Rising Star Lodge, A.F. & A.M. - Cobb's Tavern

Cobb's Tavern

Cobb's Tavern

Historic Proposal

About 1836, when a stone viaduct was being built in Canton for the railroad, a construction engineer named John Duff stayed at Cobb's Tavern while working on the project. Duff became enamoured of Kezlah Cobb, one of Jonathon Cobb's daughters, and finally proposed marriage.

The proposal was made in the upstairs parlor. This room is separated from the old Masonic Hall, or ballroom, by only a thin partition. They clearly heard the importuning of Mr. Duff, and Keziah's firm refusal.

Duff was a persistent chap, however, and perhaps the viaduct took a long time to build; at any rate, Keziah finally, at a somewhate later date, consented to become Mrs. Duff. This appears to have been a source of great grief for Jonathon, who on his deathbod, is sald to have exhorted all who loved Kezlah to take care of her, for "That Duff wlll never come to anything, I am sure." Engineering was a doubtful profession in those days, and railroading even more so. But Duff did better than Jonathon feared, for he became vice president of Union Pacific Railroad, and was one of those honored men who drove the golden spike that connected the East with the West when the two great railroads were joined. He also became wealthy, and packages from "Aunty Duff" arrived frequently at Cobb*s Tavern.

Circus Slept Here

As for the circuses whose members stayed at Cobb's Tavern, the most complete record of their doings seems to be set down in the mysteriously missing account book of the late Warren Cobb.

A local newspaper in 1932 speaks of the account book as having been "turned up recently," but cautiously falls to mention just where it has turned up; and there consequently is no way of telling from this where the book then was, or might now be. Post Office affairs, as well as the circuses, are mentioned. "As late as the Civil War every letter mailed at Sharon was registered in this long-columned account book," says the newspaper.

"Several circuses came to Sharon during the time this book was kept - Van Amburgh's Menagerie, Howe's Trans-Atlantic Circus and G. F. Bailey's. Later on, in 1872, Howe's Circus became 'The Great London Circus and Menagerie of Trained Animals.'

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Captain Anthony Palermo Jr.

In Memoriam

A Tribute to Rising Star Lodges' Fallen Brother, U.S. Army Captain Anthony Palermo, Jr.