A part of Easton virtually since the beginning, the 1753 Bachmann Publick House began its days as a colonial tavern run by Jacob and Katrina Bachmann. The pair built the stone inn at what is today the northeast corner of Second and Northampton streets.
From the moment it opened its doors, the Bachmann House was more than a tavern. It served multiple purposes and experienced multiple owners for more than 200 years, and witnessed a lot of history along the way.
Beyond serving as a temporary home for travelers and a public gathering place, Bachmann House also operated as the Northampton County Court until a permanent courthouse was built in 1764. The original courtroom is still on the second floor. It is said that Ben Franklin was among those who visited the county court at Bachmann.
During the French and Indian War, the tavern was the site of meetings of the Indian Councils and the location for the signing of several treaties. A treaty signed at Bachmann House in 1758 is on display in Easton's Sigal Museum.
During the Revolutionary War, the Bachmann House was at the center of key strategy meetings. While George Washington did not sleep there, several signers of the Declaration of Independence did — including John Adams of Massachusetts, William Ellery of Rhode Island and William Whipple of New Hampshire. Another signer, George Taylor, owned the tavern for a period of time.
Bachmann House continued to operate as a tavern through the 1970s.
The oldest surviving building in Easton, the Bachmann House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. A restoration project spearheaded by the Easton community in 2000 helped to return the structure to some of its former glory, and the Bachmann House retains more than 80 percent of its original materials.
Now owned by the Northampton Historical and Genealogical Society, the Bachmann House is open for programs and special events, including tea parties and other colonial activities, as well as dinner theater performed by the Bachmann Players. The building is available for group tours and private rental.