Monday, December 14, 2015

What is an Ordinary?

In Colonial Virginia an Ordinary was an Inn where food and drinks were served.  In 1639, the rates for victuals were prescribed by law, that is, 18 pence in coin, or 6 pds. of tobacco.  The abundance of food was considered great in those days, because the planter had ample vegetable gardens which was freely shared with society.  A stranger visiting a plantation did not pay, because the victuals provided the company of the stranger and his news.  Frequently, members of the family would wait near the road, hoping to come upon strangers and acquire the news of the day.

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1 comment:

PoeBoy51 said...

Thank you for posting that. Not much changed in rural areas of North Carolina by the time my mother was a little girl there. Before the days when everyone had radio and television, and in a community where everyone was related to everyone else, the appearance of a personable individual from the outside world was a major source of excitement.