Puskaru and Mustajõe
We continue along the Old Postal Road, marked with striped Milestones. After 20 minutes we reach to PUSKARU Village. The place name Puskaru (Pusskaro) was first mentioned in 1617 as a Farm name. There are reports about the Piigandi Mansion’s Puskaru Village from 1627.
The Puskaru Tavern is listed in the Tartu County Road Map of 1695 as a working tavern, but there are data about the tavern place 10 years earlier. The Puskaru Tavern originally belonged to the Old Piigandi Mansion and later to the Sõreste Mansion. According to the 1909 Address Book, in the former tavern building was located the Jan Borkmann’s Farm Goods Store. By that time, the State Alcohol Sales Monopoly had come into force and many taverns had ceased to operate. It became and remained a Shop, until the Store was closed in the early 1990s.
There are two buildings opposite the Tavern – the log house was used as a granary (1903), but the fieldstone building belonged to a linen merchant.
Before the II World War was held fairs in there at every year. At present, the Shop Bus stops at 10.40 on Thursdays at the former granary. Good enough.
At the Crossroads we go straight ahead onto Võru. The Sign says that it is 2.5 km from the Road Museum. The Puskaru Bus Stop is a good place for a little breath. During or after the resting, you will find an interesting reading on the Stands about the Old Postal Road Stories.
Ok, the road goes on. In about three-quarters of an hour we reach the Sikajala Bus Stop. A little more and we are at the Signs Marking the beginning of Põlva Parish and MUSTAJÕE. At the Mustajõe Bus Stop, we read that a Shop Car goes here twice a week: on Tuesdays at 2.30 pm and on Thursdays at 12.15 pm.
We look at the clock at the former Mustajõe Tavern – it took an hour and three quarters to get here from Tilleorg, of which almost half an hour was spent on a break. It’s 4 km from Puskaru to Mustajõe.
The Mustajõe Tavern belonged to the Tilsi Mansion. There are definite records of the Tavern’s activities from 1695. The Tavern building currently standing by the Road was probably built in the first half of the 19th Century. The Tavern included a cowshed, a granary, a threshing-barn and a smithy. The stable was under one roof with the living and tavern rooms.
After the establishment of the State Alcohol Sales Monopoly on the, the doors of the Tavern were closed here, and then Tavernkeeper Andreas Müürsepp became a Shopkeeper. The Shop belonged to Tilsi Mansion. In the early 1920s, the tavern and the land belonging to it were bought by Ruben Kolk, who continued to run the Shop here. Before the Second World War, the Mustajõe Tavern had a Post Office and a Telephone Point. There was also a Creamery in the Tavern.
The Mustajõe Tavern is one of the most representative of the surviving taverns on the Tartu–Võru Road and is under State Protection as a Building Monument. In recent years, the dilapidated buildings, across the road, have been demolished and the columns of the Tavern have been freshly bleached.
At the Mustajõe Tavern we cross the Orajõe River, after the bridge we step off the Postal Road, turn left and walk towards Tilsi. It is 2.5 km away.
By Daila Aas, in September 2019
Tartu–Võru postitee ajaloolise teeruumi uuring (Koostatud projekti “Postitee perspektiivse väljaarendamise kava ja sotsiaalmajandusliku tasuvuse analüüsi koostamine” raames). Koostanud: Marge Rennit, Eesti Maanteemuuseumi juhataja Mairo Rääsk. Varbuse, 2006.