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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Black Rock in Randolph County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Public House

 

— Davidsonville Historic State Park —

 
Public House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
1. Public House Marker
Inscription.  
A Place to Gather
In 1819 Jacob Garrett purchased this lot, built a house, and in 1821 received a license to “keep a public house of entertainment."

A public house, or pub, was a place licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. In addition, the pub might offer meeting rooms, light meals, and a place for games, such as darts, cards, or billiards. Before the courthouse was finished, the pub even served as a courtroom.

Artifacts Raise Questions
In excavating on this lot, archeologists found a pit holding a large number of artifacts from the use of the building. There were at least 77 whole or reconstructed ceramic vessels, including serving dishes and tea wares. Other artifacts included fragments of tumblers, forks and knives, animal bones and egg shells, all of which indicate that food was served. Gaming artifacts included two pair of dice; a lead gaming piece, and mouth harps used as musical instruments.

Oddly though, only three liquor bottles and a few fragments of clay smoking pipes were found. If this was where men gathered to eat and drink, where are those artifacts?

Public House Marker in the Public Square. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
2. Public House Marker in the Public Square.
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this page online
Perhaps this public house operated as a restaurant or tea room and didn't serve alcoholic drinks. Or perhaps the wine and liquor bottles were recycled. More research might reveal the answer. Until then, what do you think?

Captions:
Left: Activities in the public house left coins, dice, and mouth harps to be found by the archeologists.
Middle top: Village Tavern, (Village Tavern, 1813-14, John Lewis Krimmel, purchased with funds from the Florence Scott Libbey Bequest, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, Photo by: Photography, Inc., Toledo, Ohio.)
Middle bottom: These artifacts held beverages and food.

 
Erected by the State of Arkansas.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. A significant historical year for this entry is 1819.
 
Location. 36° 9.301′ N, 91° 3.396′ W. Marker is near Black Rock, Arkansas, in Randolph County. Marker can be reached from Arkansas Route 166 0.6 miles south of Arkansas Route 361. Located 11 miles south of Pocahontas within the Davidsonville Historic State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8047 Hwy 166 S, Pocahontas AR 72455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. County Jail (a few steps from this marker); Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); County Seat Town (within shouting distance

Map showing Public Square and park trails. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 12, 2021
3. Map showing Public Square and park trails.
of this marker); Oldest Town Site in Arkansas (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidsonville Town Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Archeology Uncovers the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidsonville's Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Commerce and Business (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Black Rock.
 
More about this marker. Marker is located within the Public Square on the Historic Townsite Trail.
 
Also see . . .  Encyclopedia of Arkansas article about Davidsonville Historic State Park. (Submitted on April 12, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 12, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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May. 14, 2021