Online: Inns and Taverns

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Program Description


Taverns in early colonial America were known by a variety of names including; Ordinary, inn, tippling house, and public house to name a few. In New England, initially, inns were tightly controlled and licensed by the church-based government. The innkeepers were instructed to disallow the use of tobacco, a stiff drink or card games. But with the ever-expanding road need for wayside meals and overnight lodging, rules relaxed.  During the American Revolution, the word “Inn” seemed too British and the inns became known as taverns.  Whatever the name, these public houses needed signs to alert people to their location.

Men and women were licensed to manage taverns and many became quite successful. Taverns were more than establishments to consume alcoholic beverages, taverns in early America welcomed travelers for the news they brought. They provided dining and lodging for both the traveler and their horse.  Join us as we share stories about taverns, some of the old laws that initially governed them in New England, how taverns developed highlighting their social importance and some of the lodging experiences. We will share some insights on specific inns across New England with a focus on Connecticut locations. Several still stand.

Historian/storyteller John Cilio is the presenter. Please register below.



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