By Rick Weiner
These bottles were dug from a pair of privy sites at a former tavern that operated from the 1870s to the 1890s. The tavern is long gone, but a house that was next to the tavern still stands. The house was built in 1868.
There was not much information on this tavern’s location at our local historical society, but the bottles and other items in the privy told us it was no run-of-the-mill house privy.
There were close to 700 whiskey “Warranted” flasks in the 1880s-90s privy and 30 or more beer mugs, shot glasses and countless broken oil lamp globs in the 1870s privy.
By the age of the bottles found in both privies, the tavern was probably in operation for a good 20 years.
The full tale of Rick Weiner and Paul Seidel’s dig, titled “The Mystery Tavern,” was published in Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine. It can be read online at www.19thcenturybottlediggers.com.
If you have an early 19th century homestead in the Lehigh Valley area (or within 50 miles) and are interested in having Rick and Paul dig its privy site to see what lies beneath, contact Rick or visit www.19thcenturybottlediggers.com and leave a comment in the guest book.
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