The property at the corner of Bridge and Nutt has been through many changes over the years from when it was first built in 1750 by William Grimes as a private home. In the fall of 1777, the house was owned by the Fussels when it was ransacked by General Cornwallis’ Hessian troops. The General got a nasty surprise when he quickly yanked the covers off of a set of beehives that one of Fussel’s neighbors had brought in, hoping to protect the hives from the British. Cornwallis was sting badly enough that he required the services of his surgeon and he quartered himself and Howe at the property for the next several days.
In 1800, the property was purchased by William Robinson who turned it into a tavern, known as the Fountain Inn. Over the years, it has gone through numerous changes. In the early 1840’s, one of my ancestors, James McFarland, held the license for the Fountain Inn for several years. In 1981, it re-opened after a vacant spell as La Fontana, specializing in Italian food. In more recent years, it has been mostly vacant. Its current tenant is a pizza shop.