Colonial taverns provided essential services for travelers and for towns where they were located. In addition to offering food and lodging for travelers and their animals, licensed public houses served as a location for people to transact business, get the latest information, pick up mail or socialize with neighbors. Itinerates traveling the countryside took up short-term residence in taverns, offering their specialized skills to the local community. This presentation will draw on travel accounts, diaries, license records, newspapers, almanacs, probate records, and account books to recount the experiences of the men and women who operated taverns, as well as those who frequented them. Deerfield’s Barnard Tavern, currently under restoration, will serve as a case study.
Anne Digan Lanning is Senior Vice President at Historic Deerfield. She has worked at the Museum in a variety of positions since 1986. Lanning’s research focuses on women’s history from the colonial period to the colonial revival. She is currently researching Historic Deerfield’s Barnard Tavern