Olden Time - Chapter Seventeen
About the Inns where our Forefathers toasted their Shins
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin. From the book entitled, "Ye Olden Time, as compiled from the Coxsackie News of 1889" written by Robert Henry Van Bergen, together with notations by Rev. Delber W. Clark, and edited by Francis A. Hallenbeck, 1935
About the Inns Where Our Forefathers Toasted Their Shins
The past is dead and gone. It is buried in the history of time, and, although we cannot recall it, we love to hear of the scenes enacted, and of the people who lived in those distant days. The memory of our forefather, hardy, rugged pioneers that they were, and the story of their lives has a charm to us of the present day, that we cannot dispel. Especially interesting is the early history and scenes connected with our own town. Comparatively little, however, is known, but in talking with Mr. Robert Henry Van Bergen last week, in regard to the former days of the Miller House, which burned at West Coxsackie, he told many things which would seem to be of interest to the readers of this paper.
The Black Horse Inn
In the days when most of the travel between New York and Albany was by stage, and the King’s road, or Post route, was in its prime, there were taverns every two or three miles, where travelers could stop and refresh themselves. Among those, and one that was popular to the people of that day, was what was known far and wide as the Black Horse Inn. This famous tavern was located where the house occupied by Hon. Prentiss W. Hallenbeck, in the town of Athens, now stands. The name of the tavern was derived from its peculiar swinging sign, which was cut from wood and shaped like a horse and painted black. Mr. Hallenbeck remembers of seeing this sign lying about the premises years ago, and says he would give a hundred dollars if he could find it now, but it has probably been destroyed.
The Black Horse Inn had superior accommodations, and at this time was considered what the people of today are pleased to call "tony." All of the great men and politicians, who had occasion to travel, made this their stopping place. And among those who many times ate dinner at its tables, warmed by its fires, and slept in its beds, was the great American statesman, DeWitt Clinton. This was during the years between 1805 and 1825. Mr. Clinton was the promoter of the construction of the Erie Canal, and was lieutenant governor of this state from 1811 to 1813.
About Other Inns
The next tavern above the Black Horse Inn was the one where Mr. Rodgers’ house stood. A man by the name of Van Steenburgh was the first keeper of this place, and he probably built the house which, burned down last week.
The next Inn on the road was near where Luman Miller now lives, above that was one which, was on the place now occupied by Henry Hotaling. This property formerly belonged to one, Leonard Conine who owned it during the Revolutionary war. Mr. Conine was a bachelor and when he died left the property to this slaves.
The house where Robert Henry Van Bergen*(The house of Robert Henry Van Bergen is again used as an Inn. It is now "Jerry’s Climax Hotel.") lives was also used as an Inn. A tavern near there was also kept by a Mr. Foote and the sign read.
I Foote Inn*
*(The site of the I Foote Inn is the Brae Burn cottage, opposite Jerry’s at Climax. It was in this inn that the first Masonic lodge in Coxsackie met.)
In reading this people were won’t to say "one foot in." Then there was still another tavern just this side of Urlton, and that was kept in the same house which Henry Thorne now occupies.
Next week we shall endeavor to give some more interesting things in regard to "Ye Olden Time" an it is suggested that the readers of THE NEWS preserve each article as a piece of valuable local history.