tories and militia and occasional detachments of British and Hessians moved, to be a comfortable lace of entertainment.  It was reopened afterwards, if it closed at all.  James Banks continued as innkeeper until 1771, when he made the following announcement in the newspapers:

"As I intend to leave off publick-housekeeping soon, I will dispose of, at private sale, the house and lot of ground whereon I now live; it advantageous situation for publick business is well known to be as good as any between Powles Hook and Philadelphia, being the county town; a large house, convenient rooms, a good cellar, and a fine large stable in the yard, an excellent kitchen garden adjoining it; is likewise suitable for a gentleman's seat, or for a merchant, being in the centre of town'