Tavern Keeper Dead – Wake Set for May 18-19
Contact: Brian Reedy, 724-329-2013
Farmington, PA: James Sampey, tavern keeper at Mount Washington is dead - for the past 170 years. The Friends of Fort Necessity and park staff will gather in the old tavern to present and talk about mid-nineteenth century funeral practices including Mr. Sampey's. Visitors will be surprised to know taverns served a variety of functions in addition to food and drink. As de facto community centers locals gathered at taverns to vote, collect mail, attend dances and yes, funerals. Programs on funeral practices will be offered Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and again on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The Mount Washington Tavern will be open all weekend for the National Road Festival from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Volunteers and staff will be in historic costume to present programs and answer questions. The Friends of Fort Necessity will provide snacks and drink from historic recipes. Donations are appreciated.
The National Road Festival is an annual event held over the third weekend in May. The event commemorates the historic National Road, the first federal highway, which opened the west and cemented the bonds of union. Taverns such as Mount Washington served travelers during the heyday of the road (1820s thru 1840s).
The Mount Washington Tavern is a unit of Fort Necessity National Battlefield. The park and tavern are located on US Route 40 eleven miles east of Uniontown, Pa. A park entrance fee of $5 per adult is collected at the visitor center and covers all park activities; visitors age fifteen and younger are free. For more information visit our web site at www.nps.gov/fone or call 724-329-5811.
Did You Know?
It is estimated there was about one tavern every mile on the National Road. There were different classes of taverns on the road. Stagecoach taverns, wagon stands, and drovers’ inns among them. All taverns regardless of class offered three basic things: food, drink, and lodging.