Boswells Tavern is both a comfortable residence and small farm, and an important chapter in the history of the founding of the United States of America. Built circa 1735 on part of the expansive Nicholas Meriweather grant by his grandson Nicholas Johnson, the structure was from the outset intended as a tavern. This is an indication of the importance of this location on what was at that time the frontier’s edge of the Virginia colony. Purchased in 1761 by John Boswell for whom it is still named, the tavern was an important meeting place during the time of the American Revolution. Situated between Monticello and Montpellier, it was visited by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Patrick Henry among other founding fathers. On June 3, 1781, Colonel Banastre Tarlton who was en-route to capture Thomas Jefferson and members of the Virginia Assembly then meeting in Charlottesville, stopped at Boswell’s Tavern to capture and burn supply wagons filled with medical supplies destined for General Nathanial Greene’s army in North Carolina. This hesitation allowed Jack Jouet, the Paul Revere of Virginia, time to make his famous ride to Monticello and warn Mr. Jefferson of his impending danger. On June 11, Major General Marquis de Lafayette stayed at Boswell’s Tavern during his campaign to thwart Cornwallis’ intention to capture American military supplies in Charlottesville, thus initiating the withdrawal of British troops to Yorktown and the eventual end of the American Revolution.
Seldom is there an opportunity to acquire a property with such a storied history. The five bedroom house includes the original section containing the public rooms and the owner’s private quarters. There are also later additions which included a modern kitchen, laundry and office. Most of the original details of the 18th century tavern still exist. There are three chimneys, with the two on the western side of the house displaying a distinctive double stepped design. Interior features include the original wainscoting, chair rail and coat rails, including their original hat pegs. The distinctive scrollwork on the staircase and the original mantles is unique. The original bar that stood in the entry hall now sits in a Williamsburg tavern, but the balusters on the front window are still there, the original “drive (ride) up window” spaced to allow a tankard of drink to be passed to a customer on the other side. The front room, now a library, was probably used as an overflow bedroom and dining room, while the original dining room now serves as a formal living room. The current dining room was once the tavern owner’s private room, with a “damsel’s staircase” that led to a second floor bedroom that was separated from the tavern’s public rooms. Behind the house is another building which was the original smokehouse, turned into a workshop by a prior owner.
The 70 acres surround the house is now a working cattle farm. Most of that land is open pasture that is fenced and cross fenced. Automatic waterers have been installed, and gates allow for easy movement of the herds between the pastures. A good sized barn is used for hay and feed storage, and includes several stables and a tack room for someone interested in an equestrian operation. There is a large, stocked pond below the barn surrounded by the woodland which comprises the balance of the property.
Whether you are intrigued by historic properties or looking for a comfortable small farm, Boswell’s Tavern is a property to consider. Situated convenient to Charlottesville, Richmond and Northern Virginia, it will make an ideal full-time residence or a country getaway. It is convenient to shopping, restaurants and the sporting and cultural attractions at the University of Virginia. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a property that not only affords graceful country living, but allows you to become a steward of American history and an agent of its preservation for future generations.
Offered at $726,000.
Call 434-220-0256 or e-mail us at Gayle Harvey Real Estate to learn more about historic Boswell’s Tavern.
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.
2025 Woodbrook Ct.
Licensed to sell real estate in Virginia