One of the first famous meetings to take place at the tavern was the meeting of St. George’s Society which was held on St. George’s Day, April 23, 1720. This organization, known today as “Sons of the Society of St. George” was established to assist distressed or needy colonists. The organization assisted English subjects through the colonial period and American citizens from the Revolutionary War through later decades. The tavern serves as this philanthropic organization's meeting place until 1876, when tycoon Matthew Newkirk’s mansion came up for sale at 13th and Arch Street. The Organization acquired the building and dubbed it “St. George’s Hall”. The meetings were held at the new site until the building was torn down in 1903. St. Sons of St. George’s Society not only still exists today but has also expanded to other states and included assistance to anyone in need.
In 1732, Tun Tavern became the location of the inaugural conference of American Freemason order and also served as the polling place for the election of the first “Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.” Benjamin Franklin, a 33rd-degree mason at the time would become the third Grand Master in 1734. Franklin's reputation as a great leader as well as author, politician, scholar, and activist would assist in the prominent reputation Tun Tavern would continue to build. In 1756, Tun Tavern became the centralized location for Benjamin Franklin’s recruitment efforts of the Pennsylvania Militia that would fight against native tribes and secured land for settlers. Benjamin Franklin would use this Masonic center to host Thomas Jefferson and George Washington during the Revolutionary War in contribution to efforts to bring all colonies under a single entity.
On November 10, 1775, Tun Tavern became known as the birthplace of the Marine Corps. When Masonic leader Robert Mullen was authorized by Congress to establish the Continental Marines, he would appoint the first Marine Corps Commandant, Capt. Samuel Nichols to lead recruiting efforts and the two battalions to be established. Four additional Marine Security Companies were also established to assist in George Washington’s efforts to defend Philadelphia. The Continental Marines were predominantly utilized by the Navy during the Revolutionary War to conduct amphibious assaults in places such as New Providence and twice in Nassau. The Continental Marines would eventually disband in April of 1783, only to reestablish in 1798 under the title of the United States Marine Corps.
Tun Tavern operated until 1781 when the historic watering hole burned to the ground. The original location is now paved over thanks to the construction of Interstate 95 at Penn’s Landing. A marker to commemorate Tun Tavern has been placed on the east side of Front St. across from Sansom Walk.