4–17-08 Sell­ersville The­ater, Sell­ersville, PA poster by David Singer

4/17/08 Moonalice poster by David SingerApril 17, 2008 Sell­ersville The­ater, Sell­ersville, Pennsylvania
Moon­al­ice poster by David Singer

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, George Wash­ing­ton was the biggest hemp farmer in north­ern Vir­ginia. Hemp was a strate­gic crop in those days and high pro­file farm­ers like Wash­ing­ton had a very per­sonal rela­tion­ship with cus­tomers. In George’s case, cus­tomers sig­naled their need for sup­plies by putting up a sign that read, “George Wash­ing­ton slept here.” While hemp’s role in the econ­omy is dif­fer­ent today, cus­tomers still find that “George Wash­ing­ton slept here” signs are an effec­tive way to indi­cate a need for re-supply.

Given the size of Washington’s sales ter­ri­tory — it ran from Vir­ginia to Con­necti­cut — sev­eral towns emerged as dis­tri­b­u­tion hubs. Sell­ersville, PA was one of these towns. Some have sug­gested it may have been the eBay of hemp in the 18th cen­tury. We don’t know.

Upon arrival in Sell­ersville we went in search of evi­dence of Moon­al­ice pres­ence in the region. Our sus­pi­cions imme­di­ately fell on the Wash­ing­ton House hotel. It had the cus­tom­ary land­mark sta­tus and a cou­ple of his­tor­i­cal mark­ers out front. But no “George Wash­ing­ton Slept Here.” We found this odd as the hotel’s claim to fame is that Wash­ing­ton really did sleep there. The lack of sign meant one of two things: either the hotel is owned by peo­ple who are not yet mem­bers of the tribe or they already have all the hemp they need, thanks. We’d like to think it’s the latter.

M52

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