The Pig’s Ear

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The Pig’s Ear by John Climenhage, 2001-2005 oil on panel 12″X16″

The Pig’s Ear, dubbed The Piggy by regulars, was a former hotel, that became a tavern that graced downtown Peterborough for 152 years. It had a long history and many stories including one that Hank Williams got drunk on stage and had to be escorted out of the bar.

Before it closed, photographer Wayne Eardley created a black and white tribute to the iconic bar. He writes, “Peterborough’s underground music scene has been alive and well for over a century. The Pigs Ear has been around for just as long, providing a venue for musicians, poets, intellectuals and drunks. If James Joyce hung out in Peterborough it would have been at the Piggy.”

A controversy arose when the owner of the much-loved local tavern sold the property to developer Parkview Homes who planned to tear it down, along with the Black Horse Pub, another popular and historic watering hole, and had obtained a demolition permit, since it did not have historical designation. The news brought to light the backlog of buildings which had been recommended, but not legally designated as historic, leaving them vulnerable to demolition. The developer subsequently put the property back on the market.

The Pig’s Ear

The lack in a city
equivalent to
the fight against that lack. 

Alcohol is common.
Brick is common.

Both are necessary 
to sieges,
the good fight.

This building,
a war, 
warren.

We dug in here
because all the good soil

elsewhere 
was already drunk

by developers,
and the factories here
now almost out of Springsteen songs.

	No pigs, please,
	if we decide to take this loss too personally―

We each carry a peace
that has nothing to do
with the hurt we drink against. 

Let’s become bricks
if this ever happens again,

when they come for our next 
institutional dive,

or, for the first time
in this Schrödinger’s downtown,

build something withstanding.  

-JM
B.A. Johnston, local musician, misses the Pig’s Ear.
Last Beer at the Pig’s Ear is an award-winning documentary about the last days of the 152 year old tavern.
Peter Blow – Writer / Director
Malcolm Byard – Producer
Rob Viscardis – Editor / Cinematographer

This web page is part of The Climenhage Project Walking Tour.
View a map of more locations here »

© John Climenhage 2020

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