WESTMINSTER — Bob Lowry may own the original Cockey's Tavern, but that doesn't stop him from admiring its replica.
The wooden replica of the 18th-century city tavern went on display at the Hickory Stick store here last week as the third and newest addition to the four-piece WestminsterSeries. The pieces are part of the Cat's Meow Village Series of wooden collectibles that represent notable buildings of the United States.
The Westminster Series comprises the Almshouse (Farm Museum), Little Baker Chapel and Cockey's Tavern.
The old jail house on Court Street, which will complete the set, is scheduled to arrive around New Year's.
The Cat's Meow Village Series was created and designed by Faline Jones, of F.J. Designs of Wooster, Ohio.
Lowry, who has owned Cockey's Tavern for six years, said he is impressed with the series and pleased to have his quaint establishment depicted.
"I think it is a nice idea to do the replicas of some of the historical buildings here in Westminster, and we are honored that they chose ours," he said.
Cockey's Tavern was built in 1782 and served as one of five taverns and hotels used as stagecoach stopovers in the early 1800sfor travelers on the road from Baltimore to Pittsburgh. Of the original five, Cockey's is the only tavern left.
The first session of county Circuit Court was April 3, 1837, in the main dining room of Cockey's Tavern when Westminster became the seat of the newly formed Carroll County.
During the Civil War, both Confederate and Union troops frequented the tavern. During the Battle of Westminster in June 1863, Confederate troops andUnion cavalry fought near there.
Local lore has it that Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and his officers enjoyed the room,board and company of the maids at Cockey's.
Sandy Scott and CindyRaub, co-owners of the Hickory Stick, have been carrying accessory pieces from the Cat's Meow Village Series since they bought the Pennsylvania Avenue store nearly 18 months ago.
"We both have always liked the Cat's Meow Village Series. And when we found out that you could commission other types of work through F.J. Designs, we did," said the 38-year-old Raub.
F.J. Designs required Raub and Scott to sell$4,000 worth of the designer's regular creations from the Cat's MeowVillage series from April to October 1990, before applying for a specially commissioned series, said Scott, 34.
"We made the sales, and then we applied for the Westminster series," he said.
Last fall,Raub and Scott selected and photographed buildings they thought would best represent Westminster.
"We thought, 'What do you think of when you think of Westminster?' and we came up with these four pieces," Scott said.
The duo sent their photographs to F.J. Designs, which accepted their selections in January 1991 and arranged the production and delivery schedule.
The buildings were painted, stenciled and silk-screened on 6 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch wood blocks, capturing architectural details shown in the photographs of each structure.
An initial shipment of 250 replicas of Cockey's Tavern made it to the store three weeks ago. Another 250 were just delivered.
"People are really proud of this series," Raub said. "When they come in we are more than happy to give them the history and sit back and relax and talk about Cat's Meow."
Raub and Scott say the response has been so good that they are considering doing another series.
"We have asked thepeople in the area what they would like to see. We have gotten a lotof good ideas which may be the start of another series," said Raub.
Prices for the replicas are $12.50 for the Almshouse and $10.50 for Little Baker Chapel, Cockey's Tavern and the old jail house.
A Mount Airy Series, also by Jones, is available at The Great American Store on Ridgeville Boulevard in Mount Airy.
Included in the seriesare the library, Ridgeville United Methodist Church, St. James Episcopal Church and Town Hall, all priced at $10.75. Replicas of the Mount Airy train station and the Castle, a private residence, sell for $11.95.
"We received our first replica, the library in Mount Airy, in late August 1990," said Mary Spanberger, owner of The Great American Store. "We intend to do more replicas from Mount Airy and possibly other areas in the future."