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

Dowden’s Ordinary

 
 
Dowden's Ordinary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2011
1. Dowden's Ordinary Marker
Inscription.
This tablet marks the site of
Dowden's Ordinary
Where Gen. George Edward Braddock
and Col. Dunbar's Division
of the Colonial and English Army
made a second encampment
In Maryland April 15-17, 1755
Erected by the
Janet Montgomery Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
April 15. 1915
[Emblem: D.A.R.]

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Braddock’s Road and Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock, and the Daughters of the American Revolution marker series.
 
Location. 39° 14.194′ N, 77° 16.629′ 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 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 (within shouting distance of this marker); Dowden's Ordinary: A French & Indian War Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Tavern Life at Dowden's Ordinary (within shouting distance of this marker); Dowden's Ordinary: The Elephant Comes to Clarksburg
Dowden's Ordinary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
2. Dowden's Ordinary Marker
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to Froggy Hollow (approx. 1.9 miles away); Waters' Mill (approx. 2.5 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.
 
Regarding Dowden’s Ordinary. 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.

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
Dowden's Ordinary Marker found in a small Montgomery County Park image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
3. Dowden's Ordinary Marker found in a small Montgomery County Park
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 route. More than a place to have a drink, taverns were the hub of community life.
 
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 21, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. The Daughters’ Mistake
It should be noted that this marker gets General Braddock’s name wrong. Braddock’s first name was not George, it was Edward. Perhaps the DAR in 1915 deeply wished to commemorate George Washington but they had only Braddock and in a cast-in-bronze slip-of-the-tongue gave General Braddock Washington’s first name.
    — Submitted August 11, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Dowden's Ordinary Marker seen near the Stringtown Road and MD 355 intersection image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
4. Dowden's Ordinary Marker seen near the Stringtown Road and MD 355 intersection

 
Categories. War, French and Indian
 
Dowden's Ordinary , taken from nearby interpretive marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud
5. Dowden's Ordinary , taken from nearby interpretive marker
Dowden's Ordinary image. Click for full size.
Maryland Historical Society
6. Dowden's Ordinary
Dowden's Ordinary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Senate Document 392, 64-1 Plate 37
7. Dowden's Ordinary Marker
Site of second encampment in Maryland of the army of Gen. Braddock
Dowden's Ordinary Sign image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
8. Dowden's Ordinary Sign
Dowden's Ordinary , replica of the structure on its exact spot seen today image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 18, 2011
9. Dowden's Ordinary , replica of the structure on its exact spot seen today
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,018 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on June 21, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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