Please be aware that part of the public area loop has been closed until further notice as the park starts preparatory efforts for this summer's paving project on the Picnic Area Road.
Furnishing the Lemon House
Information on this page from The Lemon House Historic Furnishings Report by William L. Brown, III, US Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
It was often the case that taverns contained a separate and better furnished room for the use of ladies traveling with gentlemen, where they could take their meals away from the noise and confusion of the public dining room. These rooms were carpeted and usually wallpapered. The furnishings reflected the room's higher status.
The Owen McDonald Tavern in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania (about 9 miles from the Lemon House) has an inventory from September 21, 1842. Both that room and the comparable Lemon House room were large and the furniture described fits the space well. The Fancy Parlor is furnished with period pieces that match the McDonald inventory and gentry paintings. The wallpaper is a reproduction.
Double Dining Room
This was the common dining space, used by passengers and crew of the portage railroad, wagon drivers, and other travelers, as well as the Lemon family and their employees. This area and the barroom were the main sources of revenue for the tavern. Most of the customers were from the railroad and thus came in for a quick meal while changing from locomotive to stationary steam power or vice versa. Unlike the customers of taverns on a highway, they normally did not spend the night. The use of two rooms, separated by large folding doors, was very common in public and private houses.
Perhaps it was the kitchen, or perhaps it was a storage area. We do not know the original use of the space that now houses our exhibit room. Exhibits display the results of archelogical studies, the paintings on which the furnishings were based, and tidbits about the timeperiod.
Did You Know?
When the Portage Railroad opened on March 18, 1834, it was a single track line. The rule was when 2 drivers met the one who had passed the center post had the right to go on. The other driver had to back up. Some sat nose to nose until a magistrate determined who got to the center first.