J. E. Hawley's Tavern

In 1840 a tavern license was issued to J.E. Hawley who in the 1851 census is shown living in the 'store' end of Ham House with his family and 'Innkeeper' his occupation. About this time a plank wall partition was put up in the store creating a smaller room on the N side of the store retaining shelves and a counter. Likely a staircase to the second floor was inserted at the SW corner of the store within a space likely partitioned before that. This staircase was accessed from a southern outside door, and presumably Hawley and his family lived upstairs. In addition the western north window appears to have been opened into a larger window while the eastern north window was turned to a door. This appears to have become a 'tap' room.

Most Upper Canada taverns were both inns and taverns(2). They often consisted of only three rooms - a sleeping room, a kitchen and a tap room. In the sleeping room it could be 3 to a bed - where the occupants were not necessarily familiar. The landlord usually lived in the building and it was not uncommon for widows to be be tavern keepers.

Figure 1. 1840 tavern floor plan

In the centre of the patron-side of the tap room were burn marks on the floor - clearly the result of dripping wax from a candelabrum.

Figure 2. Candelabrum wax burn marks

Upstairs a partition from the original construction appears to have been moved in 1840 (as per the date of newspaper under the 2nd layer of wallpaper) corresponding to the creation of the tavern.

Finally, in the basement were discovered keg spigots and many broken whiskey bottles. Shelving from the original store was found used in a retrofit of the upstairs fireplace adding an iron stove with the ring marks of many whiskey and wine bottles.

The newest graffiti on the store walls was from 1854 and on top of that was the first layer of wallpaper dating to 1854 using newspaper fragments put on the wall under the wallpaper. It seems the tavern closed in 1854 - presumably with the coming of the Grand Trunk Railway which by-passed Bath.