(Continued From Yesterday)
OTHER TAVERNS IN WASHINGTON
In addition to the principal taverns I have mentioned there were
others, both before and after the coming of the National Pike. Some have been
found through advertisements in the files of The Western Tgelegraphe,
The Reporter, and The Examiner. If those old advertisements are a fair sample
Washington was a town of taverns and wagon stands, and most of the residents
must have been in some way connected with the business. Others, not found in
advertisement, are listed by Searight and Crumrine, but Searight depended on
Crumrine for most of his information. Neither seems to have used old newspaper
files to any extent.
The following taverns are known to have been operated here at one time,
but they were not very large stands”.
At the September, 1783, term of court, John Adams was licensed to keep
a tavern, and continued in that business until 1789. Nothing more is known of
John Colwell was licensed in 1784, nothing more is known of its history.
Hugh Means was licensed in September 1785, and kept a tavern until 1793;
nothing more known of its history.
Samuel Acklin was licensed in June 1786, and kept a tavern until 1793;
nothing more know of its history.
William Fulconer was licensed in September 1785; nothing more known of
William Meetkirke was licensed was licensed in September 1785; nothing more
known of its history.
John McMichael was licensed in 1790; nothing more know of its history.
SIGN OF WASHINGTON TAVERN
Kept by Christian Keiffer in 1805; nothing more known of its history.
THE SIGN OF THE GENERAL WAYNE
See James Wilson Tavern.
THE HAYES CARRIAGE and WAGON FACTORY
Washington’s first big industry was the carriage and wagon factory
established here by Sheldon B. Hayes and his two nephews, Charles and Morgan
Hayes. It was the National Pike that brought this firm to Washington. About
1835 Sheldon B. Hayes and his nephew, Charles Hays, came from Hartford, Conn,.
and engaged in the hotel business during the flourishing era of the pike.
After operation the American House they moved to the Greene House,
located on the east side of Main street, at the corner, of Pine street. From
there they went to the Mansion House.
On October 15, 1841, Morgan Hayes came from Connecticut and with his
brother, formed a partnership known as S.B. Hayes and Company, for the manufacture
of carriages and wagons. I do not know whether Sheldon Hayes was a carriage and
wagon maker by trade or not, but it is evident that his nephews were. They had
learned the business in New England, probably at the plant of Abbot, Downing and
Company, of Concord, New Hampshire, makers of the famous Concord stage coach.
A site was secured in West Cherry avenue (it was an alley then), in
the rear of the Courthouse, and a two-tory building, 30 X 50 feet, was erected.
As business increased this was enlarged, and they were soon engaged in the
manufacture of wagon, including Conestogas, and square-bodied stage coaches.
This business soon became Washington’s leading industry. There were other wagon
makers in Washington long before the Hayes Company—John Morrow, John B. Hallam and
several others—but none manufactured on as extensive a scale.
Dr Alfred Creigh in his “History of Washington County,” gives some
interesting information on the original plant. This is authentic, for
Dr. Creigh knew it intimately. The first buggy body was made by Morgan Hayes, and
the ironwork by J. Clark, of Kinderhook, New York. It was painted and
trimmed by William Garrety. The first apprentice was Henry Layton.
The business was a success from the beginning, and in a short time a brick
building was added., with a horse-power to do the sawing and turning. However,
this was not enough, and a four-horse engine was soon installed. About this time
Morgan Hayes sold his interest to his partners, but he continued with them as
Early in the morning of Saturday, November 8, 1851, flames burst from
the roof, and, fanned by a high southwest wind, the fire spread to the entire
plant in spite of all efforts of the fireman. At one time here was danger that
the County building and houses in that vicinity would be destroyed. The
damp frost on the roofs was all that saved them. The Reporter in its account says
that at the time half the town was in danger.
The Reporter records that “immediately after the fire, subscription papers
were started in behalf of Messrs. Hayes, and a liberal amount was subscribed
in a few hours. The loss was a public calamity, and it is but right that the
public should lend a helping hand in the work of restoration.”
On Monday, just two days after the fire, S.B. & C. Hayes purchased the old
Presbyterian Church building in South Franklin street. The next day the seats were
removed, and all employes were as busy as if nothing had occurred. It
was probably the quickest restoration of a business after a calamity that
ever took place in Washington. A blacksmith shop was built immediately, and
within a few months a machine shop equipped with an engine was erected on West
Maiden street in which were two show rooms and a boarding house. The old church
and this building are still standing.
In its day the Hayes plant was the largest carriage and wagon factory
west of the Allegheny Mountains, and some claim that it was also the first.
During the National Pike era practically all stage coaches running in and
out of Washington were repaired here. Years ago I heard men who had worked in
the plant tell how they often had to work all night to get stages ready for
the road early in the morning.
After travel ceased on the pike, the firm continued the manufacture of
wagons and farm vehicles, and fine carriages. No better vehicle was ever made.
They were shipped to many states west of here, and I know of a buckboard
purchased by a man in Missouri that was used continuously for more than 20
Carriage and wagon making grew to be a big industry in Washington, and
other plants were in operation until well after the turn of the century. Most of
the blacksmiths, and carriage and wagon makers in town served their apprenticeship
at the Hayes factory—J. Dallas Jackson, John Wilson, James M. House, Peter Kennedy,
Martin Luther, Henry Layton, Patrick Curran, Michael Ryan, Robert B. Forrest,
Charles M. Hayes, a son of Morgan Hayes, and many others.
This industry passed from the Washington scene long ago. Even before the
arrival of the automobile, it was on the wane. The last of the coterie of old
time carriage builders was Charles M. Hayes, just mentioned who died August 31,
1934, aged 77.
MARY JANE’S CONESTOGA WAGON TRIP
This is the story of a little girl, her doll and a Conestoga wagon—a
story of old Washington town of more than a hundred years ago. The little girl was
Sarah Hayes, who became Mrs. Robert R. Forrest, the mother of Mrs. I. E. Paul who
died recently; and many years later, when that little girl was an old lady, she
told the story of her doll and the Conestoga wagon.
Charles Hayes, the father of little Sarah Hayes, was one of the partners of
S.B. & C. Hayes, who made and repaired Conestoga wagons at their carriage factory in
South Franklin street. Little Sara was fascinated by those big wagons with white
canvas covered tops and beautiful blue sides, drawn by six horses, and driven
by a big picturesque looking man in boots and wide brimmed felt hat, who cracked
his long whip around the ears of his teams and yet never seemed to touch the animals.
He always had a long, black stogie in his mouth, and it seemed to little Sarah
that he puffed smoke through his shaggy beard just like the big engine in her
How she longed to take a ride in one of those beautiful wagons that went
to far places, Wheeling, Uniontown, Cumberland, Baltimore. These were only names
to this little girl; but they must be wonderful places, for the men who drove the
big blue wagons with the white tops were always talking about those towns and
good times they had there. Sara was a favorite with all the drivers, and one
day she asked one to take her for a ride in his wagon to one of the big towns he
talked so much about.
In a kindly way he told her that people did not ride in Conestogas, for
there was no room, and he himself had to walk or ride one of the horses; and
besides little girls did not go on trips like that. Not in the least discouraged
she appealed to her father, but he carefully explained the same things that the
driver had told her.
Then she decided that if she could not go on a trip in one of the beautiful
wagons at least Mary Jane, her beloved doll, could enjoy that privilege. Carefully
she placed her cherished “child” in the toolbox on the side of one of the wagons
where she would be safe and could ride in comfort on the little blanket that
Sarah carefully spread out. Then she closed the lid, and stood back as the
driver cracked his whip with a sharp pistol-like report, shouted to his teams,
and the big wagon rolled away to those far-away towns she had heard so much about.
The days came and went until several weeks had passed. Many wagons stopped
in the yard at her father’s shop, and she wondered what had become of the one
in which she had sent Mary Jane on a sightseeing journey. Was she lost? Had the
wagon rolled down a bank and smashed up? She had heard the man say that such
things happened. How terrible if that had happened to her wagon. Mary Jane would
surely be killed and for several nights, she cried herself to sleep over such
a terrible fate.
Time seemed endless to little Sarah, and she waited and watched with childish
impatience; but at lease she was rewarded one day when a beautiful Conestoga
rolled into the wagon yard, and se recognized the man in charge as the driver who
had driven away so long ago with her beloved doll. As soon as the wagon stopped
and the driver started to unhitch his teams, little Sarah ran up in great excitement.
With her heart beating so fast that it seemed to jump right up into her throat, she
fearfully opened the toolbox; but there was Mary Jane on the blanket just as she
had left her; and she ran to the house with the precious doll cuddled in her arms.
The driver who appeared to be very busy with his horses, had a pleased, knowing
smile on his rough, bearded face, and he puffed harder than ever at the long, black
stogie. That night little Sarah talked long and lovingly to her Mary Jane, and
asked many questions about the big towns she had visited—until she talked herself
GEORGE BLACK’S STOGIE
Before leaving Washington on our journey over the old pike mention should
be made of the origin of the now famous “stogie” or “tobie,” a popular smoke
that originated with the Pike Boys and their Conestoga Wagons, and survives to
this day as a relic of the long ago. The stogie is so indelibly stamped on the
history of the old pike that the record would not be complete without mention
of the origin of this old time smoke.
Therefore, this is the story of how a tobacco manufacturer of
Washington came to the aid of the Pike Boys when the government levied a tax on
their beloved cigars, by inventing a smoke popular the world over wherever
Americans are found. Probably not one out of a thousand persons today know that
their favorite stogie originated over a century and a quarter ago.
Heretofore the date that a young tobacconist named George Black
arrived in Washington has been a little hazy. Years later some of the old
timers gave it as 1822 and 1823, which was pretty close. In the files of The
Reporter I found his obituary in the issue of February 6, 1862. This settles
the question definitely. He was born in Cumberland County on March 5, 1794,
and arrived in Washington on August 11, 1820, the year the pike was completed
through the county. He began the manufacture of cigars soon afterwards, and,
according to The Reporter of February 23, 1892, started in business in a
room in the old market house that stood on the West Beau side of the Courthouse
square. This same account states that after a few years he moved to a room in a
large brick building owned by the county, at the corner of Main street and West
Cherry avenue. This would be the second Courthouse, but it seems a little doubtful
if the county rented any space in the temple of justice for the manufacture of
cigars, not even in that day. I have found no record of anything of the kind.
Old deeds in the Recorders’ Office show that on May 20, 1825, Thomas
Brice sold part of lot No. 53, fronting on Main street, to George Black
for $1,532. This indicates that a house was on the property, William S. Sherrard
had sold this lot on September 23, 1814, to Brice for $3,000, but Brice retained
half the lot when he sold to Black. The latter evidently moved his tobacco store
to this building, which stood until it was razed when the Observer Publishing
Company erected its present building.
On January 1, 1834, David Eckert sold part of lot No. 54, on the north of
lot 53, to George Black for $700. It was 27 feet on Market or Main street, and
extended back 240 feet.
Black had his tobacco store in the room on the south side. In fact,
there is a strong probability that he rented this room for several years from
Eckert, for well established local tradition says that the first stogies were sold
here. At any rate that room at 116 South Main street, just north of the Observer
Publishing Company, was the location of Black’s tobacco store for many years. He
made his cigars and chewing tobacco in a frame building in the rear, which was
torn down years ago.
The Pike Boys were inveterate smokers, and when the government placed
a tax on cigars they were afraid this would raise the price so high that they
would have to give up their beloved smokes. Smoking was a great comfort and
relaxation while driving those slow moving Conestogas during hot summer days and
stormy weather. They did not know how they could get along without them. It
was maddening to even think of such a thing. Most of them chewed, but that
did not take the place of a good smoke.
They patronized George Black when coming through Washington, and
when he heard their grumbles over the tax he came to the rescue with a cheap
“roll-up,” which he sold four for a cent (one of those big copper cents as
large as a half dollar) or 25 cents a hundred, and $2 a thousand. It is a
safe bet that no Pike Boy ever bought a cent’s worth. He probably purchased
them by the thousand so that he would have enough for the trip. Jus think of buying
stogies four for a cent.
In the beginning they were called “Conestoga cigars,” but with the
American propensity for shortening names they soon became “Stogies”
and then “tobies.” The Conestoga Wagons were called by both names. The Pike Boys
soon carried their fame from Baltimore to Wheeling, and in a short time Black was
shipping them, by Conestoga express, to taverns over the entire East and gradually
into the West.
The old stogie manufacturer died January 29, 1862, at the age of 68
years. His obituary states that he was a useful citizen and had the esteem and
confidence of all who knew him. For many years he was a director of the Franklin
Bank of Washington (the forerunner of the old First National) in which highly
honorable and responsible position he gave not only evidence of his accommodation
spirit, but a most indomitable integrity.”
George W. Black, who carried on the business after his father’s death,
once estimated that during the years his father was in business he manufactured
and sold 25 million stogies, which were packed in barrels and hogsheads, and
shipped to all parts of the country after their fame spread.
In later years, they were the popular smoke of the oil field workers
who came to Washington during the 1880s and 1890s; but by that time the Blacks
had passed from the scene and it was John Slater, John McKean, J.W. Seybold, S.C.
McCoy, Henry Conn, Brainer, and E.H. Sackville who rolled the stogies and tobies
for the oil men.
Who can forget Slater’s “Cuban Exports,” two for a nickel, and “Boss,”
four for a nickel? While John Slater manufactured many other brands, his son,
Paul Slater, told me that these were his most popular.
Then there were Seybold’s “Little Dutch’ and “J. W.S.’ three for a nickel.
Both McCoy and Conn rolled a “Little Dutch,’ and several others under different
names, all three for a nickel.
Ern Sackville’s most popular stogie was his “Export,” three for a dime
and later five cents each. His brother, Leo Sackville, recently told how Ern came
to make those long “Exports” of good Havana tobacco, which, by the way, were the
first long stogies turned out, even before Marsh in Wheeling; Just after the
turn of the century one of Sackville’s best customers was Samuel T. Ferguson, the
contractor who built the Wabash Railroad through Washington County and was
murdered near West Middletown on September 24, 1903, for the payroll he was
taking to his construction camp. One day when Ferguson was in Sackville’s store
buying his supply of stogies, he asked Ern why he didn’t make them longer and
of Havana tobacco. This gave Sackville an idea. He secured a quantity of
Havana leaf, suitably for stogies, and turned out a long roll at his factory. Thus
his famous “Exports,” were born, and they proved immediately popular. Leo said
that Ferguson always bought them in 500 lots.
Like many other lines of business, the manufacture of stogies died long
ago in the town in which they were originated. It was a big business here at
one time, and Ern Sackville was probably the last manufacturer.
(To Be Continued)
For part 20 of The National Pike Story For part 22 of The National Pike Story