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Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.

Inns, Taverns, and Ordinaries

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In 1770, Captain John Collet's map of North Carolina showed a string of ordinaries from the Chowan River to the Yadkin River. An ordinary was a commercial building serving to satiate travelers during colonial times. By 1800, the term “ordinary” was replaced by “tavern,” to mean a place catering to social drinking, and later by “inn” as taverns began to provide overnight accommodations. Many businesses that were run by farmers, however, remained taverns due to a lack of space for lodging. Taverns sprang up every few miles in the towns of the colonial period and thrived until the train became the popular means of transportation. The Halifax ordinary, “Sign of the Thistle,” is where both the Halifax Resolves and the North Carolina Constitution were written over tankards of ale. Minstrels visiting the area came to entertain clientele. The building was remodeled and later called Eagle Hotel. The Marquis de Lafayette spent the night there on February 27, 1825. Both Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk visited another tavern, the York Tavern, in Rockford, North Carolina. By the end of the 1800s, the railroad had laid tracks in North Carolina and most of the taverns fell into disuse.
The State (NoCar F 251 S77), Vol. 50 Issue 5, Oct 1982, p16-18, il