The corner of Main Street and Washington Square/ Salem Street has always been the heart of the village of Greenwich. In 1810, when Greenwich was Union Village, David Whipple built a tavern on the northwest corner. In 1851, the wood frame building was replaced by a modern brick structure. It no longer catered to the "demon rum" as the Temperance Movement was sweeping through the area. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, visited the temperance house on July 4, 1852.
Shortly thereafter, however, the building came under new management. The new Union House was up and running and alcohol was back on the menu. Over the next 70 plus years the business would continue to operate under various owners and names- the Blakeley House, the Hamilton House... Until June 30, 1926 when it re-opened as the White Swan Hotel with updated hot & cold plumbing and new floors. The new name came from the White Swan bottled water company of Fort Edward, NY.
The White Swan was a major business in the village until February 13, 1971 when fire destroyed the three story edifice. The restaurant, bar and movie theater that were such an integral part of life in this small community were gone. Also lost were three men, Gail Gilchrist, Edward A. Tefft, Sr. and Raymond W. Worden who died of smoke inhalation on the second floor. A month later, the site was cleared and replaced by a small brick bank. The unimposing structure still houses a bank today, Trustco.