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Bowling Green in Caroline County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Star Hotel

Conspirator's Lair

 
 
Star Hotel Civil War Trails Marker image. Click for full size.
May 26, 2007
1. Star Hotel Civil War Trails Marker
Inscription.  Built approximately 1820, the Star Hotel was one of two taverns serving Bowling Green. During the Civil War, it was operated by the Henry Gouldman family, and became a notorious Confederate spy headquarters and safe haven to those who aided Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. About 12:30 a.m. on April 26, 1865, a 26-member Union posse comprised of the 5th New York Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Edward P. Doherty and two members of the National Detective Police, arrived at the hotel, following a tip that a Confederate named Willie Jett would likely be found there. Earlier, Jett had been spotted near Port Royal when he escorted Booth and his accomplice David E. Herold across the Rappahannock.

Troops surrounded the building, entered and found Jett asleep in a room with the Gouldman’s son Jesse, who was badly wounded from the battle of Petersburg. Expecting to find Booth, the soldiers mistook Jesse for the assassin, and nearly shot him which forced Jett to reveal he had left Booth at the Garrett farm. When he learned the troops had already passed there, Jett expressed grave doubt they would find Booth when they returned. Under arrest, Jett
Star Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
2. Star Hotel Marker
led the posse back to Garrett’s, where he had left Booth for safe hiding.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Booth's Escape, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists.
 
Location. 38° 3.08′ N, 77° 20.843′ W. Marker is in Bowling Green, Virginia, in Caroline County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (State Highway 2) and Courthouse Lane (Local Route 1204), on the right when traveling north on North Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bowling Green VA 22427, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Caroline Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Caroline County, Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker); Town of Bowling Green (within shouting distance of this marker); Campaign of 1781 (within shouting distance of this marker); Caroline County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Caroline County World War I Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker);
Star Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
3. Star Hotel Marker
1864 Union Occupation of Bowling Green (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowling Green.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of the hotel captioned, "Shortly after this 1880s image was taken, the Star Hotel was purchased by a dentist and fully restored. Demolished in the 1940's, bricks from the hotel's massive cellar adorn the exterior of the present building (on the corner straight ahead), which was built as the Bowling Green Grille. The hotel's wraparound porches and windows were added to an 1825 Bowling Green estate known as Broadhurst, located a few blocks away on Virginia Avenue."

On the upper right a photo of the Garrett home is captioned, "This is the home of Richard Henry Garrett, as it looked during Booth's visit. The Garrett house fell to ruin in the late 1930s. Its site is situated in the median of U.S. Route 301, nine miles north of Bowling Green. The famous barn in which Booth was trapped was located on the right-of-way of present-day U.S. Route 301 South, approximately 300 feet from the house."

A portrait of Booth carries the description, "This John Wilkes Booth self-portrait is part of the Caroline Historical Society's museum collection, on loan from the Smithsonian Curator Emeritus Herbert R. Collins."

On the lower right is a portrait of "Private William Storke Jett, a CSA commissary agent assigned to Caroline, as he appeared in the mid-1870's. Jett met Booth and Herold at the Port Conway wharf, and took them to safe haven, leaving Booth at Garrett's, and Herold near Bowling Green. Jett's sweetheart, Izora, was the daughter of the Gouldmans. After Booth's killing, their engagement was ended, and Jett left Virginia in disgrace."
 
Also see . . .  Booth's Escape Byway, Maryland Office of Tourism. (Submitted on August 19, 2019.)
 
Additional keywords. John Wilkes Booth Escape Route
 
Star Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
4. Star Hotel Marker
Star Hotel Marker Near the Confederate Monument image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
5. Star Hotel Marker Near the Confederate Monument
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 4, 2008. This page has been viewed 4,256 times since then and 142 times this year. Last updated on April 10, 2018. Photos:   1. submitted on January 4, 2008.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 12, 2010, by Paul Jordan of Burlington, N. C., U. S. A.. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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