HomeBlogBackbarJukeboxAbout Us Contact UsAd InfoNewsletter
Cocktails

Contemplations at McConkey's    



by Dunmore Throop




McConkey's Ferry Inn in Washigton's Crossing, PA as seen in American Public House Review
McConkey's Ferry Inn in Washington's Crossing, PA

 
McConkey's Ferry Inn in Washigton's Crossing, PA as seen in American Public House Review
 From the
the back yard

During last months editorial meeting at American Public House Review it was decided that this current issue would focus on taverns that had a significant connection to U.S. military history. At the time my publisher's intentions appeared to be benign. My assignment proposed an early fall jaunt through Bucks County, Pennsylvania to visit Washington Crossing Historic Park with a couple of hours being spent at McConkey's Ferry Inn. Little did I know that this would just be another case of a citizen of the realm being bested by a colonial upstart. Certainly McConkey's is a fine example of an 18th century tavern; but as it turns out neither pint nor dram has been served here for decades.

So I find myself alone and empty handed staring at the tankard that Washington may have raised while toasting the health of his aides and the success of battle during that Christmas dinner of 1776. I look out toward the Delaware and I remember those winter nights when, after having left the warmth of a tavern fire, I would curse the cold while crossing the street to my car. My thoughts turn to those enduring souls that cross desserts, mountains, oceans and rivers in order to overcome their discomfort: the discomfort of poverty, prejudice, and tyranny. For the moment I am feeling rather small about my own place in history. I shake off the imagined chill, and allow myself to be absorbed into this small room.

McConkey's Ferry Inn in Washington's Crossing, PA as seen in American Public House Review

McConkey's FerrMcConkey's Ferry Inn in Washington's Crossing, PA as seen in American Public House Review

I can almost see the general and his staff gathered around the table during those desperate hours laying out the plans that would save an army and eventually a nation. It occurs to me that men have been planning, plotting and scheming in rooms such as this for a very long time. Whether it was to overthrow the king, launch a grand military campaign or simply a ruse to win over the affections of some lass, taverns have played no small part in the history of human conquest and intrigue.

There are I suspect a couple of reasons for this connection. With the aid of strong drink men tend to get big ideas, many times mistaking these notions for a bit of enlightenment; and of course inebriation does tend to cause men to attempt undertakings beyond their known capabilities. This relationship with the grape and grain spawns an occasional winner; but more often than not the outcome is folly. Then again what better place is there to lick ones wounds or to find comfort from comrades than a good tavern. I am sure those Hessians that were not killed or captured by Washington's troops at Trenton sought solace in some Tory public house in New Jersey.

McConkey's Ferry Inn in Washington's Crossing, PA as seen in American Public House Review

The greater reason for the prominent standing of the tavern throughout history has to do with the ability of people to gather freely and to express ideas without interference, censorship or rebuke from either the church or the government. This right of public association has always been and always will be at the core of all free societies.


George Washington letter in McConkey's Ferry Inn in Washington's Crossing, PA as seen in Am,erican Public House Review
A letter signed by the father of our country.


My assignment at McConkey's now complete, I head north in hopes of rekindling my old relationship with the grape and the grain.

For more information regarding George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River and the battle of Trenton:
www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/




McConkey's Ferry Inn

1112 River Road

  Washington's Crossing, PA  18977-12021

215-493-4076

Directions





HomeBlogBackbarJukeboxAbout Us Contact UsAd InfoNewsletter
Cocktails


AMERICAN PUBLIC HOUSE REVIEW text, images, and music © All rights reserved.
All content is subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. Email: ed.petersen@americanpublichousereview.com for permission before use.