Let’s talk about Denmark

Definition of doggery

a cheap saloon (a dive)

Doggery  was a name of a drinking establishment in Britain. The next was the Taverns, and then the Pubs, short for Public Houses

As the settlers came to America in every community there would be a drinking establishment and of course a place of worship. The settlers moved west to set up their homesteads. The drinking establishments went from Doggery, Tavern, Pubs, to Saloons.

In Denmark Tn. there were churches and drinking establishments. A lot of the citizens of Denmark called the drinking establishment across of the Denmark church a Doggery, as  an insult. In fact this establishment was one of the finest ,what we would call a Tavern, this part of the frontier. Single male travelers would stop get a meal, rent a bed and have a few drinks before moving further West.

The Taverns had a bar ,tables for eating downstairs , then up stairs they had ‘sleeping’ rooms. The sleeping rooms were made up of one or two rooms with several beds in each room along with a room to clean up. Soon the Taverns became Saloons that name stuck.Ladies and children would stay at the Hotel or Boarding Houses since at that time ladies were not allowed in these establishments. Women worked there but not ladies enough about that….with the exception of the owners wife or family that is a different story.
One of my favorite Mr. Billy stories.
It was a warm day and one of the Reid boys saddled his horse and headed to Denmark. Of course if his mother had known he was headed for the Doggery he would not have gotten off the farm . As he was riding along he heard wagons, he got off the main road. Then he saw them, the troops of the 30th Illinois marching toward Denmark.
He went the back way and made it to the back of the church just before the troops did. He could not get across to the Doggery so he did what he could, hid under the Church. Little did he know the troops were going to set up camp on the grounds. It was said he saw one of the soldiers take his horse and there was nothing he could do.
Night fell but there was too much activity so all he could do was wait. He fell asleep under the church. For whatever reason he woke up and saw his chance. The soldiers were all asleep and the night guards were out by the horses and wagons.
The young man saw his chance and ran toward the church bell and while he had a chance he pulled the rope, the bell clanked to life. As the soldiers tried to calm the horses the young man ran across the street to safety of the Doggery.
After the soldiers left he got back to the family farm without his horse and saddle. Needless to say when the story got out and his mother found out it was not pleasant for the young man.


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