Boswell's Tavern

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Boswell's Tavern
Boswell's Tavern, Route 22 vicinity, Gordonsville vicinity (Louisa County, Virginia).jpg
Boswell's Tavern, HABS Photo, March 1983
Boswell's Tavern is located in Virginia
Boswell's Tavern
Location Jct. of VA 22 and U.S. 15, Gordonsville, Virginia
Coordinates 38°04′12″N 78°11′01.8″W / 38.07000°N 78.183833°W / 38.07000; -78.183833Coordinates: 38°04′12″N 78°11′01.8″W / 38.07000°N 78.183833°W / 38.07000; -78.183833
Area 0 acres (0 ha)
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 69000257[1]
VLR # 054-0007
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 25, 1969
Designated VLR November 5, 1968[2]

Boswell's Tavern is an excellent example of a complete 18th century tavern in Virginia. Located near Gordonsville, Virginia, the tavern is located at the intersection of present-day U.S. Route 15 and Virginia State Route 22, the centerpiece of a village named after the tavern. The tavern was built in the mid-18th century, probably by Colonel John Boswell. The tavern was the site of a 1781 encampment by French forces during the American Revolutionary War under the Marquis de Lafayette.[3] The tavern was a frequent meeting place for notable Virginia figures, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Patrick Henry. A few colonial troops were captured at the tavern in March 1781 by British colonel Banastre Tarleton in an attempt to capture Jefferson and to disrupt meetings of the Virginia legislature.[4]

The tavern is a two-story three-bay frame building with prominent chimneys at the west end. The innkeeper's wing, originally 1-1/2 stories, has been increased in height to two stories. A small gabled porch is a modern addition, as is a one-story addition to the innkeeper's quarters. The public section consists of two main rooms, a warming room, a bar and a stair hall. Portions of the original bar remain. The innkeeper's wing consists of a single large room on the main level with a sleeping area above.[3]

Boswell's Tavern was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1969.[1] It is included in the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District, encompassing the surrounding countryside and a number of important houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.[5]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (April 28, 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Boswell's Tavern". National Park Service. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Boswell's Tavern". Journey Through Hallowed Ground. National Park Service. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (February 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Green Springs Historic District". Retrieved 19 October 2011. 

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