also read- Some Hazeldean Secrets.. Remember Chequers?
Most people have an idea that, rightly or wrongly, in the old days of the stopping places along the country roads, the keepers of these places made a lot more out of whiskey than they made from supplying meals and lodging to the wayfarers.
But in the opinion of Mr. Wm. Scott, of Old Chelsea, the hotelkeepers could have made a living without the sale of whiskey at all. He points out that in the early days when railroads were scarce everybody had to travel by the roads and everybody had to have horses to travel with. These horses had to be stabled.
The stables were a great source of profit to the old hotelkeepers. The stables seldom had an empty stall. It will be remembered that in the early days the hotelkeepers used to advertise their “stable accommodation.” They advertised “good yard and stabling.”
The hotel tables also paid well then. The standard price for a meal was 25 cents and at that price a meal used to pay. All kinds of food, especially meat and farm produce, was cheap. Mr. Scott maintains that while the liquor the hotelkeepers sold also paid them well, they could have done without it and have made a living.
The early hotel keepers sold liquor, partly for the protit, out largely because there was a demand for it. There were few people who did not “take something” fifty, sixty or seventy years ago, and consequently the stopping places had a demand for it.