The Revolutionary War
The Revolutionary War had a devastating impact on Rye, even though no battles were fought within its current boundaries. Rye was "neutral ground" between the Patriots in Connecticut and the British in New York. As a result, Rye was subject to marauding and devastation by both sides. Rye's population was divided between Patriots and Loyalists (or Tories), with the Loyalists holding a slight advantage. Feelings ran high on both sides and families often faced divided loyalties. Many residents, including Mrs. Haviland, the Square House tavern keeper, left Rye for safer territory further north. Fields and houses fell into ruin. It was years before Rye recovered to what it had been before the war.