The Hitching Post in Darrtown, Ohio is located along Rt. 177 Hamilton-Richmond Rd. in Butler County, Ohio. This was Darrtown’s first tavern(1817) and its the last to remain standing out of what was at one time quite the busy little town that boasted at least 5 taverns and many “still” houses.
This is Ohio’s oldest tavern still standing and in operation. After being closed for a couple of years, Pat and Tasha Cain re-opened the Hitching Post on October 25, 2014. Just a few years ago, the tavern celebrated its 200th anniversary. Today, Britt Colson and Evan Cusmano own The Hitching Post and have put in a high-end line of bourbons. On weekends and some weeknights, bands will be playing and cold beer and bourbon will be served.
Here is some history of the state’s oldest tavern:
Conrad Darr opened Darrtown’s first tavern in 1817 on Lot Number 52, calling it the “Hitching Post,” because of the large, crude tying rail in front of the tavern-inn, an important stop on the Hamilton-Fairborn Stage Coach line. Here one could get a free drink or a gallon of whiskey for 50 cents in the customer’s jug-or 75 cents a gallon, if the tavern furnished the jug.
Distilling became an important industry in the vicinity. If it was a good corn year, whisky became legal tender in the area and a most popular medium of exchange. James Bradberry owned a log still house as early as 1817, which in later years, was replaced by a native stone building. Abram Darr opened his own distillery in 1832. Mitchell Marshall conducted a 15-barrel establishment from 1845 to 1852.
Members of the most respected families in the community were tavern keepers; Aaron Chambelain, Stephen Kendall, and William Kirkpatrick kept taverns here in later years. All notices of town meetings, elections, newly passed laws, and ordinances were posted both in and outside the taverns to inform the citizenry, much as is done by the newspapers of today. Bills of Sale, notices of auctions, and records of transfers were also posted. Everyone in the township would flock to the tavern-inns, if they wished to know what was going on. There, too, one learned all the gossip or scandal that was bandied about the locality. These gathering places were truly the “hub of community life.”
If you have family roots in Darrtown, perhaps your great grandfather-and maybe even your great-great grandfather-hitched his horse to the rail outside the Hitching Post, Butler County’s friendly tavern, the building that is now almost a century and a half old.”
Darrtown website www.darrtown.com contributed to this article.
For current happenings at The Hitching Post, check out there facebook page.
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