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Hearth to Hearth: 1935

Hearth to Hearth: 1935

Ca. 1935-1938. Nash County, North Carolina. "Tories Tavern, Nashville vicinity. Structure dates to 1766." Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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Dram-shop logic

You didn't want all your customers trying to crowd around one small fireplace in the dead of winter, so you spread the warmth amongst three fire pits. Much safer than coal braziers at each drunken table.

Three Chimneys, No Waiting

Every old house has a story all its own, especially if it's been added on to over the years, decades, and sometimes centuries. There can be tantalizing external hints, as on this structure of mysterious utility, but only a stroll inside can begin to clarify things. I once knew a man whose house had five connected basements, each of the additional four considerably larger than its predecessor, and each with its own roof at ground level. (He was a dedicated model railroader)

Fire Place

"The building was moved back when highway construction encroached on the property in 1953. Local tradition attributed the structure as being a former Revolution era tavern, but the home's estimated construction date produced arguments against using the moniker 'Tories Tavern' in reference to the home. The structure burned down in 1968."

Safety First

Each tavern patron had to pass a field sobriety test by successfully exiting this place without breaking their neck.


A plan drawing of the Tavern.

Is that Electricity I spy, coming down the pole (convenient tree?) between the two closer chimneys, and heading into the window casing via porcelain tube insulators? Or might it be a radio antenna. Certainly one lead goes up the pole on a standoff insulator and the other seems to be a ground wire.

The winds were blowing through the trees - I can imagine the colors of the day, the sounds, the scents of the land coming across the breezeway -- oh for a "Total Environment Recorder"!


Why three chimneys?

Make fires much?

Would you like a house with those fireplaces?

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