Salisbury was big on ‘communal living rooms’

“In 18th-century America, a time when large families living in small spaces made home life cramped, taverns served as communal living rooms….

“Records show that in 1755, of the seven or eight houses in the town of Salisbury, North Carolina, four were taverns or inns. One Rowan County clergyman summed up the situation succinctly when he lamented that the tavern seemed to be faring far better than the church in the competition for men’s souls.”

— From “America’s most impressive historic survivors just may be our taverns…” by Stephen Beaumont and Janet Fortran in American Heritage, June/July 2003