George Newcom was born in Ireland. In 1775, his parents came to America and lived for a while in Delaware. They then traveled on to Pennsylvania where George met and married Mary Henderson and took her on to Cincinnati. They lived there for two years before coming to Dayton.
Soon after his arrival in what was to be Dayton, he built a log cabin. This structure served for him and his wife as shelter and later for a kitchen. Not long thereafter, half of Newcom’s tavern was built with one lower room and one upper. In the winter of 1798-99, two more rooms were added. The first well in the vicinity was drilled nearby. A barn was erected to take care of Newcom’s horses and those of travelers.
Robert Edgar, a woodworker, was employed by Newcom at six shillings a day to build the tavern from hewn logs. Edgar’s board and lodging were not included. However, Newcom indicated that one deer a week would take care of the matter. So Edgar would wait at the river’s edge where the deer came to drink and there shoot his animal early in the morning, so as not to interfere with a day’s work.
Newcom’s tavern was located in the town’s center and was a gathering place for villagers and strangers passing through. In 1810, Newcom purchased the land adjoining his and built the county’s first brewery. The size and output of the brewery are unknown but it was likely a very small facility producing common beer for travelers and a few locals.
When Newcom took part in the war of 1812, Robert Graham assumed operations. Newcom died in 1853 and the tavern building remained standing, although it has now been moved to Carillon Historical Park.
George Newcom died on February 25, 1853 at the age of 82. Mary, his wife, died April 3, 1834 at the age of 69. Mary was removed from one of the downtown cemeteries and was laid to rest with her husband in Section 16 Lot 53 on February 27, 1853
Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum is located at 118 Woodland Avenue off of Brown Street near the UD Campus. The Woodland Office is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday 8 am to 12 pm. The Cemetery and Arboretum are open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. The Mausoleum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information call 937-228-3221 or visit the Woodland website.