Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Old Roberts Taver

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 8, 1917.

The recording of the deed of the Roberts farm on Michigan avenue, west of Ypsilanti, an old Pittsfielder recalls when there stood on it the old Roberts tavern. "Them was the good old days, boy!" Whisky was as common and cheap as mineral water is now--25 cents a gallon.

Shaking dice for the drinks was as common then as it is now, but the relator tells of a stunt which is novel as well as peculiar. There was a large fireplace in Roberts tavern, around which many have swapped yarns; into it they have gazed, empited their pipes and sizzled the coals with tobacco juice; broiled steaks thereon and toasted their shins by it. But to think that ths large old fireplace was used as a gambling device is truly interesting.

It was this way: When time lagged and excitement was wanted, someone suggested that they all lie down in front of the fireplace for the drinks. A circle was drawn from corner of the hearth to the other out and away from the fire about an arm's length. All stretched out on the floor with heir heads to the mark and extended an arm toward the fire. He who could leave his hand against the heat the longest time would be the winner. The one with the shortest arm usually won. The first to give up was the first to treat, and so on in turn. The lst one only would be the real winner.


At 8:14 PM, Blogger Rob said...

As always, good stuff James! I remember, many years ago sitting in my grandparents attic reading old turn-of-the-last century newspapers from the Detroit area, as a young child. Sadly, I was mesmerized more by the fact that many of these old news sheets would instantly crumble to the touch... rather than whatever stories were contained within. Still, the ads for long defunct automobile manufacturers and other strange and quaint bits of long-dead newspapers (One stack was all in Polish, if I remember right) stick in my head to this day.


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