Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The Story Behind NorCo's First Tavern License
Last week, Sharon and Ron Angle invited me to their farm for dinner. Ron did the cooking. For those of you who don't know much about him, he is one of the best. Ask Evil Mark Thatcher or the Good Mark or Bob Cartwright. They might complain about everything else he does, but they all love his cooking. Angle tells me his secret is to use just a little bit of sludge in every meal. I have to confess, it's delicious. Especially Type II. But I digress. The real reason for this post is to re-tell a story Angle told me.
As some of you know, Ron is an antiques collector. He loves them and his house is full of them. This is a story about just one of them.
Though it may not look like much, it's his prized possession. It's Northampton County's first ever tavern license. It was issued in 1752 to William Craig and William Anderson. They wanted to run a tavern on the south side of the Easton square, next to what was then the jail. believe it or not, the business ultimately failed.
This license is the first matter considered by Northampton County's Court in 1752, with all the pomp and circumstance of a Royal Court of George II.
What;s interesting is that the applicants for this tavern license, William Craig and William Anderson, happened to be two of the nine judges on the bench.
That same day, the Court in its infinite wisdom, denied a tavern license application by Nathaniel Vernon, a ferryman. The judges relented in December.
What does this story illustrate? Angle sums it up. "As it was then and as it is now, it is who you know that counts."