A midwestern tavern of high repute: nineteenth-century ceramics and socioeconomic status at the Mansion House Hotel of Centerville, Indiana
A relative dearth of archaeological data concerning the lifeways of midwestern taverns in the nineteenth-century has led to the assessment of a previously untested claim to high socioeconomic status by the 1830s Mansion House Hotel of Centerville, Indiana as a means to illuminate tavern lifeways. Such socioeconomic status can be revealed through comparison of the Mansion House to the historical record of taverns as well as through its ceramic collection. By means of cataloging, ceramics were classified and ranked by decoration along with consideration for their ware types, function, and forms. The majority of the collection analyzed was found to be within the highest tier of decoration for nineteenth-century ceramics as well as predominately tableware-related. This suggests that the Mansion House was a high-status establishment whose main method of status display may have been its meal and table services.