Olney in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
From Colonial times until the late 19th century, taverns occupied almost every crossroad and trading center. They were the center of life for rural communities. This is where mail was received, goods were traded, travelers slept, newspapers were read, and local news shared – as well as where hard liquor was imbibed.
Higgins Tavern was built in 1823, not long after the Georgetown-to-Brookeville Turnpike (present Georgia Avenue) was constructed. This tavern is unique because it was owned by women -- which was unusual since it was rare for women to visit taverns – Lucretia Beall from 1823 to 1867, and Margaret Higgins from 1867 until her death in 1905, although it is referred to in historical records by the names of the men with whom they lived, Thomas Higgins and Hilleary Orme Higgins respectively. The original log structure was added to in the mid 1800s.
Higgins Tavern gained a bit of notoriety in October 1872 when a meeting of the Democratic party was held here, attended by Horace Greeley, candidate for president; John Ritchie, candidate for re-election to Congress; and Frank Brown, candidate for Maryland
In the early 1920s the property was sold to Oscar Martin who operated Martin's Dairy, processing milk brought in by local farmers, for half a century. The Martin family also had a very popular ice cream parlor on the premises. The Tavern building was the Martin Family home during this time.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1872.
Location. 39° 7.935′ N, 77° 4.249′ W. Marker is in Olney, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue (Maryland Route 97) and Silo Inn Lane, on the right when traveling south on Georgia Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16834 Georgia Avenue, Olney MD 20832, 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. Springhouse (approx. 1.4 miles away); Olney House (approx. 1.4 miles away); Olney (approx. 1.4 miles away); Norbeck Rosenwald School (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Holland Red Door Store (approx. 2.3 miles away); Children Growing Up in Montgomery County (approx. 2.3 miles away); Woodlawn (approx. 2.4 miles away); Quakers Practicing their Faith in Montgomery County (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Olney.
Also see . . . Higgins Tavern (PDF) Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. M:23-105(Submitted on March 25, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 25, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,001 times since then and 237 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 25, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.