Farmingville, NY – -On July 28, Supervisor Ed Romaine (right), Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (second from left) and New York State Assemblyman Steven Englebright (left) met near the original location of the historic Roe Tavern in East Setauket. They were at the site to announce that the original building will be moved near the original location. At the July 21 Town Board meeting, a unanimous vote of 7-0 paved the way for the Town to purchase the building for its appraised value of $800,000 and move it to a town-owned site near its original location. A historical marker currently identifies the location at 325 Main Street in East Setauket. One of the proudest moments of Setauket history took place on the night April 22, 1790. On that night, President George Washington slept at Roe Tavern while touring Long Island to thank the spies after the Revolutionary War.
The Roe Tavern was originally built by Selah Strong in 1703 on what is now known as New York State Route 25A in East Setauket. After Selah died, his son, Thomas sold the property to the Woodhull family, who then sold it to Captain Austin Roe, a member of the Culper Spy Ring. He later converted the house into a tavern. In 1936, the building was moved and used as a private home in East Setauket. Revolutionary War re-enactor and history lecturer, Arthur Billadello (pictured second from right) is the current owner of the house and will continue to live there with his family and serve as caretaker and volunteer, in-house guide.
Supervisor Romaine said, "The Roe Tavern played a critical role in the early life of Brookhaven Town and the United States, especially during the Revolutionary War. To re-locate and restore this historic landmark, reminds us of our rich history and how the Town helped shape our young country. I thank Assemblyman Englebright, Councilmember Kornreich, Art Billadello and my colleagues on the Town Board for their support of our efforts to bring this project to fruition.”
Councilmember Kornreich said, "Visiting the once and future site of the Roe Tavern with Arthur Billadello, Assemblyman Englebright and Supervisor Romaine was incredibly exciting and humbling. I was very proud to share this moment in history with Art who has been a great steward of the building as well as two visionary elected leaders with whom I'm working to celebrate and share our community's historical heritage."