Bump Tavern

Bump Tavern

Bump Tavern was built around 1796, by Jehiel Tuttle, to serve cattle drovers on the Windham Turnpike. It was built in Windham, which is in Green County, New York. Originally, the building had Federal Style architecture which was changed when the tavern underwent renovations in the late 1830’s after being purchased by Ephraim Bump.

Bump Tavern decorated for 4th of July celebrations
Bump Tavern decorated for 4th of July celebrations

Nineteenth Century Taverns

The tavern keeper and his family, who lived in part of the building, hosted a wide variety of customers. Taverns provided necessary lodging and food for a fee to travelers, peddlers, businessmen, drovers, and wagoners. For locals, the tavern was a gathering place for both formal and informal socializing. Both women and men tended bar.

Taverns also provided a location in the upstairs long room for court hearings, business meetings, dances, and church services, for newly formed congregations. In the early years of operation, people paid the same price for sleeping in a bed or on the floor. They could not have an entire room for themselves. Tavern keepers often served as community leaders as well. Jehiel Tuttle, for example, was a Town Supervisor.

Bump Tavern originally served guests in the Catskills. Snowy scenes like this one would be typical of that region.
Bump Tavern originally served guests in the Catskills. Snowy scenes like this one would be typical of that region.
Interpreters outside of Bump Tavern
Interpreters outside of Bump Tavern

Meals were served at set times determined by the tavern keeper. During the time of stage travel, these times were set to coincide with arrivals and departures. A bell was rung to announce the serving of a meal. If you wished to eat, you needed to be at the table promptly. Everyone would be seated together at large tables, and the food was set out in serving bowls and platters. There was no menu to select from, and prices were set. You ate what was served, and meals varied seasonally and from tavern to tavern.Tavern keepers charged approximately twenty-five cents for each meal.

Related Objects and Documents

Politicians in a Country Bar

Taverns were meeting places for the men of the village. They would discuss local politics, as well as find out about news from afar through travelers and the newspaper. The tavern was often filled with conversation and sometimes, heated arguments.

Rates of Toll Broadside

In the early nineteenth century, turnpikes, also known as toll roads, crossed New York State. These roads were much different than modern paved highways. They were little more than dirt roads. These roads gave farmers a route to bring their goods to market. Farmers, and other travelers, had to pay a toll to travel on the … Continue reading Rates of Toll Broadside


The tavern was often a stop on a stage coach route. It allowed the driver and the passengers to stop for a rest, a meal, or a drink. Travelers could also pay for a room and stay the night. During the mid-nineteenth century, people used many forms of transportation to travel including trains, steamboats, packet boats, various wheeled vehicles, and walking on … Continue reading Stagecoach

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Related Hands-on Activity


Quilling is the art of twirling strips of paper into beautiful designs. It may have gotten its name from feather quills said to have been use to help roll the strip (show a feather).

This craft goes back about 1500 years, to filigree work made out of curled gold and silver wire. By about the 1200s, monks and nuns were copying this technique using rolled paper that they then painted with gold or silver. This was a much less expensive way to adorn religious articles than using the real thing. Still, paper was handmade at that time and not readily available, as it is today. Most people had no access to it.

Quilling became popular here in America around the time of the Revolutionary War. It was a pastime for wealthy women and girls- paper was still a scarce luxury. People were very creative, combining the quill work with shells, wax flowers, twisted wire, and chipped mica, which made designs sparkle by candlelight. You’re not limited to just using it by itself!

Eventually, people lost interest in the art, and there wasn’t much done for a hundred years or so, until it became popular in America again in the 1950s. Paper was readily available to everyone, and it has become a fun and inexpensive hobby. Now you might see it decorating scrapbook pages or a special card or picture on the wall. But designs don’t have to be glued down onto something. The pieces can simply be glued to one another, or hooked together with tiny metal rings to make earrings or Christmas ornaments, for example.

Quilling is for everybody now. You can get supplies at any craft shop, such as Michaels, or online. Or you could make your own. As a quilling tool you can simply use a darning needle with the top cut off. Some people just wrap the paper around a toothpick or knitting needle, but using this tool is the easiest way to get started.

You will need:

  • Construction paper
  • White glue
  • Tooth picks (for applying glue)
  • A square of waxed paper (to put the glue on later)
  • Scissors
  • Quilling tools
  • Quilling paper
  • Jewelry Boxes

Twirl paper by inserting one end into the eye on the quilling tool and holding the growing spiral loosely between the left index finger and thumb while twirling tool with the right hand. (Lefties do opposite). Do not try to twirl into palm of hand, on table, etc. It is important that the index finger and thumb are HELD LOOSELY!

The tool can be removed from the center of the coil by sliding it out while continuing to hold the coil between fingers. If it is wound very tightly, a slight turn in the reverse direction will make it easy to remove.

First make a tight coil, followed by a loose coil.

Make another loose coil and form it into a teardrop by squeezing one side between your fingers. Then follow the same process to make an eye-shape by squeezing both sides. This shows how most of the other shapes are based on the loose coil.

Use the toothpick to apply a bit of glue to the “tail,” and hold down for about ten seconds to secure.