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Michie Tavern in Virginia
Posted by: Tawnya Michie Kumarakulasingam Date: June 09, 1999 at 05:47:48
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My great uncle D.F. Michie visited the Michie Tavern in VA and emailed me the following story years after his visit to the tavern. The story about the Michie Tavern goes as follows. When the John Michie who survived hanging and finally worked his way free from being indentured he somehow acquired a farm but was not a very good farmer. However, his farm house was on the main intersection of several major roads (especially the road to Washington, D.C.) and invariably people would knock on his door and ask for shelter, food, and spirits. John Michie found that it was much easier to run a hostel than it was to till the land. He had a neighbor who made excellent whiskey so he had a source for the spirits that he sold. The neighbor made such good whiskey that the travelers began to ask for the whiskey by saying the last name of the distiller. John Michie founded the first drive-in liquor store. He slept by a window and when the customers would ride up, and knock on the window, John Michie would serve them through the window. The neighbor who made the excellent whiskey was named John Booze. That is how the word booze came into common language usage. The customers would knock on John Michie's window and would say, "Give me a bottle of booze." It became common usage to use the word booze instead of whiskey. Prior to the Revolutionary War, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Patrick Henry, and their cronies used to gather at John Michie's Tavern to plot against the English. John Michie fought with Washington. When the war was over, the story is that he promoted himself to Colonel and was addressed as Colonel Michie for the rest of his life. When he came home from the war his rank was corporal. The tavern remained in the Michie family control but was sold to a corporation and is now a tourist attraction about seven miles from Jefferson's Monticello. They sell excellent fried chicken, per my Great Uncle D.F. Michie, but would not give him a discount even though he proved his surname was Michie.

On another note, my Uncle D.F. did not capitalize the E in English when he wrote the story above saying that he did that on purpose because his father (also David Francis) always used to tell him that he had a drop of English blood but to make sure to never tell anyone. The English blood came through Uncle D.F.'s paternal grandmother's father - although this man had left England as a child to work on a ship and didn't really return to England after sailing the world - went to the US and is buried in Nebraska.


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