Covington History: Joe Harper’s New Bar Room
Downtown Covington has always been an epicenter for business activity. To succeed, one must remain viable and competitive. In the mid-1850’s, Covington had 11 saloons and a general store with a bar. A gentleman named Joe Harper decided to get in on the action by opening a saloon of his own, the New Bar Room, located under Dorsett’s General Store. On opening night, June 3, 1869, Harper decided to send a tray of ice cold beer to Covington’s only newspaper office, the Georgia Enterprise. As a result of this one act, an article appeared in the newspaper the next day thanking Harper and praising his bar! Harper proved his business acumen, especially in his advertising. Most stores would simply advertise the merchandise they had to offer, while Harper included health benefits and other positive aspects of his products. The poster below is a great example of this detailed vein of advertising.
Joe Harper’s new marketing approach, 149 years ago, made an impression on Covington’s business community and on local history. Why not make your own impression on Covington? Visit our picturesque city and explore the many shops, restaurants and businesses we have to offer.