Near Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Swann’s Tavern 1670s
Minutes of the General Court, 1677
Although councilman Colonel Thomas Swann resided across the James River at his Swann Point plantation, he also leased a Jamestown tavern that provided accommodations to colonists who attended the assembly and courts, or had business in town.
Documents and excavation of a large brick foundation identify this structure as possibly Col. Swann’s tavern. The elongated four-room ground floor was typical of such establishments. An abundance of bottle glass and a brass spigot from casks of beer or cider stored in the cellar, provide additional evidence of such use.
Because Col. Swann, nicknamed “ye greate toad,” advised the rebel Nathaniel Bacon, his Swann’s Point plantation remained undamaged during Bacon’s Rebellion. Charred timbers here, however, suggest that his tavern burned during the sack of Jamestown. Repaired by 1679, the tavern reopened to operate along with the dozen others in the town.
Erected by Colonial National Historic Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed Colonial Era. A significant historical year for this entry is 1677.
Location. 37° 12.528′ N, 76° 46.623′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in James City County. Marker can be reached from Colonial Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Marker is in the "New Towne" section of the Historic Jamestown unit of Colonial National Historic Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Williamsburg VA 23185, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Foundations at Jamestown (a few steps from this marker); Governor Harvey’s House 1630s (within shouting distance of this marker); Jamestown Tercentenary Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Pitch and Tar Swamp (within shouting distance of this marker); Iron and Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); Backstreet – Jamestown’s Main Street 1620-1699 (within shouting distance of this marker); Tradesmen on Governor Harvey’s Lot 1630s (within shouting distance of this marker); A Place of Work (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Williamsburg.
More about this marker. The right side of the marker features a picture of a “Building believed to be Swann’s Tavern.” The left of the marker contains a photograph of the "Tavern excavation, ca. 1930s," a picture of two colonists in a tavern with the caption “Taverns were popular meeting places at Jamestown,” and a picture of an excavated bottle with the caption “Abundant wine bottle glass excavated at this site provided evidence that the building was a tavern.”
Also see . . .
1. A Jamestown Tavern Site - 1670s. Colonial National Historic Park from National Park Service website. (Submitted on March 20, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. Historic Jamestowne. Historic Jamestowne (Submitted on March 20, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 20, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,199 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 20, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.