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Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Gadsby's Tavern Museum

City of Alexandria Est. 1749

 
 
Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
1. Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker
Inscription. Gadsby's Tavern Museum consists of two buildings — the smaller c.1875 tavern and larger 1792 City Tavern and Hotel. While both were constructed by John Wise, they were made famous by John Gadsby, a rising tavern keeper who rented the buildings for only 12 years, from 1796 to 1808. This tavern and hotel provided a place for locals to gather around food and entertainment as they discussed business and events of the day. For travelers, the tavern offered overnight accommodations, as long as they didn't mind sharing a room or even a bed, while the hotel provided rooms more similar to what travelers might expect today. With little entertainment available in Washington, D.C., which was still under construction, Gadsby's elegant hotel became the destination for distinguished guests from both sides of the river.

"I found elegant accommodations at Gadesby's hotel. It is observable that Gadesby keeps the best house of entertainment in the United States."
—John Davis, 1801


Gadsby was known for his hospitality and flair for entertaining. Famous events include the Birthnight Ball hosted to celebrate George Washington's birthday, which Washington attended the last two years of himself.

Mr. Gadsby also hosted Thomas Jefferson's Inaugural Banquet in 1801. Today, the Museum brings these events to
Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
2. Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker
life for guests to experience first-hand.

While hotel operations continued after Gadsby's departure, no other tavern keeper reached the same level of fame. The buildings' connections to George Washington made them a tourist destination for Union soldiers stationed in Alexandria during the Civil War. Francis H. Pierpont, Governor of the Restored Government of Virginia, used the hotel for his temporary quarters during the war.

By the mid-1920s, interest in preserving the buildings was generated by the newly-formed American Legion Post 24, which was seeking not only a Post headquarters but also a fitting memorial to World War I soldiers. With support from many local groups and individuals, the American Legion purchased and restored both structures, then opened them to the public for tours. In 1972, the Legion gave the buildings to the City of Alexandria, which restored both buildings again and reopened them as a museum and restaurant in time for the Nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976.
 
Erected by City of Alexandria.
 
Location. 38° 48.288′ N, 77° 2.631′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of King Street and North Royal Street, on the right when traveling west on King Street. Touch for map.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
3. Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker
Marker is at or near this postal address: 411 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Market Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Electric Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of First Services of the Salvation Army (within shouting distance of this marker); Edgar Warfield (within shouting distance of this marker); Marshall House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Memorial Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); The Front Door of Gadsby's Tavern (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gadsby’s Tavern (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Also see . . .  Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. (Submitted on April 2, 2018.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommercePoliticsWar, US CivilWar, World I
 
Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
4. Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker
Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, March 30, 2018
5. Gadsby's Tavern Museum Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 1, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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