To the west of Piermont  is the historic town of Tappan, the first town in New York State  to establish an official historic district. Its Main Street is flanked with many nicely restored 18th- and 19th-century buildings, and in the town center is a village green that once held public stocks and a whipping post.
Tappan is associated with both the beginning and the end of the planned betrayal of West Point  by Benedict Arnold and British major John Andre during the Revolutionary War. It was in the DeWint House on Livingston Avenue that Washington entrusted West Point to Arnold, and it was in the Mabie House on Main Street that Andre—after his capture in Tarrytown —was imprisoned before being hanged.
Both buildings are still standing and open to the public. The DeWint House, also known as Washington’s Headquarters (20 Livingston Ave., 845/359-1359, www.dewinthouse.com , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily, free admission) is now a bona fide museum holding Washington memorabilia, artifacts regarding Masonic history, and information about the Andre trial. Washington was headquartered here in 1780 and 1783, and was a Mason for 47 years. On the day of Andre’s execution, Washington closed the shutters to his room.
The Mabie House is now better known as the Old ‘76 House (110 Main St., 845/359-5476) and is a dark, low-ceilinged establishment that has functioned as a tavern and restaurant since 1800. Andre’s former bedroom is now a dining room.
Also connected with Andre is the Andre Monument (Old Tappan Rd. at Andre Hill Rd.). Here, a large crowd of spectators, held back by 500 infantrymen, watched Andre’s execution on October 2, 1780. Only upon seeing the hangman’s noose did Andre realize that his request to be shot as a soldier, rather than hung as a spy, was not to be granted. Impatient with his slow-moving hangman—a sympathetic fellow prisoner—Andre placed the noose around his own neck and the handkerchief around his own eyes. “All I request of you gentlemen,” he said before the final signal was given, “is that you bear witness to the world that I die like a brave man.”
The Old ‘76 House (110 Main St., 845/359-5476, $22), complete with exposed beams, Dutch tiles, and fireplaces, specializes in traditional American fare for lunch and dinner. A jazz vocalist or pianist often performs on the weekend.