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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

In the 18th and 19th centuries, taverns and inns were an important element in the early American social and economic landscape, functioning not only to provide meals and lodging, but also as places for community gatherings, festivities, public rallies, auctions, political elections, formal and informal information exchange, and so forth. Evidence and information obtained from both primary and secondary source material and archaeological field investigations recount and illuminate the variety of services provided and socioeconomic niches satisfied by these establishments in northern Delaware. The Blue Ball Tavern of New Castle County, Delaware was one such establishment and is presented within a comparative framework and as a detailed case study in discussions of inter- and intra-community patterning.

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