Who owns the yellow house in front of Wilton High School?
The house at 405 Danbury Road, one of the oldest homes in Wilton, dates back to the early 1760s. In 1762, the original owner, Matthew Marvin V, obtained a license to operate a tavern in his home. According to Bob Russell in his book Wilton Connecticut, the Connecticut Code of 1650 required every town to have at least one innkeeper. Wealthy families often ran taverns to cater to travelers who were likewise “well-to-do and expected good food and good company wherever they would spend the night.”
Marvin Tavern, as it was called, operated for more than 30 years. Among the many visitors who stopped there was General Samuel H. Parsons, who lead colonial troops in the fight against the British during the Revolutionary War. Apparently Parsons wrote war reports to George Washington from his room at the tavern.
In 1893, Louis Warncke purchased Marvin Tavern as well as much of the surrounding land. The building had other owners after Warncke, but in 1966, the Town of Wilton bought the tavern as part of a larger purchase of 25 acres along Danbury Road for the site of the new high school. When the school opened in 1971, the tavern was used as a teen center, but a fire ten years later damaged the structure. The Wilton Historical Society repaired the building and then leased it out as private office space.
In 2011, the town converted it into two apartments. The house is one of three structures in Wilton in the National Register of Historic Places, in addition to the Lambert House at 150 Danbury Road and the Hurlbutt Street Schoolhouse.