Special Report

The Oldest Bar in Every State

Source: hayshouse.com

16. Kansas
> Bar name: Hays House Restaurant and Tavern
> City: Council Grove
> Original bar founded: 1857

Ten years after he was the first European settler in Council Grove, Seth M. Hays, a great-grandson of Daniel Boone, established the Hays House. Built on the Santa Fe Trail, the building was mixed use in the 1800s, serving as a courthouse, post office, and holding church services in addition to being a bar, restaurant, and trading post. The original bar can still be found in the cellar, which is sometimes opened for special occasions.

Source: The Old Talbott Tavern / Facebook

17. Kentucky
> Bar name: The Old Talbott Tavern
> City: Bardstown
> Original bar founded: 1779

The Old Talbott Tavern is known as the oldest stagecoach stop west of the Allegheny Mountains. The original eastern end of the building has 2 feet-thick stone walls. Since opening, the tavern has attracted many celebrated visitors, including Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, Abraham Lincoln, the exiled King Louis Philippe of France, Jesse James, and General George Patton.

Source: The Old Absinthe House / Facebook

18. Louisiana
> Bar name: Old Absinthe House
> City: New Orleans
> Original bar founded: 1870

This more than 200-years-old building became a regular drinking establishment in 1870. It was renamed “The Absinthe Room” in 1874 thanks to its new specialty, the Absinthe House Frappe, created by mixologist Cayetano Ferrer. Located on Bourbon Street, the bar had to use a substitute for its most famous concoction from 1912 to 2007, when absinthe was illegal in the U.S.

Source: Jameson Tavern / Facebook

19. Maine
> Bar name: Jameson Tavern
> City: Freeport
> Original bar founded: 1801

Originally a private residence, the home was purchased in 1801 by Captain Samuel Jameson. Jameson’s widow sold the establishment to Richard Codman in 1828. Codman’s Tavern remained in business until 1856. A bronze plaque on a granite marker outside the tavern proclaims it and Freeport to be the “birthplace of the state of Maine.” The tavern reopened in 1982 and is located next to L.L. Bean’s main store.

Source: Middletown Tavern / Facebook

20. Maryland
> Bar name: Middleton Tavern
> City: Annapolis
> Original bar founded: 1750

Horatio Middleton, who purchased the building in 1750 and also operated a ferry that connected Annapolis to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, opened the Middleton Tavern as an “Inn for Seafaring Men.” Among the early patrons were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. James Monroe is reported to have visited the tavern in 1818 while he was president.

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