In our previous two blog entry's, I've focused on two of Abingdon's most well known establishments within their historical district.  For this third entry, we will focus on what is known as the oldest building still used for business west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Tavern Restaurant is a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday night with the family, enjoy some wine, and eat some great food.  The history of the building is intriguing as well as the tavern served as a hospital during Civil War times and has seen its share of tragedy.  The Tavern's official website (linked at the bottom) breaks down this lovely buildings history.

The Tavern, the oldest of Abingdon's historic buildings and one of the oldest west of the Blue Ridge, was built in 1779. It was used from it's beginning as a tavern and overnight inn for stagecoach traveler's. The Tavern has had such guests as Henry Clay; Louis Philippe, King of France; President Andrew Jackson; and Pierre Charles L'Enfant, designer of Washington D.C.

The first post office on the western slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains was located in the east wing of The Tavern. The original mail slot is still in place and can be seen today from the street.

During the past two centuries, The Tavern has served as a tavern, bank, bakery, general store, cabinet shop, barber shop, private residence, post office, antique shop and restaurant. It even served as a hospital for wounded Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War.
In 1965, The Tavern was acquired from the Thaddeus Harris Family by Mary Dudley Porterfield, wife of the founder of the Barter Theatre. The Harris Family had owned The Tavern for more than 100 years.
In 1984, The Tavern was restored to its former glory by a local attorney Emmit F. Yeary.
In 1994, it was opened under the management of Max Hermann who moved to Abingdon in 1993 after having served twenty years with the United States Air Force. Max is a native German and lives in Abingdon with his wife Kelly.

 Of course a place of this stature would not be complete without a few ghost tales.  "We Be Haints," which is a website dedicated to the history of this lovely town discusses the hauntings that can be found at The Tavern.

Down the street from the Cave House is the oldest, and according to Emmert, the most haunted building in Abingdon. The Tavern dates from 1779 and Emmert says that it's packed from the rafters to the cellar with ghosts. In Emmert's words, The Tavern is "corrupt" with ghosts. Foremost among the resident ghosts is "The Tavern Tart," a young prostitute murdered at The Tavern by a client. Emmert says the Tart still has an eye for men and loves to, ahem, pinch or grab a man's backside. She'll also watch out the window and stare at men as they cross the street. But she's a vindictive, jealous spirit and there are certain women she doesn't like. (Sorry ladies: you'll have to take the tour to find out if you qualify.) And there are many other ghosts at The Tavern. Emmert recommends a visit to The Tavern for a good meal and a nice chat with the wait staff about their own encounters.

If you're looking for ghosts, this would be a good place to start.  The Tavern seems to have some type of paranormal activity, especially since the ghost seems to be possessive of something or someone with in the building. Sounds of footsteps can be heard and are mostly reported by the staff after closing time.  Objects have been moved, tables have been moved during the night and certain mumblings sounds can be heard when the restaurant is empty.  Like I said, if you're looking for ghosts, this is the place for you.


222 E. Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone: 276-628-1118 


Official Website:
Article from Google Docs: Ower of the Tavern Interview
Video Evidence from an Investigation at the Tavern: Haunt Master Club
We Be Haints Article:
20 Page Haunt Master Club Investigation Report:


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