Most urban Americans lived in towns, which had some of the amenities of the larger cities, but lacked some of their sophistication. These towns could be found all over the country, but especially in the North and Northwest. Most towns had taverns, which served as the nerve center of the community. The local residents would go to the tavern to pick up their mail, catch up on the latest news, hear stories from travelers and meet friends. In small towns, the tavern was usually the largest building, so that local residents often set up entertainment and meetings there.