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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Braddock Heights in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Haganís Tavern

If walls could talk..

 
 
Hagan's Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 19, 2007
1. Hagan's Tavern Marker
Inscription. The National Road has borne witness to many notorious comings and goings. The quiet atmosphere youíll find at Haganís Tavern today is quite different from the raucous bawdiness of yesteryear. This tavern was a “place where the old bloats of the neighborhood would gather on Saturday and public days to run horses, fight chickens, drink bad whiskey, and black each others eyes.”

It was also a political stomping ground where “cooping” commonly occurred, a practice “where politicians would lure all the poor white voters they could muster to the inn. There the election hopefuls would feed the voters the best food that they could, see that new poker playing cards were at hand, and make sure the whiskey glasses never went dry.” The voters were then taken quickly to cast their ballots.

(Sidebar): Braddockís Road
Long before the National Road, General Braddock marched through here, observing that western Maryland was “almost uninhabited, but by a parcel of banditti who call themselves Indian traders.” The roughhewn log ancestors of taverns like Hagenís were both Indian trading posts and primitive lodgings. One traveler complained that “I spent the night in a bed with four other godforsaken souls; never knowing whether I would get my pocket picked or be carried
Haganís Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 12, 2011
2. Haganís Tavern Marker
off by vermin.”
 
Erected by America's Byways.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Braddockís Road and Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock, and the The Historic National Road marker series.
 
Location. 39° 25.421′ N, 77° 29.609′ W. Marker is in Braddock Heights, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Old National Pike (Alternate U.S. 40) and Edgemont Road, on the right when traveling west on Old National Pike. Touch for map. Located in the parking lot for Hagenís Tavern. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5018 Old National Pike, Braddock Heights MD 21714, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. This Boulder Marks the National Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Braddock-Washington Monument (approx. 0.7 miles away); General Edward Braddock (approx. 1.6 miles away); Woodmere (approx. 2.5 miles away); Battle of Frederick (approx. 3 miles away); Christ Reformed Church (approx. 3.1 miles away); Middletown (approx. 3.1 miles away); The Arnett Building (approx. 3.1 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The background for the marker is “National Road at Fairview Inn” used on many of the National Road markers.
A
Marker Stands in the Tavern Parking Lot image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 19, 2007
3. Marker Stands in the Tavern Parking Lot
picture of Hagenís Tavern carries the caption, “Hagenís Tavern, the ĎOld White Houseí as seen in 1914 right before the new owners made it a residence and added the porch.”
The sidebar has a drawing of Braddockís Army on the march through a mountain pass.
 
Also see . . .  Hagan's Tavern, Old White House. National Register Form, F-3-15. MD-IHP.

The house may have been built as early as 1790 and is thought to have been a tavern operated by James Nixdorf. Architectural features of the tavern suggest conflicts with documentary evidence and oral tradition regarding dates, leaving open the possibility of construction between 1820-1830. By the 1830's, it was owned by John Hagan. His father Peter Hagan was described in Searight's The Old Pike: A History of the National Road (1894) as having a log tavern on the south side of the pike near the stone Wilding's location which was famed among wagoners on the road. The current owner (1993) of Hagan's Tavern, Mr. Mark McConnell, believes that the stone house may have operated concurrently with the log structure, eventually superseding it altogether. Research by Ann Lebherz in the Frederick County Historical Society revealed that the tavern was still a well-known drinking place during the Civil War and was "patronized" by both Confederate and Union troops in their passages through Frederick County . With the advent of the automobile, the tavern continued to operate and
Front of the Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 21, 2007
4. Front of the Tavern
had a notorious reputation during the early 20th century for its rough clientele. Memories of its use during the 1920's and early 1930's suggest it was known as a speakeasy as well as a legitimate restaurant. Later, it was used as an antique store. Mr. McConnell has information regarding several outbuildings which no longer exist, including stables, a summer kitchen, and a bank barn. (Submitted on October 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
Mural image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 8, 2009
5. Mural
This mural (detail) by Jacobs McLaughlin in the dining room at Hagan's Tavern may represent a stage coach approaching the tavern.
Haganís Tavern Sign image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 8, 2009
6. Haganís Tavern Sign
John Hagan's Tavern closed in April of 2009.
The Silver Maple image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 1, 2013
7. The Silver Maple
In 2013, it's The Silver Maple.
The Silver Maple image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 1, 2013
8. The Silver Maple
This ancient Silver Maple (Acer Sacherinum) dominates the front of Hagan's Tavern.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 1, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,242 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 1, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on April 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3, 4. submitted on September 1, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on October 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6, 7, 8. submitted on October 3, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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