The Gooding House and TavernKnown as the "Halfway House," the Gooding House and Tavern was built by George B. Gooding halfway between the towns of Worthington and Delaware in 1827. Its location was influenced by construction of the Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike that was chartered by the State of Ohio the year before. Also known as the "Mud Pike," the turnpike was slow and difficult for travelers and could take nearly a day to travel 10 miles. The Gooding House was the perfect place for stagecoach drivers to change teams of horses and for travelers to rest and have refreshments. George Gooding also prospered as a farmer with over 1,000 acres of land. This stately brick farmstead remained in the Gooding family for 175 years with each succeeding generation adding its imprint on the property. The Gooding House and Tavern was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and restored in 2007.
Rural Taverns in Early Ohio HistoryStagecoach and wagon travel during the early 1800s in Ohio was arduous, and the rural tavern played an essential role by providing a place to change horses and give passengers shelter and refreshment. Early taverns and inns often featured a large public room with a tap room at one end and a dining room to the rear, the kitchen and pantry in an extension or ell, and guest bedrooms on the second floor. Although the quality of accommodations varied widely, laws required the tavern owner to be licensed and to provide food and shelter in addition to alcoholic beverages. Often, the tavern was the only public location between settlements, playing an important role in early communication and business. Tavern operators were often farmers as well, providing a ready market for their agricultural goods. As the railroads eclipsed road travel in the 1850s, the traditional stagecoach inn and tavern began to die out.