Historic Tun Tavern® and the Marine Corps in Philadelphia
The Tun Tavern®… Its Historic Past
The Tun Tavern® (the “Tavern”) was a brew house built by Samuel Carpenter in 1685. It was located on Philadelphia’s historic waterfront at the corner of Water Street and Tun Alley leading to Carpenter’s Wharf near what is today known as “Penn’s Landing”.
The First Brew House
Historically, it is regarded as the “First Brew House” built in Philadelphia in 1685, and among the very first in the country. Carpenter’s purpose in building the Tavern was to commence the development of the Philadelphia waterfront which he intended as a site for various businesses. The Tavern soon developed a reputation for fine beers in the City of Philadelphia and maintained that reputation for over a century. Its name is derived from the old English word “Tun” meaning measured cask, barrel, or keg of beer.
Events of Historical Significance
The Tavern was the site for the founding of the St. Andrews Society, a charitable group dedicated to helping underprivileged settlers from Scotland settle in Philadelphia.
On November 10, 1775, Robert Mullan, the proprietor of the Tavern and son of Peggy Mullan, was commissioned by an act of Congress to raise the first two battalions of Marines, under the leadership of Capt. Samuel Nicholas, the first appointed Commandant of the Continental Marines. Nicholas’s grandfather was also a member of the Tun Tavern Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and it is this relationship between Mullan, Nicholas and the Tavern which has resulted in the Tun Tavern being acknowledged as the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps. There are an estimated three million active and retired U.S. Marines worldwide who have been exposed in their military training to the historical significance of Tun Tavern®. Each year on November 10th, around the world Marines toast the Marine’s birthplace on the most significant date in the history of the Corps.