Ben’s raiding the cooler again!

As we close in on Independence Day, we all look forward to a holiday weekend full of all those fun and relaxing things that make summer great.  Hamburgers on the grill, a beer in the hand, and friends and family by your side are the things that make July 4th Weekend so enjoyable.

Fort McHenry

For me, I am heading to one of my absolute favorite places on earth, Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  There I plan to spend my 10 days of vacation visiting family, doing a bit of boating, and maybe I’ll even check out a tavern or two.  (Okay, maybe three or four…)  My plan on this vacation, like all my trips to Maine, is to sit.  I plan on sitting on a dock, a boat, an Adirondack chair, or hopefully on an array of well crafted barstools.  It’s time to decompress and as Otis Redding said, “watch the ships roll in and watch them roll away again.”

Boothbay Harbor 

I can’t help but wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of how we choose to celebrate this most solemn of days.  Because of the resolution agreed on back on July 4th 1776, the men who signed it put their necks in the proverbial guillotine.  Years of war, disease, and god knows what else followed during the struggle of the Revolutionary War, and in many related respects the War of 1812 as well.  And in recognition of those events we choose to barbeque.   I don’t know what the founders who lived those struggles under the constant fear of being hung for treason might think of my hotdog and potato salad celebration, but I have a guess.  I think they would find it absolutely perfect! 


People complain America has become too lazy, too pampered.  How many times have you heard people question what the founding fathers would think of us now?  Well, I like to think on this weekend they would want us to celebrate by exercising the absolute freedom to do what makes us happy.  So while you pop open a bottle of whatever and sit under the stars waiting for the fireworks, think of what Erma Bombeck said…

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.

So as always, drink and party responsibly during this holiday weekend.  But do it knowing that you are not only enjoying yourself to the fullest, but you and your loved ones are also paying a sincere homage to those who literally put their necks on the line for this little barbeque.  Somehow I couldn’t see Benjamin Franklin lecturing us on the frivolity of our Independence Day tradition.  No, I see him raiding the cooler and waiting for the baseball game to start.

Posted by: Dave McBride



Click  here to view past articles on America’s finest  colonial taverns. 

Exercising The Right of Peaceful Assemblage

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 General Lafayette Inn and Brewery


Every four years our presidential candidates engage in the loftiest and least attainable of all political ambitions – validating the present by associating themselves with the past. I suspect even if time travel were possible, I doubt very much that Doctor Franklin and his brothers in insurrection would attempt to bolster their standing amongst their constituents by making a similar connection with the future generations of  American politicians.


In fact any suspension of those inherent properties that seem to keep us operating in our own time and space might have caused them to reconsider the merits of rebellion. But this trivial rite of electioneering does serve its purpose. Any gesture that motivates us to better understand the people and events that gave substance to the American experiment strengthens the overall constitution of the republic.


The Eagle and Cannon Sign


 During the month of July our correspondents will exercise their rights of peaceful, and on occasion spirited, assemblage by visiting a number of taverns and location that were instrumental to the founding of this nation. And while we may not be able to think like our forefathers, we will make a concerted effort to at least drink like them.


The staff and editors of American Public House Review wish our fellow countrymen a celebratory Fourth of July.


Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher


Landing in New Castle

[Gas Lamp in New CastleBy the light from of an old gas lamp, located along the strand, we guided our sturdy craft into the shallows off New Castle, Delaware

New Castle Landing 

Well, truth be told – we came by way of Interstate 95 in my fairly sturdy, well engineered Hyundai Elantra. But as one walks the cobblestone alleys that lead down to the river, the Atlantic imparts a hint of its presence in this channel north of Delaware Bay. A bit of salt on the tongue and a touch of brine in the nostrils helps to conjure up images of the Swedish, Dutch and English sailing ships that once plied these waters. 

Jessop\'s Front Window

 Ed Petersen, the Creative of Director of American Public House Review, and I both agree that New Castle rivals Williamsburg, Virginia as one of the best preserved and finest examples of colonial life in America. For that reason we wanted to feature the town and its pubs in an upcoming edition of the magazine. 

Jessop\'s SignThe Eagle and Cannon Sign

So we took up afternoon residence at the aforementioned public houses and proceeded to acquaint ourselves with local lore, colonial culture and a few indigenous ales.

We look forward to sharing this journey soon!  

Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher American Public House Review  


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