The Allen House was initially built circa 1710 as a second residence for the Stillwell family of NY. Richard, a wealthy merchant, and his wife Mercy had eight children who were brought up primarily in Shrewsbury.
By 1754, after Richard and Mercy had passed away, their heirs sold the property to Josiah Halstead who transformed the home into the Blue Ball Tavern, "the most noted tavern in Shrewsbury." Taverns served as community centers in the 18th century as much as places to drink and eat. The Vestry of Christ Church held meetings there as did the Shrewsbury Library Company and the Monmouth County Circuit Court.
In 1779, a Loyalist party raided the tavern where Continental troops were quartered. They killed 3 and captured 9 in what would become known as the Allen House Massacre. The house is furnished to reflect its use as a colonial tavern.
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