Clarksburg in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary
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 regularly 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 received 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
Taverns's Ghost Structure
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 actual site is located on the hill and is accessible by following the path past the cannon.
Erected by Montgomery 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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 23200 Stringtown Road, Clarksburg MD 20871, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); Dowden’s Ordinary (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Froggy Hollow (approx. 1.9 miles away); Waters' Mill (approx. 2½ miles away); A Real Field of Dreams (approx. 2.7 miles away); Black Hill Gold Mine (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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 •
More. Search the internet for Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2020. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,147 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on January 10, 2020, by Bruce Guthrie of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 28, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 8. submitted on June 21, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.