Part 1, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12
The first tavern of any pretensions, and built and occupied for that purpose, was on the corner where now stands the "American." The building was erected by HENRY COFFEEN, and was sold to JOSEPH CLARK, together with a strip of land on the south side of Arsenal Street, as far as the west line of L. G. HOYT'S lot. Mr. Clark opened his house to the pubic in March 180t, and continued to be its popular landlord till 1811. He then sold his tavern to a Mr. GAGE and bought GERSHOM TUTTLE's interest in Tuttle & Bailey's Mills at the lower dame in Pamelia, and at the same time Clark and Bailey built a small brewery where is now the HAAS BREWERY. Mr. Clark soon after bought Mr. Bailey's interest in the mill and the brewery. The latter was afterwards sold to ANDREW NEWEL. In 1810, Mr. Clark received the appointment of judge for the county, and in 1818 was appointed Sheriff. In the discharge of his duties as judge, Sheriff and hotel keeper, Mr. Clark acquitted himself with honor to himself and satisfaction to the public. Mr. JOSEPH CLARK was the father of CHARLES CLARK and MRS. DYER HUNTINGTON of this city. Mr. Gage did not occupy the tavern but a short time. His successor was ISAAC LEE, who continued to be its very popular and obliging landlord for a long series of years. But very few men ever lived in Watertown so universally and highly esteemed as a hotel keeper, and especially a man and a citizen. Mr. Lee was the father of our late highly esteemed citizen DANIEL LEE, Esq. Mr. Lee had the honor and privilege of entertaining President Monroe on his travels through this part of the State.
It was during Mr Lee's occupancy of the "Old White" house, as it was afterwards called, that the Anti-Masonic excitement was at its height, and for a time raged furiously, not only in political circles, but the different churches were more or less agitated on the subject. Some half a dozen Anti-Masons in the First Presbyterian church made so much ado about the matter that they succeeded in having a public meeting called to talk the matter over, with the confident belief that they could bring the whole church over to their way of thinking. They were given ample time to state their case, and give their reasons why the church should purify itself of all complicity of fellowship with Free Masonry. ISAAC LEE was present at the meeting. He listened very attentively to all the arguments of the Anti-Masons, and when they had go through and had rested their case, Mr. Lee arose and requested the chairman to read the 15th Psalm, which was done. The Anti-Masons were so completely demoralized by the unexpected turn of the case against them that they left the house in disgust and formed a new society of their own way of thinking.
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