The Tavern

Historical Significance

The Tavern, the oldest of Abingdon's historic buildings and one of the oldest buildings west of the Blue Ridge, was built in 1779 as a tavern and overnight inn for stage coach travelers. From 1858 to 1965, the Tavern remained in the ownership of one African American family, Thaddeus and Mary Jane Harris and their descendants. The Tavern is located on the Old Indian Trail and Wilderness Road, the primary transportation and migration route for early settlers traveling to the West. The first post office west of the Blue Ridge was located in the east wing of the Tavern. The original mail slot is still in place, and can be seen today from the street. During the Civil War, the Tavern was used as a field hospital for wounded Confederate and Union soldiers. During the past two centuries, the Tavern has served as a tavern, bank, bakery, general store, cabinet shop, barber shop, private residence, post office, antique shop and restaurant.

Physical Description

In 1984, the Tavern was restored by Abingdon attorney Emmitt F. Yeary. The Tavern is constructed of two-foot thick brick and stone walls, with plaster over wood lathe, log beams, hand-forged locks, bolts, and hinges, wood shingles, hand-hewn timbers, hand-planed poplar lumber, hand-cut stone and hand-made bricks. The original building was constructed in the American colonial style.

Geographical and Contact Information

222 East Main Street
Abington, Virginia
24212
Phone: 540-628-1118

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “The Tavern,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed November 24, 2017, http://www.aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/427.

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