Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Not the Usual Fare: Dill Tavern

I can hear you saying, "am I at the right blog?" The answer is yes, you are, but today's post is not about the woods around my cabin, but about my hometown's renovation of its oldest and most historic building, Dill Tavern.

This past weekend the tavern held its annual Publick Tyme event, with food, crafts, demonstrations and food. Did I say food?

This event also marked the first time the public has been able to see a nearly-finished upstairs in the old tavern. The local historical society has tried to buy this old tavern ever since I was a child. Several times the tavern was in danger of destruction by commercial concerns, as it is conveniently located near a four-lane highway and has road frontage on it. Somehow, that was always avoided, usually at the last minute. The tavern was also owned by a few people with good intentions about renovating it, but they usually ran out of money quickly.

But eventually, after all these years, the local historical society was finally able to purchase the tavern after some very generous donations from local townspeople, one in particular. Since then, renovation has been ongoing and naturally slowed by more lack of funds. Finally, it's getting to the point where the tavern is the glory it should be.

My first two pictures are from the downstairs. A local resident is cooking on the hearth. She's spinning a chicken on the right side of the fire, and shad (that's a fish to those who don't know) are tacked onto a board leaning on the left side of the fire. The second photo shows how the tavern was set up. The little pass-through is where the tavern supplies were kept. I took the photo from the side where the customers would be.

My third photo turned out a little blurry, but I like it so much, I'm posting it anyway. It was taken upstairs in a room where they were showing some colonial-era crafts (and mom was fixing the young girl's dress, while standing next to a portrait of George Washington). It looks like they just stepped out of 1776, doesn't it?

We can't prove George Washington stopped here, but it seems likely that he did. Tavern records confirm that during George's surveying days, he stopped at the tavern some miles to the south and several days later stopped at the tavern miles to the north, and the only tavern in the middle was Dill Tavern. Unfortunately, while we have many old tavern records, the book that would have shown George at Dill Tavern is missing.

If you want to see the outside of the tavern click here for a link to a post from last year.
Sometimes I actually leave the mountain!

1 comment:

KGMom said...

Very interesting. Your hometown is within driving distance for me--but I have not heard of Dill Tavern.
Thanks for the photos & history lesson.