Blue Anchor Tavern



Since CARR is a family name, while doing research at the Historical Society of PA on old taverns, it looks like a fellow named Carr is responsible for the very genesis of taverns in Philadelphia. I’m currently targeting an establishment called “The Blue Anchor’, later name changed to the “Boatswain and Call” and then changed back. It also changed location a number of times but for a hundred or more years was on a bluff overlooking the Delaware at Budd’s Row, in what is now known as Penn’s Landing. The Blue Anchor, according to this document, was Penn and his party’s first stop off the boat, and for years afterward Billy Penn could be seen on the porch smoking a pipe. The Blue Anchor is stated as present, in a different location in 1896, at Dock street below Second.

As for the Carr angle, it’s recorded in a report made to the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania on November 9, 1896, and published in the “Bulletin of the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania #2” that “the tavern was facing a landing on a higher bluff… in the year 1671 [ten years before before Penn arrived] it was proposed by Captain CARR to Governor and Council [of New Castle, a trading post founded by the Dutch East India Company]…”‘that ye number of Victuallers or Tappers of strong drink be ascertained, that is to say, Three only for ye town & and some few up ye river, who ye officers shall think fitt and approve of the same few up ye river.’ The Blue Anchor became one.”

So it was a Carr idea to institute the food & beverage industry in America. And the Blue Anchor had one of “some few” liquor licenses.


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