PERRYVILLE — Rodgers Tavern Museum in Perryville hosted their first fundraiser on Saturday since the COVID-19 pandemic with “Tap into the Tavern,” bringing five local breweries to the historic site.
“What you see going on now has happened over and over again, over the course of this building’s over 270 some odd year old history, “ Jennifer Pitts, director of the museum, said. “Friends and families, neighbors, new friends, and old friends gathering together enjoying a good drink, sitting back, hanging out and talking.”
Proceeds of the event will benefit the activities of the Museum, which was originally created in 1695 as the Ferry House or Stevenson’s Tavern, built alongside the ferry that connected Perryville and Havre De Grace. The tavern did not cease operations until the 1880’s. In the 1950’s and 1960’s a group of preservationists worked to save the tavern when it was threatened with demolition.
Pitts said taverns in the 18th and 19th century were an important community gathering place citing a historian saying they functioned as the modern day equivalents of a library, a bar, a hotel and social media.
“It was just the central nervous system that we don’t really have today,” Pitts said. “Rural taverns like this really didn’t become segregated by class for a long time.”
Currently, the Museum is limited to self guided tours of the exhibits.
“Some of the best conversations I have are with visitors,” Pitts said. “I enjoy questions.”
Volunteer Lauren Troxell got involved in the museum after she moved to Perryville and wanted to learn more about the community.
“It’s a great way to remind people the museum is here,” Troxell said. “A lot of people didn’t know we opened back up after COVID.”
The band Alter Ego provided the entertainment for the event. There was also a silent auction with around 20 items to benefit the Museum.
The breweries included 5th Company Brewery, a Perryville company set to open down the street from Rodgers Tavern before the end of the year. Other local institutions included Charm City Meadworks, Olney Winery, Bayheads Brewing Company, and 5th Company Brewing. Readers interested in contributing to the museum can contact the museum at RTMuseum@perryvillemd.org