It’s time to start planning for St. Patrick’s Day!

Why not celebrate in style and kick off the St. Patrick Day weekend at the Bradford House Museum’s Luck of the Irish Event? The fun begins at 7 p.m. at Red Pump Spirits, LLC , located at 32 N. Main St., where there will be special drinks and classic Irish music by South Winds. Tickets, which will be sold at the door, are $10 and proceeds from the event support the Bradford House Museum.

While most of us have no problem finding a tavern on St. Pat

ty’s Day (the real issue today is finding your way back home!), this wasn’t the case in our country during the time of David Bradford.  Early on, houses and settlements were few and far between, meaning travelers might have to travel great distances before finding food and lodging. For example, throughout the frontier, homeowners were required to welcome travelers.  Homes that were frequently visited began to post prices and were considered a tavern.

According to the Recipe Book for the Bloody Dirk Tavern, lodging at a tavern was typically a place in a bed or a spot on the floor near the fire. City taverns, which had to be licensed, were often meeting places and locations where trade could be conducted.  Unlike their city cousins, frontier taverns did not need licenses.  Frontier taverns served many functions, and in addition to serving as a place where people could meet or do business, they also operated as trading posts, polling places, churches, muster for militia, hotels, and restaurants.  The famous Sign of the Black Horse Tavern, which was in the “frontier” of Canonsburg at the time, was the place where the whiskey tax rebels met to sort through stolen mail to discover who was tattling on them to Alexander Hamilton.

There are two amazing tavern cookbooks available for sale in the Museum’s Gift Shop, both containing historical tales and authentic recipes.  Look for Recipe Book for The Bloody Dirk Tavern and Grub to Gourmet and then call friends over for a Tavern Party.  We’d love it if you’d send your Tavern Party pictures to our Facebook page.

Taverns have evolved over the years, but many sentiments still ring true hundreds of years later, as evidenced in this colonial toast by John Trumball (1756-1843): “Lift em high and drain them dry, to the guy who ays, my turn to buy.”   See you on March 15.

Luck of the Irish Event

March 15 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Red Pump Spirits, 32 N Main St

Washington, PA 15301

*Photo by Jakob Locante