Historic New Kent Tavern now open for accommodation and weddings – Daily Press

NEW KENT – Visitors to New Kent can now stay in a piece of American and county history.

The Ordinary, once a tavern visited by two presidents, is now open for lodging and weddings.

“If these walls could talk,” said Pamela Radwani, director of operations at The Ordinary. “It’s a beautiful place with lots of space and history.”

George Washington’s diaries written during the Revolutionary War reference stopping at the Tavern Ordinary on May 12, 1768 and November 11, 1773. Taverns, once called Ordinaries, were generally traditional centers of social and political life .

“The tavern is where all the drinking and gambling took place. It was the place to be, especially for travellers,” said Radwani, who added that champagne and brandy were the drinks of choice at the time.

It seems that not much has changed, as travelers can now rent the Ordinary and have the tavern all to themselves.

Renting the Ordinary includes access to five bedrooms, each with a private full bath, fully equipped kitchen, dining room, living areas, and access to the tavern (named “Bassett’s Tavern”) according to the constructor of the original structure). The entire building is filled with fireplaces, period furniture, and photos of past presidents.

The Ordinary, located at 12000 New Kent Highway (Route 249), was probably built in 1692 by Colonel William Bassett, a wealthy planter and owner of the Eltham Plantation and Bassett Hall in Williamsburg. Bassett also represented New Kent County in the House of Burgesses from 1693 to 1699 and from 1700 to 1702 and served as sheriff and justice of the peace in 1699. He donated the property.

Like today, the 1695 courthouse was located across from the Ordinary, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It really made sense to put the courthouse there because Route 249 was the main road and everyone had to drive through it to the capital, Williamsburg,” Radwani said. “And of course a lot of people stopped at the Ordinary along the way.”

In fact, future President John Tyler hosted his political dinners in the formal dining rooms upstairs. Tyler’s expenses are in the records of the Ordinary.

During the Civil War, General George B. McClellan used the building as his communications headquarters. Confederate and Union soldiers camped at the Ordinary, which was also used as a hospital, according to the Ordinary’s website.

Like Tyler, guests can host formal dinners or private parties inside The Ordinary, which is ideal for weddings and weddings, Radwani said. The Ordinary offers the possibility of indoor weddings for up to 30 people or outdoor weddings for up to 150 people.

The property also includes two other rental properties: La Maison Martin and the Cottage James Armistead Lafayette.

Romantic and very private, the Martin House is the perfect bridal suite or for the parents of the bride, Radwani suggested.

The one-bedroom chalet, available for private events only, offers a king bed with a full bath and private balcony upstairs and a fully equipped kitchen, dining room and living room downstairs. pavement.

The James Armistead Lafayette Cottage, available through AirBnB, is a two-bedroom cottage that sleeps six people. The downstairs bathroom is accessible to people with reduced mobility.

“The owner’s wife works with St. Jude’s, so she had accessibility in mind when they were working on the bathroom,” Radwani said.

According to Radwani, a wedding package with all three buildings is available.

Although ordinary history is well known to locals, actual records are scarce.

According to historians, John Price Pofey, upset at being arrested and imprisoned for attacking a sheriff, set fire to the jail and clerk’s office in 1787, destroying all county records. He was hanged as a result.

The tavern was also used as “a hotel for courts, agriculture, tobacco, warehousing and stores” over the years, Radwani said. It served as a tavern continuously until 1937. It was used as a museum for the Women’s Club in 1957 and then remained vacant until renovated in the 1960s by owner Hunter Martin.

John Kinney bought the Ordinary in 2018.

To visit newkentordinary.com for more information on staying at the Ordinary.

Amy Jo Martin, [email protected]

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