If you were traveling West on the old National Road, the first tavern you would encounter would be the Shellbark. You could see it from the Great Crossing Bridge. Peter Lenhart was the innkeeper. It was built by a man named Ebert, a tanner and justice of the peace, as a private residence. The two-story house was made of logs but then weather-boarded and sold to Peter's father as a private residence until his death. His son, Peter, opened it as a tavern and added a distillery. He was known to be eccentric and had two tones in his voice like Orator Puff. Every morning he would butter a large slice of bread and eat it with a glass of whiskey. After his death his wife and daughter stayed in the old house, and sometimes entertained travelers satisfactorily. In 1914, a man journaled that four friends went to the old Shellbark and were given a good supper for 50 cents each and were given two rooms for the night at 25 cents each. The beds were comfortable enough and being tired expected a good night's sleep. After settling down the visitors said, "the live stock, whose ancestors probably arrived in Shellbark during pike days, became very active and we spent most of the night in a game with the little bugs as they scampered across the white sheets. The next morning we were served with a good breakfast of fired potatoes, flapjacks with maple syrup and plenty of butter and sausage on the side." The origin of the name Shellbark is a mystery, unless it has some reference to those little hard-backed bugs.
The first photo, showing the bridge and the Shellbark in the distance, was recently donated by Mel Remington. We thank Mel for his generosity.