Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ritch Tavern License 1836

Taverns were located in places convenient to travelers, whether in town or out of town. In addition to location, tavern keepers were bound by law to meet certain standards if they wanted to stay in business. 

Two things interest me in the following tavern license. The location is on the road from Princeton to Eddyville, surely a busy road not just for long distance travelers, but also for local residents going between Princeton, the county seat at that time, and Eddyville, which was a busy town accessible by land as well as by river.  The other item of interest is the description of the tavern structure. It is described as Jesse Ritch's  "double log cabin dwelling."  I have never seen a  description like this. Usually it will say  "in his own house" or will mention the tavern by name, such as "Eagle Tavern."

This is a valuable record as it mentions a name at a particular place and a particular time. In addition, it gives a description of the location of the tavern and the type of structure.

"Know all men by these presents that we Jesse Ritch, Powell Ritch, and Martin K. Asbridge are held & firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the penal Sum of One hundred pounds to the payment of which well and truly to be made We bind ourselves  and each of our heirs jointly & Severally firmly by these presents Sealed & dated this 21st day of November 1836.

The condition of the above obligation is Such that whereas on this day a Tavern License has been granted unto the Said Jesse Ritch ---- by the Caldwell County Court, to Keep a tavern in the county aforesd. Six miles from Princeton in his double log cabin dwelling house on the road from Prin. to Eddyville for one year from this time, Now Should Jesse Ritch constantly find and provide in his Said Tavern good Wholesome cleanly lodging and diet for Travellers and Stableage provender or pasturage for horses for the term of one year from the date hereof, and shall not Suffer or permit any unlawful gaming in their house or Suffer any person to tipple or drink more than is necessary or at any time to suffer any disorderly or scandelous behaviour to be practiced in Said house with their privily or concent then this obligation to be Void else to be & remain in full force & virtue.   [signed] Jesse (X his mark) Ritch, Powel Ritch, Martin K. Asbridge.   Attest: Ch. B. Dallam, DC."

Hand written Tavern License 1837
Caldwell County, Kentucky Clerk's Office

Published 2 March 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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