Taking inspiration from one of my favorite books, John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day by Art Loux, I’m documenting a different Lincoln assassination or Booth family event each day on my Twitter account. In addition to my daily #OTD (On This Day) tweets, each Sunday I’ll be posting them here for the past week. If you click on any of the pictures in the tweet, it will take you to its individual tweet page on Twitter where you can click to make the images larger and easier to see. Since Twitter limits the number of characters you can type in a tweet, I often include text boxes as pictures to provide more information. I hope you enjoy reading about the different events that happened over the last week.
NOTE: After weeks of creating posts with multiple embedded tweets, this site’s homepage now tends to crash from trying to load all the different posts with all the different tweets at once. So, to help fix this, I’ve made it so that those viewing this post on the main page have to click the “Continue Reading” button below to load the full post with tweets. Even after you open the post in a separate page, it may still take awhile for the tweets to load completely. Using the Chrome browser seems to be the best way to view the tweets, but may still take a second to switch from just text to the whole tweet with pictures.
Categories: History, OTD
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Acting, Booth Family, Boston, Dr. Samuel Mudd, Edman Spangler, Edwin Booth, Ford's Theatre, Horsehead, John Wilkes Booth, Lewis Powell, Mary Ann Booth, National Hotel, Oil, Relics, Samuel Knapp Chester, Speeches, Surratt Boardinghouse, William Seward
Forget the possibility of human head transplants, and say hello to a recently restored Horsehead tavern sign.
The sign outside of Horsehead Tavern, a waypoint marking one of the two possible routes Booth and Herold took between the Surratt Tavern and Dr. Mudd’s, had fallen into disrepair over the last few years and was completely missing for awhile.
The new sign here at Horsehead is a bit different than the previous one. Instead of the image of the horse being painted onto planks of wood, the entire middle part of the sign seems to be made of a type of ceramic.
You can view more images of Horsehead Tavern and its signs in the Horsehead Tavern Picture Gallery.
Horsehead Tavern in Baden, MD, is an extremely minor place in the story of the Lincoln assassination. After leaving John Lloyd at the Surratt Tavern in Clinton, we know that John Wilkes Booth and Davy Herold rode their way through the small neighborhood of T.B. After this, the next stop the pair made was at Dr. Mudd’s house. A modern-day highway marker on the side of Route 301/5, states the following:
Those individuals who have taken the Surratt Society’s Booth Escape Route Tours will not recognize this sign, as the tour does not pass it. This is due to the fact that, despite the assertion by this sign, we are not exactly sure where Booth and Herold crossed over into Charles County. While the sign provides a possible route, many “old timers” in the field have long-held that the more probable route the assassins took between T.B. and Dr. Mudd’s is one that goes by the Horsehead Tavern.
Horsehead Tavern was similar to the Surratt Tavern. Both served as the local post offices with the communities around them bearing their names (Surrattsville/Horsehead). Both were on the stagecoach lines and often had visitors making their way north or south. The two served as taverns and rented rooms to those who needed a place to stay. And lastly, both had run ins with John Wilkes Booth.
The only known time of John Wilkes Booth going to the Surratt Tavern was his escape after shooting President Lincoln. Rumor has it though that John Wilkes Booth visited and slept at Horsehead Tavern in the fall of 1864 while scouting his future abduction/escape route. An image from 1903 marks the bedroom where Booth is said to have slept.
If the story is true, then we know that John Wilkes Booth was at least familiar with the roads around Horsehead, making it a possible route for him to take on his way to Dr. Mudd’s. In truth, Horsehead Tavern is little more than a possible waypoint on the escape route. Nevertheless, it is still standing today and the newest Picture Gallery here on BoothieBarn.