Nathaniel and his brother Peleg (II) were sons of the Rev. Peleg Heath. Reverend Heath was the minister of the Old Barrington Village's Congregational Meetinghouse from 1728 until 1740, when it moved from Jenny's Lane to its current County Road location. As the new meetinghouse was being built, it was voted that Reverend Heath should continue to preach at the private home of Mr. Edward Bosworth. Following his refusal to do so, the town voted to dismiss "Mr. Peleg Heath from being minister of this town."
Although Rev. Heath faded from prominence and died within eight years of leaving his ministry, his sons Nathaniel and Peleg (II) remained active and prominent figures in their own right. Both served as officers in the American Revolution from c. 1776 to 1778. Nathaniel was a lieutenant in Captain Samuel Bosworth's Artillery Company. Peleg (II) served as a Major in the Bristol County Regiment and fought battles at Roxbury and Cambridge.
Although no battles were fought in Old Barrington Village, the American war for Independence against the British (1775 to 1783) touched the lives of many citizens and patriots living in town. Nowhere was this more true than in the Taverns.
Two days after the Battle of Bunker Hill, there was a gathering of patriots at Bowen Tavern. According to Henry Bowen's ledger, dated June 19, 1775, those gathered at the Tavern were served a large drink dubbed the "Defiance Bowl" - voted on and paid for by "The Town of Barrington."
Henry Bowen's support for the war against the British is evidenced further by his role as the Town's Military recruiting officer. When the brothers Nathaniel and Peleg (II) Heath decided to join the cause for independence, their enlistment would most certainly have been recorded by Henry Bowen and taken place within the Tavern--perhaps while sharing a Defiance Bowl.
Aside from his patronage and military enlistment at Bowen's Tavern, Nathaniel Heath benefited from his skills as a cabinet maker. When the prominent statesman Samuel Allen--and frequent patron of Bowen's Tavern--was charged 5 shillings and 7 pence for breaking Mr. Bowen's chair, door, and window pane, it was Nathaniel Heath who received payment for the repairs. Nathaniel was also paid another 6 shillings for repairing one of Mr. Bowen's ladders, apparently damaged by Joshua Bicknell.
In 1782, the brothers built twin homes on the same block, about a ¼ mile north of Bowen's Tavern - Peleg at 1825 Wampanoag Trail and Nathanial at 38 Old River Road.
As battle-tested veterans, no doubt each brother had many a tale with which to regale their fellow neighbors and tavern patrons, just a short walk away down the road.