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Clarksburg in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary

 
 
Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2011
1. Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker
Inscription. The Role Of Taverns
In early America, taverns or "ordinaries" offered food and shelter. both for travelers and their horses. The term "ordinary" originally applied to a tavern meal regulary offered at a fixed price, but later designated the tavern itself. The Maryland Assembly, like other legislatures, not only required a license for operation and a bond for good conduct, but also mandated a listing of the set prices for food, drink, and accommodations.[Picture included]

Because of poor roads, early taverns were generally 15 to 20 miles apart, a convenient day's travel. On the Great Road (now MD Route 355), a traveler from Georgetown to Frederick could stop at a tavern in Rockville before spending the next night at Dowden's Ordinary in Clarksburg. In his petition for a tavern license in 1750, Michael Dowden wrote that because his house was situated on the road between Rockville and Frederick Towne, he regularly recieved visitors requesting food and lodging for the night. Dowden decided to turn his hospitality into a business operation.

In addition to providing meals and lodging, taverns served as places for the locals to socialize, argue politics, conduct business, play cards, or bet on a horse race. At Dowden's, stagecoaches stopped twice a week bringing mail and news from communities along the
Early American Tavern Life image. Click for full size.
By Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker-Toledo Museum of Art, John Kennard artist
2. Early American Tavern Life
route. More than a place to have a drink, taverns were the hub of community life. [Picture included]

Taverns's Ghost Structure
[Picture included]
The tavern "ghost structure" represents the original Dowden's Ordinary. The inn was a one-and-one-half story log structure with gabled dormers, a shingled roof, a covered porch, and two fireplaces. Later Dowden built an addition to his tavern giving it an L-shaped form. The actural site is located on the hill and is accessible by following the path past the cannon.

[Timeline included]
 
Erected by Montgomery County Parks.
 
Location. 39° 14.21′ N, 77° 16.669′ W. Marker is in Clarksburg, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on North Frederick Road (Maryland Route 355) near Stringtown Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clarksburg MD 20871, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Archaeology at Dowden's Ordinary (a few steps from this marker); Dowden's Ordinary: A French & Indian War Site (a few steps from this marker); Dowden's Ordinary: The Elephant Comes to Clarksburg (within shouting distance of this marker);
Rates, as mentioned, and 1880's Postcard ...Dowden's Ordinary image. Click for full size.
By Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker
3. Rates, as mentioned, and 1880's Postcard ...Dowden's Ordinary
Dowden’s Ordinary (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Froggy Hollow (approx. 1.9 miles away); Waters' Mill (approx. 2.5 miles away); A Real Field of Dreams (approx. 2.6 miles away); Black Hill Gold Mine (approx. 2.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Clarksburg.
 
Also see . . .  The Fort Edwards Foundation Searching for Dowden's Ordinary. Celebrating Braddock's Trip through Maryland by Digging for Dowden's Ordinary. (Submitted on June 28, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Dowden's Ordinary Timeline image. Click for full size.
By Marker
4. Dowden's Ordinary Timeline
Dowden's Ordinary image. Click for full size.
Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker, MD Historical Society
5. Dowden's Ordinary
Dowden's Ordinary at left, the Great Road (MD Route 355), The Great Comet of 1811 ( Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the US Capitol made entry in sketchbook) and the US's first elephant are illustrated in this 1811 sketch. (Capt. Jacob Crowninshield of Massachusetts, purchased the elephant in India for $450.00 and brought to the US on tour, city and rural tavern yards ,25-50 cents, until 1818.)
Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker, the "ghost image" a replica of the tavern's structure image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
6. Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary Marker, the "ghost image" a replica of the tavern's structure
Dowden's Ordinary image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
7. Dowden's Ordinary
Dowden's Ordinary image. Click for full size.
Maryland Historical Society
8. Dowden's Ordinary
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,044 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   8. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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