Churches and taverns had a complicated relationship in Colonial America. As early as 1656, it was a finable offense in Puritan Massachusetts for a town not to have an ordinary.
As you can see by their definitions, the words for a drinking-eating-lodging establishment are mostly interchangeable. (Ordinary became the regional word for a tavern throughout New England.) However, only places called “inns” were reliably somewhere to stay while switching horses or waiting for one’s horse to rest for the next length of travel.Continue reading “Public Houses, Inns, Taverns”