Even though I grew up in Baltimore County, I never knew that there used to be a bear kept in a bar in Pikesville! An article appearing in the Bedford Gazette from February 6, 1947 notes a young girl was mauled by the bear. Here's the story:
Mauled by Bear
A four-year-old girl, mauled and bitten by a full-grown black bear, was taken to the University Hospital, Baltimore in a serious condition Thursday.
The bear was the delight of childen and a neighborhood attraction for several years at Seven Mile House, historic tavern at nearby Pikesville.
The child, Anna Louise Hastings, and her six-year-old brother, James, were walking by the bear's cage yesterday when the aniaml reached out a paw. The bear grabbed the girl's left leg and dragged her screaming to the bars of the cage.
As I was telling my husband the story, he mentioned that he remembered hearing as a kid about some bar in the area that kept a live bear in a cage, so apparently those old stories were true!
Old taverns and inns have facinsated me for a long time as there always seem to be interesting stories attached to them, such as the one below:
Workman Unearths Old Bag of Gold1
Disappears with Ancient Treasure Found in Historic Tavern
West Chester, Dec. 27 (UP) Thee bags, said to have contained gold, and a Coatesville workman disappeared simultaneously fromt he Brick Tavenr, a historic inn along the Horseshoe Pike near Honey Brook.
Thomas Kelleher, Philadelphia, recently purchased the tavern property and decided to have the building, erected in 1806, restores. During the renovation, the workmen uncovered an old fireplace whichhad been boarded over.
One day, Mrs. Kelleher entered the room where the fireplace was uncovered. She saw one of the workmen standing alone, holding three bulging bags of homespun material and several round yellow objects. She asked the man what he had found.
"Oh, just a couple bags of old tags," she said he replied.
The workman remained at the tavern overnight but left the next day, explaining he was ill. He left the bags behind but took the contents along. he has not neen seen there since.
Kelleher reported that he had learned the man had paid back board at Coatesville with gold and had departed.
Former owners of the tavern recalled an old lamp-lighter who had died suddenly following an accident. They believed that this man might have hidden the gold, if gold it was.
"Next time I'll tear away my own hearthstone," Kelleher said. "I don't miss what I never had but the discoverer might have divided the gold withme if that is what he found."
I'm not sure quite where this old tavern was, but I'd certainly like to know more about it.
Notes and References
- 1. The Morning News (Danville, PA), 28 Dec 1931