Saturday, June 18, 2016

Want to Buy a Tavern?

Well everything I read I seem to find ancestral connections to.
I get an email blast from a real estate company in South Central know, because we are looking to retire someplace and this area, So CenVA, is where my mother's people are from.  Plus is close to where my last living sibling resides.

A property popped up for sale today on my list..........

The link to the listing is HERE.

Now reduced to $320K for a 186 yr old brick home that qualifies to be on the National Historic Register(but renovated inside with all the modern conveniences) and sits on 26 acres.

It is due South of the little town my maternal grandfather was born in, Pamplin, Virginia
This area where Harvey's Tavern sits use to be known as "Chickentown".  It's now called Madisonville, Virginia.  Back in the 1800's this area was called Chickentown because cockfights were held in a pit in front of Harvey's Tavern.  Cockfights, the rock concerts and movieplexes of our 16th and 17th century ancestors.

Back in the day homes or buildings on main roads, where people traveled to the county seat, or homes at intersections of roads, often were turned into ordinaries or taverns.  A place for weary travelers to stop for food, drink or to rest and/or water their horses became public houses/inns/ordinaries/taverns.  They were the gas stations and Holiday Inns of our ancestors who traveled the roads.

Thomas Harvey(1734-1812) owned property that lay on the main road due north that led into the court house of Charlotte County in Virginia.  In 1787 a license was issued to Thomas Harvey to operate a tavern on this property.  Thomas Harvey's son, Colonel Isham Harvey(1773-1842) is credited with having the Brick Tavern pictured above built, circa. 1830.  This Tavern is not the original building Thomas Harvey operated his ordinary out of as the license was issued 40+ years before this structure was built but this Tavern house built by his son Isham is still standing.

You'll notice that the realtor is marketing this Tavern as one that Patrick Henry was thought to frequent.  This is a bit misleading on two accounts--
1-While Patrick Henry did live in this area of Charlotte County Virginia at the end of his life, Henry died in 1799, meaning Patrick Henry couldn't have frequented this Brick Tavern as it was built 30 years after he passed.  Mr. Henry may have frequented it's predecessor as the ordinary license was issued in 1787.
2-The marketing says that "Presumed stop by Patrick Henry when on his way to Charlotte Court House."
Even if you disregard that Henry was dead 30 years before it was built, Patrick Henry's home, RED HILL, was due west of the court house.  He would have had to travel what is now US Route 40 East (known locally in town as Patrick Henry Highway)to go to the county seat/court house.  Madisonville where Harvey's Tavern is located, is due North of Charlotte Court House, on US Route 47(known locally in town as Thomas Jefferson Highway).

The grey line is the direct route from Red Hill to the Brick Tavern in Madisonville VA.  Notice how Charlotte Court House is east of the route traveled.

As you can plainly see, traveling between Brookneal(Patrick Henry's estate) and Madisonville(Harvey's Tavern) does not take you through Charlotte Court House Virginia.  Using the known roads of that time Mr. Henry would have had to travel due east on 40 and then, when he arrived at Charlotte Court House, he'd have to travel north on 47 to get to Harvey's Tavern.
Patrick Henry may have lifted a tankard or two at Harvey's Tavern in his day, but he didn't do it along his route from his home to the court house....that part is pure fiction.

And if you can't believe me who can you believe?
After all my 5 x Great Grandfather sold Patrick Henry a tract of land in 1798(well the transaction wasn't completed until the month after he died the next year in 1799 by his wife, Dorothea Dandridge Henry). I blogged about that HERE. 2 x Great Grandfather was named Patrick Henry Baker(1847-1930).
So who ya gonna believe? lolz

I got curious about this Harvey family so I decided to do a little digging and see if I could come up with an ancestral connection to them.  After all, they lived in the same area of Virginia as mother's people during the 1700's so it's entirely possible I'd find a link.

And I did. 8-)

Isham Harvey, the man who had the brick Tavern build circa 1830, and his wife, also his cousin, Druscilla Harvey Harvey married and had among their brood of offspring a daughter named Maccarina Barksdale Harvey(1806-1860).

Maccarina married William Price Baker(1802-1860).
William P. Baker is my 2nd cousin 5 x removed.
We share common ancestors in Douglas Baker Sr. and Jane Thomson Baker---William Price Baker's Great Grandparents are also my 6th Great Grandparents.

So yes, yet again, I have a connection to something from years gone by in Virginia,  the Brick Tavern.

Ancestral Sluggy


  1. Of course you are related to everyone! lol...All that was very interesting. It gives one a new view of all the "so and so slept here" claims.

  2. Smart of the listing agent to use the word "presumed."

  3. Apparently all roads leed to Sluggy.

  4. Let's buy it together, you can run the bar and I will do the bed and breakfast.

  5. SAM is too funny!!!!
    I just think you need to open a liquor store. Would I be able to run a deal there?

  6. I love reading all your history posts


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