Recently I did an article about the oldest bar in Ocean County, the Cedar Bridge Tavern in Barnegat (1740). Now I figured only fair I take a trip to Monmouth County and find the oldest tavern still standing.

I did research and initially, I thought that Moore’s Tavern (photo below) in Freehold, circa 1787, might be the oldest. As I continued my investigation it turned out I was wrong and although Moore’s is very old (possibly second oldest in Monmouth), there was another that was a few decades older.

Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels

I spoke with the nice folks from the Monmouth County Historical Association and they pointed me in what I hope is the right direction. It turns out the Allen House, in Shrewsbury, is the oldest “tavern” standing in Monmouth County. It dates back to 1754 when the house became home to the Blue Ball Tavern.

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The Blue Ball Tavern was run by Josiah Halstead. Shrewsbury’s most noted tavern, I knew I needed to take a drive there and get a first-hand look at this piece of history and to get some nice photographs to share with you, in case you don’t get the chance to visit. By the way, the Allen House was originally constructed circa 1710.

Quick side note, the “Spy House” in Port Monmouth was built originally in 1663 but did not serve as a “tavern” until the early 1900’s.

In conclusion: Check with the Monmouth County Historical Association to see if and when tours of the Allen House will resume. Until then enjoy a look around as my camera takes you on an outdoor tour of this historic landmark.

The Blue Ball Tavern aka Allen House




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