Colts Neck Inn
Backstory and Context
The Colts Neck in is located off of County Road 537 in Colts Neck Township. It was reportedly established as a tavern in 1717 but official documentation supporting this is not readily available. The Inn was located near the Burlington trail, which had been used by Native Americans before becoming a pathway for European settlers. Due to the Inn's location near this trail, it was a stopping point for stage coaches that traveled from the shore to in-lands. It is also said to have been a stopping point for British soldiers that were quartered nearby after the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.
As noted, verified information about the site is limited. Levi Hart reportedly ran the Inn during the 1730s when it was known as Hart’s Tavern. After Hart’s death in 1775, the ownership was given to his wife, Catherine Hart. A few years after Hart’s death, Catherine remarried to a man named Joshua Huddy. During this time, Huddy was known to be an activist against the Loyalists in the years leading up to the American Revolution. He would famously be hanged by the British. The Tavern was later passed down to his son Jacob Huddy. Jacob Huddy ran the Tavern until 1817, when it was turned over to Samuel Laird.
During the ownership of Samuel, the Tavern became more well-known because it was the training ground for the famous horse “Fashion.” At the time, Fashion was thought to be the best race horse in America. Samuel Laird spent much of his time training horses while his son Joseph raced them. Joseph was a prominent very well-known racer on the east coast. Joseph and Fashion’s most famous race took place at the Union Course against a horse name Boston. Samuel is also remembered as the first postmaster of Colts Neck when an office opened up in 1824.
After Samuel Laird's death, the business was passed down to his other son, Robert Laird, who also took over Laird & Company, which is one of the oldest known distilleries in the United States.
By 1908 the Inn was owned by a man named Louis V Snyder. This was when the Tavern and the horse businesses were separated. In 1908 the hotel had approximately 25 guest rooms.
By 2016, the Inn had grown to 47 guest rooms. The hotel is currently owned by the Mavrooka family and goes by the name Colts Neck Inn Steak and Chop house. The business has won several awards such as "best steak" by the Jersey Shore Metro Mix, "best steak house in Monmouth County" by the Asbury Park Press, and "best brunch in Monmouth County," also by the Asbury Park Press. If one is looking to revel in New Jersey history while enjoying a quality steak, this is the place to do it. They provide live entertainment multiple times a week along as well as provide wedding banquets. Look for more information on their regularly updated website.
"History of Colts Neck," Colts Neck Township. https://www.colts-neck.nj.us/hist/hccn.html. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.colts-neck.nj.us/hist/hccn.html.
"Monmouth County Historic Sites Inventory Volume 11: Colts Neck," https://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/.../MON_GB_135_v11_ID10448_Colts%20Neck.pdf