George Washington – Slept Here – His Visit to Norfolk
Sometime in 1775 it is believed that General George Washington, with a guard of soldiers, came up the back road from Walpole, MA looking for commissary supplies and stopped overnight at the Tavern of Josiah Ware in Norfolk (North Wrentham). There were many Tories on the road from Newton out through Medfield, so Washington chose the safer road out. While George Washington slept here – his guard is said to have camped under the pitch pines then covering the Town Hill, to remain out of site.
This story, like so many others that fly in the face of history, would have probably fallen by the wayside were it not for one small detail – it was cooberated by an eye witness.
Preston Farrington, an ancient veteran of the Civil War, used to recount the story of Tilpka's well. As a youth, Preston lived at the home of Miss Tilpka Smith on what was referred to at the time as the "Back Street", this later became Lincoln Road. Tilpka's well was located across the roadway from the house and used a large sweep arm to raise and draw the water bucket out of the well. Preston could recall in detail the story of how Miss Smith had drawn water for George Washington on the day the general passed through town and spent the night in North Wrentham. He could even point out the exact room where Washington slept at the tavern – which later became the house and store of Mr. Mann – located at the current site of the Sovereign Bank in downtown Norfolk.