1639. Formation of the plantation called Lynn Village.
1644. Massachusetts Court of Assistants votes to rename Lynn village to Reading.
1694. This house, the oldest documented one still standing in Reading, was built by Abraham Bryant, a farmer and blacksmith. It is a style called “saltbox”, typical of seventeenth century houses, with a massive central chimney.
1724. Abraham Bryant 3rd sold the house to his brother-in-law Nathaniel Stow, who was also a blacksmith.
1739. Ebenezer Nichols, a tanner and man of affairs, becomes the next owner.
1760. Ephraim Parker, from whom the house takes its name, operated a licensed inn during the Revolutionary War period. Some of the prisoners of war from the 71st Scottish Regiment, including their commander Colonel Archibald Campbell and his officers, were quartered here.
1806. Thomas Sweetser acquired the property and used it as a farm.
1916. The town of Reading acquired the property.
1923. The town sold the Tavern to the Reading Antiquarian Society for a nominal sum.
Since 1923, the Society has maintained the Tavern for the benefit of all the townspeople, without any appropriation from the town’s budget.