Michie Tavern

Michie Tavern (pronounced "Mickey") is located near Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Now a part of a larger complex of historic buildings that house the museums and tavern, the tavern building was originally located in the northern part of Albemarle County, on land purchased by John Michie from Major John Henry in 1746.[1]

In 1772, William Michie built his home on the land after inheriting it from his father. In the 1780s, responding to the frequency with which travelers knocked on his door seeking food and shelter, Michie built a tavern next to his home. In 1784 he received a license to operate an ordinary, charging money for food and beds.[2]

The tavern remained in the Michie family until 1910, when Sally Michie, the last member of the family to own the property, was institutionalized and the property reverted to state ownership. In 1927, the Via family bought the tavern from the state and subsequently sold it to Josephine Henderson who wanted it for showcasing her extensive antiques collection. It was Henderson who moved the tavern in 1927 to its present location near Monticello, where she thought it would attract more tourists.[3] The tavern building was dismantled and then reassembled for the move.[4]

In 1932, architect Milton Grigg purchased the property to use as his architectural office.[5] Today, Michie Tavern is a museum and restaurant complex and is the largest grouping of reassembled buildings in the county.[6]

Footnotes

  1. K. Edward Lay, The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000), 85.
  2. David A. Maurer, “Michie Tavern Withstood Moving and the Test of Time,” The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Virginia, 25 February 1990.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Lay, 85-86.
  5. Ibid, 86.
  6. Ibid, 51.

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