Friday, July 02, 2004

New England Taverns Kept by Men of Consequence

"Grave and respectable citizens were chosen to keep the early ordinaries and sell liquor. The first "house of intertainment" at Cambridge, Massachusetts, was kept by a deacon of the church, afterward Steward of Harvard College. The first license in that town to sell wine and strong water was to Nicholas Danforth, a selectman, and Representative to the General Court. In the Plymouth Colony Mr. William Collier and Mr. Constant South-worth, one of the honored Deputies, sold wine to their neighbors.

Dr. Dwight in his Travels said that English-men often laughed at the fact that inns in New England were kept by men of consequence.

BEFORE named streets with numbered houses came into existence, and when few persons could read, painted and carved sign-boards and figures were more useful than they are to-day; and not only innkeepers, but men of all trades and callings sought for signs that either for quaintness, appropriateness, or costliness would attract the eyes of customers and visitors, and fix in their memory the exact locality of the advertiser. Signs were painted and carved in wood; they were carved in stone; modelled in terra-cotta and plaster; painted on tiles; wrought of various metals; and even were made of animal' heads stuffed."

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