Covington History: Joe Harper’s New Bar Room

No one can say that Covington History isn’t full of interesting events, and the opening of Joe Harper’s New Bar Room is certainly one of them.  Anyone interested in Covington’s History will enjoy this video from Blair on the Square about the opening of this establishment.

By the mid1850’s, Covington Georgia had 11 saloons, as well as 1 General Store with a bar, located around the downtown square.  While exact sales aren’t known, the fact that there were so many different saloons  shows that there was plenty of businessto support them.

On June 3, 1869 the Covington Business man Jo Harper decided to open up his own saloon, named the “New Bar Room”.  This saloon was located in the basement of Corley and Dorsett’s General Store.  To make his business stand out, he used advertising that was different from the standard of the time.  Most advertising just listed a product and where to get it, but Joe’s promoted his different offerings and the benefits they would provide.

To gain new customers on night he opened, Joe sent a tray of cold beers around cornerto the offices of the Georgia Enterprise, which was Covington’s only newspaper.  The next day, an article ran in the Georgia Enterprise, thanking Joe for the beers and praising his saloon.


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