Burnham Tavern information
Although Machias proper hosts a branch of the University of Maine, it’s not a place to spend any time. However, its beautiful neighbors, East Machias and Machiasport, are worthy of some attention. Machiasport, in fact, is where the first naval engagement of the Revolutionary War took place. After the king of England received the Declaration of Independence from the colonies, he sent a frigate to Machiasport to monitor the timely collection and transportation of lumber to Portland to build his ships. But a few drunken American colonists at Burnham Tavern decided to pay the frigate a visit before they could reach shore. After killing the English captain with a single shot to the head, they emptied the ship and burned it on the shores of Jonesport. The king’s reaction to this act of rebellion? He ordered his troops to torch Portland.