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Collins FDC Catalog

K3503

K3503 / Scott 3560

U.S. Military Academy - Bicentennial

West Point Watering Hole

Benny Havens

Subscriber-Only Edition


West Point Bicentennial
Benny Havens Limited Edition


In 1824, an Irishman named Benny Havens opened a taveren in Buttermilk Falls, about a mile from West Point. After dark, a generation of cadets would  secretly beat a path to Benney's door for a home cooked meal  and liguid refreshments. For over 50 years Havens was a friendly adversary to West Point superintendents and a most welcome atmoshere of relaxation for countless students.


In 1825, Cadet Jefferson Davis was caught there and his defense stated he was "only drinking beer". Cadet Egar Allen Poe was a regular customer and later wrote that Benney was "the most congenial soul" he knew while at the Academy. The fun-loving cadet George Armstrong Custer never past up the opportunity to lead a late night foray to Havens' hospitable tavern. The escapades of various cadets that spanned the half centurary of the tavern's operation have become legend at the Academy. A song entitled Benny Havens Oh! (sung to the tune "Wearin' the Green") has emerged as a tribute to his memory with many verses added over the years. The Corps of Cadets have adopted  the song as its unoffical anthem. For old times remembered, they will "sing our reminiscenences of Benny Havens Oh!"

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