or “Peter Cherry’s Inn”
on the Klinesville-Cherryville Road,
in Raritan Township

“Point Tavern” is surely one of the oddest names for a tavern. When Egbert T. Bush wrote his article, Klinesville Once Had A Tavern, he pointed out (sorry) that

. . it was a place of note in its day, and reference was made to the old “Pint Tavern” and to some of the doings there, long after it had fallen into disuse. The name is said to have been given because of its location on the point. But everybody called it the “Pint Tavern,” and as such it is remembered.

Mr. Bush was certainly right about how well-known the name and location of Point Tavern were, even long after the tavern fell out of use. The USGS Topographical Map for 1954 uses the name to identify the intersection of Allen’s Corner Road with the Klinesville-Cherryville Road. Actually, the location on the topo map is not quite right because by 1954, the tavern building was gone; it had been much closer to the intersection of the two roads.

Peter C. Chery

In his article on the Klinesville Tavern, Mr. Bush mentioned one Peter C. Chery as a known tavernkeeper in the neighborhood of Klinesville. But he did not know just where Mr. Chery kept his tavern. He wrote:

One is set to wondering about “Anderson’s Tavern,” . . . Also, about “Peter Cherry’s Inn;” but there is little doubt that this was the Cherryville Tavern of the early days.

But Mr. Bush was mistaken. Cherryville was not where Peter C. Chery (he always spelled his name with one R) kept his tavern, and the village was not named for him. The tavern where Chery could always be found was in fact the Point Tavern, and the Point Tavern was located well south of Cherryville.

The first license for Peter C. “Cherery” [sic] was in 1817 for a tavern in Amwell Township, “on the road leading from Baptist Town to New Brunswick. . . where an inn or tavern has been kept for a number of years.”[1] Below is Chery’s signature on his 1817 petition.

Note: The footnote feature is not working properly. For the time being, you’ll have to scroll to the end to see the footnotes, and then somehow find your way back. My sincere apologies.

A few of the men who signed his petition were innkeepers themselves: Moses Everitt, Neal Hart, and Elnathan Moore. Also signing were D. H. Bishop, Gideon Higgins, Jonathan Higgins, Henry M. Kline, John Maxwell Jr., Abraham Moore, Tho. H. Reading, Henry Suydam, Edw. Welsted, [illegible] Williamson, and another illegible name.

The next year (1818), Chery’s license petition stated that his Amwell tavern was located three miles from Flemington. In the margin of the petition in different handwriting is this comment: “Point Tavern 3 miles from Flemington Amwell Township.”

Signatories to the 1818 petition were: Elias Abbott, John Barton, William Bishop, George Case, Christopher Cool, John Cool, Moses Everitt, Gideon Ewing, John Fonner, Harbart Hummer, Jacob Johnson, Henry M. Kline, William Kuhl, John Mcfarson, Samuel McFarson, Abraham Moore, William [illegible], George Risler and Tho H. Reading. These were mostly neighbors of the tavern.

Chery’s 1819 petition was particularly interesting. He justified the need for a tavern at the point this way:

“Your petitioner is desirous to keep an Inn or Tavern in the Township of Amwell and County of Hunterdon where he has kept an inn or Tavern on the road leading from Everitts Town to New Brunswick for several years, and an inn or Tavern is necessary for the accommodation of Travellers” (emphasis added).

Signers were Adam Conrad, John Deats, Andrew Emans, Gideon Ewing, John fonner, Gideon Higgins, John Hummer, Henry M. Kline, Peter Lennard, John Opdycke, Tho. H. Reading, Andrew Sheppard, and Edmund Yard.

In the years 1820 and 1821, Chery refrained from tavern-keeping, but a certain Ralph Stevenson applied for a license in 1821 to run “the Point Tavern.” This was the first time the name was used in a license petition.

Despite being denied at his first attempt in 1820, Stevenson succeeded in gaining the trust of the locals, as can be seen by the signers. His list of names was actually much longer than any list that Chery had submitted.

They were Tho’s J. Anderson, D. H. Bishop, William W. Case, Peter C. Chery, Thomas Chery, Adam Conrad, Cristopher Cooke “sener,” Christopher Cool, Cristopher Coole, Jr., John Cool, Joseph Davis, John Deats, Andrew Emans, Gideon Ewing, John fonner, Geo. Henry, [?] Higgins, Sam’l Holcombe, Harbart Hummer, Tunis B. Hummer, Henry M. Kline, William Kuhl, Charles Mcferson, Reuben Mcferson, Thomas McPherson, Elijah Miller, Ralph Quick, Tho. H. Reading, Jacob Rowe, Elisha Runkel, Jonathan Walker, John Waterhouse, and Edmund Yard. (You may have noticed that I rearranged the names in alphabetical order to make searching the list easier.)

Ralph Stevenson is a hard person to identify. He may have been the Ralph who was born about 1780 to Samuel Stevenson of Lebanon Township, and married in 1805 Ann (Nancy) Lanning, daughter of Joseph Lanning, also of Lebanon. But he quit tavern-keeping after 1821 and is seen no more until his death in 1837, without writing a will. (Administration of his estate was given to James Stevenson.)

Perhaps Chery handed over the tavern-keeping because he was busy buying the tavern lot. On October 25, 1821,[2] Peter & Catharine Polhemus of Somerset Co. conveyed to Peter C. Chery of Kingwood Township, for $900, “all that certain Tavern house & lot of 21 acres more or less” in the Township of Amwell, bordering land late Cornelius Polhemus, Adam Conrad, the road from Flemington to Sussex County, and Christopher Cool, and being the same lot which Edmund Yard & wife Catharine sold to Samuel Davis on March 26, 1813, and by said Davis & wife to sd Polhemus on Aug 30, 1821.”

Peter C. Chery Returns

Having concluded his purchase of the lot, Chery was licensed for the Point Tavern from 1822 through 1826. (And probably in 1823, although I did not find the petition for that year.) Then on May 1, 1827, Bartholomew VanCamp applied to keep the tavern “lately kept by Peter C. Chery, called the Point Tavern.” (VanCamp had previously kept the Boarshead Tavern located on Route 579 south of Route 12.)

Signers of his petition were: Elias Abbott, Gilbert Barton, Thomas Chery, Christopher Cool, John Cool, Gideon Ewing, Abraham Gulick, Neal Hart, Henry M. Kline, Thomas McPherson, Thomas W. Reading, Henry Runkle, John F. Schenck, and Edmund Yard. Curiously, Peter C. Chery did not sign.

On June 6, 1827, the Hunterdon Gazette issued this notice:

Sheriff’s Sale. By virtue of a writ of fieri facias to me directed, issued out of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas of the county of Hunterdon, Will be exposed to Sale, at PUBLIC VENDUE, on Saturday the 7th day of July next between the hours of twelve and five o’clock in the afternoon of said Day, at the House of Asa Reed, innkeeper, in the township of Amwell, in the county of Hunterdon. The Tavern House and lot of land situate in the township of Amwell, said to contain thirty acres more or less, with the appurtenances, adjoining lands late of Adam Conrad and others. Seized as the property of Peter Polhemas, and taken in execution at the suit of Dickerson Miller, and to be sold by John Cavenagh [sic, Cavanagh], former sheriff. Dated May 5, 1827.

This is an odd notice. First of all, the lot was only 21 acres, not 30. And why would Polhemus be sued for the tavern lot six years after selling it? However, Chery himself had also run into financial trouble. On April 9, 1828, this notice appeared in the Gazette:

Sheriff’s Sale at the House of Peter Smick in Flemington [the County Hotel on Main Street], . . . a certain Tavern House and lot of land, with the appertenances, situate in the township of Amwell, in said county, and known by the name of the Point Tavern, and now in the possession of Bartholomew Vancamp and adjoining lands of Gilbert Barton & others. Seized as the property of Peter C. Cherry and taken in execution at the suit of Peter Ewing.

On April 18, 1828, Chery sold the tavern lot plus another one of 1.5 acres to Gabriel Hoff of Amwell Township for $500.[3] After that notice in the Gazette, it surprises me that it wasn’t the Sheriff who sold the property at public auction. Despite this upheaval, business was carried on at the Point Tavern as usual. As far as I can tell, Bartholomew VanCamp was the tavernkeeper while ownership of the lot changed hands.

Bartholomew VanCamp was obliged to take up tavern-keeping, despite and probably because of having acquired his father’s farm of 129 acres in Kingwood Township in 1815, for the substantial sum of $4,181.[4] He was sued for debt and lost his property in 1820. Vancamp (c.1781-1863), who never married, was one of the eight children of Guilberd VanCamp and Mary Thatcher. He continued to keep the Point Tavern up through 1830. Afterwards he moved to Ewing Township and later to Trenton, where he died in 1863 at the age of 83.

In 1828, the tavern was recognized as a little square on the marvelous map of Hunterdon County compiled by Thomas Gordon, a detail of which you can see as an icon on my website’s home page. Here is a better look at the neighborhood (keep in mind that Mt. Carmel was Klinesville, Dogtown was Cherryville, and Fairview was Quakertown.

Detail, 1828 Map of New Jersey by Thomas Gordon

As Mr. Bush wrote, Chery’s tavern had been in business for many years before he acquired it. Let’s go–

Back to the Beginning

Like the Klinesville tavern, the Point Tavern property was included in the 4,170 acres acquired by Daniel Coxe from the West Jersey Proprietors in 1712 (as described in Klinesville Tavern). After his death in 1739, Coxe’s sons proceeded to divide the property up and sell pieces of it all through the first half of the 18th century. At some point, John and Deborah Woodard acquired property in the tract. The Woodards were absentee owners, having a home in Nottingham in Burlington County or in Chesterfield, PA.

On August 25, 1764, the Woodards conveyed land in Amwell Township to Mary Newbold. I cannot supply details of this purchase because I only learned of it in a recital in a later deed. Apparently by 1764, Mary Newbold was a widow, but who her first husband was I cannot say. However, in 1766 she married as her second husband one Robert Emley in Chesterfield, PA.

This is particularly interesting because in 1713, a John Woodward acquired land in Chesterfield from a William Emley, Jr. All of these people were members of the Quaker community in that area.

The Emley Family

Here’s a brief history of the Emley family: It begins with William Emley, Esq. (1648-1704), an English immigrant and prominent resident of Nottingham in Burlington County, Province of West New Jersey. In 1690, he married his second wife Mary, and had an additional four children to the first four he had with first wife Ruth. One of those new children was John Emley (1691-1761) who married Sarah Lawrence (1696-1742) in 1719 and moved to Kingwood Township in Hunterdon County in the 1730s, no doubt having purchased land from the heirs of Daniel Coxe.

One of the 11 children of John & Sarah Emley was Robert Emley (1736-1808). (As is far too typical, I do not have equivalent information on Mary Newbold or her family.) Thanks to the recital in several early Hunterdon deeds, we know that Robert Emley bought significant acreage in Hunterdon in the 1760s. Then at the beginning of the Revolution, he moved his family to Chesterfield, PA. They stayed there until the Revolution was over, and then returned to Kingwood by 1784 (according to the records of the Quakers’ Kingwood Monthly Meeting).

It may have been around that time or earlier that the Emleys sold a 2+ acre lot to Peter Coolbough.

Peter Coolbough

Sadly, Peter’s deed did not get recorded in Hunterdon County. In fact, it might have been earlier than 1784. In 1780, Peter Coolbough, a Revolutionary War veteran born 1754 in Somerset County, was taxed in Amwell Township on a lot of 2 acres. In 1800, when John & Hannah Yard of Amwell sold a 34-acre lot on the east side of the Klinesville Road to Cornelius Polhemus, Peter Coolbough was listed as a bordering owner. This 34+ acres was part of the property that had been purchased by Mary Newbold from the Woodards in 1764 and sold by Mary and husband Robert Emley to John Yard sometime afterward. I will be returning to that property.

Peter Coolbough was the child of Dr. William Coolbough and Sarah Johnson, German immigrants and residents of Amwell Township since at least 1750. I learned something of Peter’s relatives from the 1805 will of his aunt, Rachel Shrawder of Lower Smithfield, Northampton Co., PA. She identified Peter as her nephew and Joseph Johnson as her brother, making her the sister of Sarah Johnson Coolbough. She also identified a connection with the VanCampen family, who turned up later in the Point Tavern’s history with Bartholomew VanCamp.

On April 9, 1806, Peter Coolbough of Amwell (who was apparently unmarried) sold to John Polhemus, also of Amwell, for $426.66, a lot of 2 acres 30 perches bordering the great road from the old Union Furnace to Trenton, i.e., the Klinesville Road.[5] The next year, on March 25, 1807, Peter bought a lot of 1.37 acres, also on the Klinesville Road, from Jacob & Sarah Polhemus, for $240.[6]

It would appear that Coolbough had owned the tavern lot for about 20 years, and it is quite likely that he operated a tavern there. He may have tired of the business by 1806, but perhaps he was courting a lady who did not approve of tavern-keeping.

In May 1807, Peter Coolbough married Helen or Eleanor LaTourette, daughter of David LaTourette and Lenah Biggs. On Feb. 12, 1810, the Coolboughs sold that 1.37-acre lot to Arthur Schenck for a significant profit, at $506.67.[7] I do not know what happened to the Coolboughs after that, but an Ancestry.com family tree states that Peter died on Oct. 18, 1839, in Amwell Township. He would have been 85 years old by then.

John & Uree Polhemus

John Polhemus (1780-1849), who bought the 2.7 acres from Peter Coolbough in 1806, was probably the son of Lt. Cornelius Polhemus and Mary Ann Mershon. In 1801 he married Uree Blackwell (1779-1854), daughter of Benjamin Blackwell and Permelia Drake of Hopewell.

$426.66 was a high price to pay for a 2+ acre lot in 1806. It strongly suggests a significant improvement—something like a tavern there. A few months before purchasing the Coolbough lot, Polhemus bought another 2+ acre lot from Martin and Mary Baker in the same general area,[8] but he only paid $132 for that lot. He sold it as woodland in 1809 to Edmund Yard for $150.[9]

On May 1, 1809, John & Uree Polhemus sold the 2.7-acre lot acquired from Peter Coolbough to Stephen Yard for $450.[10] Five years later they sold adjacent property, which they had purchased from Edmund Yard to Jonathan Walker for $2,562.[11] It was probably shortly afterwards that the Polhemus couple removed to Cayuga County in upstate New York.

Meanwhile, the property across the road from Coolbough’s tavern was purchased in 1800 by Cornelius Polhemus from John and Hannah Yard for £200.[12]

The Yard Family

This family can be very confusing due to the repetition of names. (Much to my frustration, none of the Yard family members I am interested in showed up in Deats’ Marriages of Hunterdon County.) Here is my best guess, with family members numbered:

John1 Yard (1722-after 1800) & wife Hannah
son Stephen2 Yard (1749-1806) m. Elizabeth Jewell, d/o John & Mary Jewell
grandson Edmund4 (1770-1852) m. Catharine Young, d/o John & Catharine Young
grandson Stephen5 Jr. (1775-1821), m. Rachel Conrad (discussed below)
son John3 Yard (c.1758-c.1795), unmarried

John3 Yard died in November 1795 in Amwell Township without writing a will. He was only around 37 years old, so it was probably an accident. Administration of his estate was granted to Stephen Yard and John Yard, both also of Amwell Township. In 1796, Jacob Polhemus and Cornelius Polhemus made the inventory of his estate, which was a meager £12. But their involvement shows that John3 Yard was living in the vicinity of the Point Tavern.

The brother of John3 Yard who died in 1795, was Stephen2 Yard who wrote his will in December 1806. It included this statement: Plantation in Bethlehem Township purchased with monies from the Estate of Brother John Yard deceased to be sold and the proceeds paid to the widow and children of said brother, as due from me as Administrator of his estate. (Regrettably, I do not know who the widow and children of John3 were.)

The John Yard who administered the estate with Stephen2 Yard was most likely the father, John1 Yard. John1 was still alive in 1800 when he and wife Hannah, residents of Amwell township, sold a lot of 34.25 acres in Amwell to Cornelius Polhemus, also of Amwell, for £200.[13] This property bordered other land of Cornelius Polhemus, ‘Cristofer’ Cool, the place sold by Robt Emley to Jonathan Roberts, the great road to Flemington, and Peter Coolboch. The deed described it as “being the land purchased with other land from John & Deborah Woodard by Mary Newbold on 25 Aug 1764, and the sd Mary Newbold afterward marrying Robt Emely,” who sold it to the said John Yard & wife.

Stephen2 & Elizabeth Yard

John & Hannah’s son Stephen2 Yard (1749-1806) married in 1766 Elizabeth Jewell (1750-1821). She was most likely the daughter of John Jewell, Sr. (1718-1804), innkeeper of Amwell, and his wife Mary. Stephen2 and Elizabeth Yard had 12 children! two of whom are relevant to this story: Edmund4 and Stephen5.

As for Stephen2 Yard’s property, he purchased land in Amwell as early as 1797, and again in 1803, but none of those properties were directly related to the Coolbough tavern lot.

Edmund4 Yard

Stephen2 and Elizabeth Yard’s third child was son Edmund4 Yard (1770-1852).

In 1803, when he was 33 years old, Edmund4 Yard, together with Andrew VanFleet, purchased from Jonathan Roberts of Somerset County a ‘plantation’ of 167 acres bordering Christopher Cool in the northeast corner, and also bordering Thomas McPherson, Anderson’s land, the road to Flemington, Charles Marshall [spelled Marchel], and Adam Coonrad [sic].[14]

Excepted out of the tract of 167 acres was a half-acre on the northwest corner of the farm, and also two lower fields at the south end amounting to 34 acres. The next year (1804), Edmund4 Yard sold the 167 acres minus 34 acres and a half-acre lot to Adam Young, Edmund’s future brother-in-law.

The 34 acres that was excepted from the 167 was the lot that was sold by Robert & Mary Emley in the 1780s to John Yard, and by Yard in 1800 to Cornelius Polhemus. We will be hearing more about that acreage shortly.

In 1807, Edmund Yard married Catherine Young (1771-1855), daughter of John and Catharine Young of Amwell, and sister of Adam Young. We’re not done with Edmund, but first we must switch to Edmund’s brother Stephen.

Stephen5 Yard & Rachel Conrad

Stephen5 Yard (17751821), son of Stephen3 and Elizabeth, married about 1800, his neighbor Rachel Conrad (1783-1863), daughter of Adam Conrad and Sarah Runyon. The Conrads owned the property on the west side of the Coolbough tavern lot as well as property on the south side of Allen’s Corner Road.

Adam Conrad (1744-1834) was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, like Peter Coolbough.[15] His wife, Sarah Runyon, was a second cousin to Col. Hugh Runyon (1738-1823) who owned the tavern at the west end of Allen’s Corner Road, and whose name was often used to identify the road, as in “the road from Hugh Runyan’s to Flemington.”

Stephen Yard is very important to the story of the tavern lot, because of two purchases he made on May 1, 1809. One was for the 2.7-acre lot from John & Uree Polhemus, formerly owned by Peter Coolbough, and the other was for 18.93 acres across the road, previously part of the 34.25 acres owned by John & Hannah Yard and sold to Cornelius Polhemus in 1808.[16]

From then on, the two lots together were always designated as being 21 acres, more or less. But Stephen5 Yard was not a tavernkeeper, and a year later, on Sept. 6, 1810, he and wife Rachel sold the 21 acres to his brother Edmund4 for $1800.[17] The property was described as bordering Cornelius Polhemus, Adam Conrad, the road from Flemington to Sussex, and Christopher Cool.

Stephen Yard died relatively young, in 1821, at the age of 46. Or at least that’s what is attributed to him. Oddly enough, I can’t find any evidence of this death or the date. His wife Rachel survived him, ending up in Batavia, Genesee Co., NY, where she died at the age of 79, but evidence of her removal is also negligible.

Back to Edmund Yard

Less than a year after acquiring the tavern lot, in 1811, Edmund4 Yard acquired a tavern license for a location in Amwell on the road from Flemington to Pittstown (i.e., the Klinesville Road). He kept the tavern for two years. Then on March 26, 1813, he and wife Catharine sold the tavern house and lot of 21+ acres to Samuel Davis of Amwell Twp. for $1800.[18]

This was actually a property trade. On the same day, Samuel and Mary Davis sold to Edmund Yard for $3,390, a ‘plantation’ of 158+ acres that straddled the Kingwood-Amwell township line but fronted on Allens Corner Road. Davis had acquired this property the same year that Edmund Yard got his tavern license, in 1811. It was sold to him by the estate of John VanDoren, dec’d. It was here that Edmund & Catharine Yard remained for the rest of their lives.

Edmund Yard lived to the ripe old age of 82. He wrote his will on August 31, 1851, leaving his homestead farm in Raritan Township to son John Y. Yard. It was 126 acres, bordering Samuel Buchanan and Benjamin Egbert. This was most of the property Yard had purchased from Samuel Davis in 1813. In his will Edmund named his wife Catharine and children John Y., Sarah Ann and Mary; also the children of his daughter Mary (1803-1892) who married John Christopher Hulsizer (1805-1879). Oddly enough, he did not mention son Sidney Yard (1808-1885), who may have not needed any assistance. Edmund (d.1852) and Catherine (d. 1855) were buried in the Flemington Presbyterian Cemetery.

Samuel & Mary/Marcy Davis

Samuel Davis (1752-1833) came to Hunterdon County from Massachusetts with his parents, Samuel Davis, Sr. and Deborah Chapin, and his wife Mary/Marcy. I do not know when that happened but can say that Samuel & Marcy Davis were present in Hunterdon as early as August 1790, when they were listed with others opposed to the Universalist beliefs of Baptist minister Nicholas Cox.[19]

Samuel Davis, Sr. of Bethlehem Township wrote his will in 1800, naming his children, and his son, Samuel Davis, Jr. and son-in-law Peter Stryker his executors. Oddly enough, he did not name his wife Deborah who survived him. She may have left for Vermont, where she died in 1811. Samuel Sr. died about 1802 in Bethlehem Twp., age 72

Samuel Davis, Jr. had various land purchases and sales in the early 1800s, but the one of significance here is his purchase on April 11, 1811 of the 158-acre plantation that had been owned by John VanDoren.[20] It was described as being on the great road from Anderson’s land, bordering [Samuel] Buchanan’s, a road from Hugh Runyon Esq. to Flemington, corner to Miller, also bordering Adam Conrad and John Polhemus. The translation is that the property bordered both the Klinesville Road and Allens Corner Road, as well as a road that did not yet exist, the John Ent Road.

Davis probably liked it there because the next year, he and wife Mary sold all their property in Alexandria Township. Then in 1813, he and neighbor Edmund Yard swapped property, as described above, Yard selling Davis the tavern lot of 21 acres for $1,800.[21]

Unfortunately, I cannot say whether Davis himself got tavern licenses for the years he owned the property. I did not see him listed with the Hunterdon Licenses. However, it seems likely he did, for he owned the place for eight years, before selling the 21 acres in 1821 to Peter Polhemus of Bridgewater for only $900.[22] By that time the Davises had moved to Hillsborough in Somerset County and must have been eager to rid themselves of the tavern.

From Davis Back To Chery

Peter Polhemus had no interest in tavern-keeping either and was not a resident of Hunterdon County. Less than a month later, he and wife Catharine sold the property to none other than Peter C. Chery, for the same $900 that Pohemus paid for it.[23] The tavern must have still been in operation; the deed described the property as “all that certain Tavern house & lot of 21 acres.” It also gave a bit of history: being the same which Edmund Yard & wife Catharine sold to Samuel Davis on March 26, 1813, and by sd Davis & wife to sd Polhemus on Aug 30, 1821. It may be that Polhemus had trouble financing that original $900. As mentioned above, he was taken to court by Dickinson Miller for an unpaid debt related to the sale. I have not looked up the court proceeding, but it seems that the writ was not carried out.

Note that Chery had been tavern-keeping since 1817, when the lot was owned by Samuel Davis. The location given is somewhat vague but seems most likely to have been the Point Tavern. After four years, it seems only logical that he would take ownership if he could.

He kept ownership of the Point Tavern for seven years. Then on April 18, 1828, he and wife Martha, as residents of Bridgewater Township, Somerset Co., conveyed the 21-acre tavern lot to Gabriel Hoff of Amwell, along with a 1.5-acre lot nearby, for $500.[1]

After this, Peter C. and Martha Chery moved to Middlesex County. In 1834 they sued one of the men who had signed Chery’s tavern petition, David H. Bishop, an absconding debtor. The court levied on Bishop’s 13-acre lot on the road from Cherryville to Quakertown, and Chery bought it for $131.42. The day after acquiring it, the Cherys sold the lot to Henry M. Kline for only $105.[2]

The Cherys were still hounded by suits for debt, so much so that in 1837, Chery assigned his property to Thomas Cherry.[3] I cannot say what happened to the couple after 1837.

The rest of the tavern’s history will have to wait for another time.

Mr. Bush’s Error

In his article, Klinesville Once Had A Tavern, Egbert T. Bush wrote:

But this old house [the Klinesville tavern], as intimated, did not have a monopoly of the liquor business here. In fact, the boundaries of the Everitt tract included the site of still another tavern.

Bush went on to describe the location of the Point Tavern. At first, it seemed likely that the 151.7 acres sold to Moses Everitt by Cornelius Polhemus in 1815 included both the Klinesville Tavern and the Point Tavern. After all, 151 acres covers a large area. But as I began to build a chain of title for the tavern lot, I discovered that Samuel Davis owned the tavern when Everitt bought his 151 acres and continued to own it through 1821.

The best thing to do was to plot the tract of 151.7 acres and see where it fit on the tax maps. Unfortunately, every time the property was sold, from 1815 to 1855, the description was always the same. There was no way to know from the deeds who the later landowners were bordering the property. It went from Cornelius Polhemus to Moses Everitt in 1815, from Everitt to William Runkle in 1825, from Runkle to Henry Suydam in 1833, and from heirs of Henry Suydam to Asa Suydam in 1855.

Here I should mention the help that Bob Leith gave me. He happened to be looking through the Ms. collection of Barton papers at the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society and saw a deed for the Point Tavern. Knowing my interest in it, he plotted out the property and shared it with me, making use of Google Maps. This is really lovely.

That was how I learned that the 21 acres straddled the Klinesville Road, which was (and still is) somewhat unusual. It also reminded me of the value of plotting deeds and inspired me to plot Everitt’s 151 acres.

But first I knew it would be necessary to locate the 75 acres that Moses Everitt sold to Gilbert Barton. I cobbled some old tax maps together and easily found where Barton’s lot fit, on the east side of the Klinesville Road, and touching the tavern lot at is southeast corner.[27]

Everitt’s 151.7-acre tract never did include the Point Tavern lot. Just one of many examples of how historic research can always turn up surprises.


WordPress is giving me a hard time. Not only was the website hacked a few months ago, making it too dangerous to permit comments, a huge disappointment to me, but now I find that its latest improvement, involving footnotes, makes me wonder if it makes any sense to use footnotes at all. Stay tuned.


[1] This and the following references to tavern license petitions are taken from copies of the petitions available on Family Search. As far as I know, this was the only instance in which Peter spelled his name Cherery.

[2] H.C. Deed Book 32 p. 533.

[3] H.C. Deed Book 44 p.116.

[4] H.C. Deeds Book 24 pp. 187, 189.

[5] H.C. Deed Book 13 p.186. A perch, also known as a rod or a pole, as a measurement of length is equivalent to a quarter of a surveyor’s chain which is 66 feet. When used to describe the size of a property, it equals a 1/160th of an acre.

[6] H.C. Deed Book 13 p.361.

[7] H.C. Deed Book 16, p.349.

[8] H.C. Deed Book 12 p. 246.

[9] H.C. Deed Book 15 p.606.

[10] H.C. Deed Book 15 p.577.

[11] H.C. Deed Book 15 p.575.

[12] H.C. Deed Book 3 p.68.

[13] H.C. Deed Book 3 p.68.

[14] H.C. Deed Book 9 p.413. The deed from Robert & Mary Emley to Jonathan Roberts was not recorded in Hunterdon County.

[15] I have no information on his parents or his origins, but suspect he was the son of John Conrad who died intestate in 1749, leaving a wife Elizabeth.

[16] H.C. Deeds Book 15 pp.77, 578.

[17] H.C. Deed Book 17, lot 234.

[18] H.C. Deed Book 22 p.54.

[19] Pamphlet, Stephen Zdepski, “Baptists in Kingwood, New Jersey,” 1974; pp. 9-10.

[20] H.C. Deed Book 18 p.57.

[21] H.C. Deeds Book 21 p.293 and Book 22 p.54.

[22] H.C. Deed Book 32 p.476. I have no information on Peter Polhemus’s family, or whether he was related in any way to the family of Cornelius Polhemus of Amwell.

[23] Oct. 21, 1821, H.C. Deed Book 32 p.533.

[24] H.C. Deed Book 44 p.116.

[25] H.C. Deeds, Book 64 pp. 168, 165.

[26] Recital in H.C. Deed Book 70 p.238.

[27] I had hoped to include a copy of that map on this article, but just now my printer failed me, and those ‘cobbled tax maps’ are none too pretty. I hope to eventually get a map together to share here.