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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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 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 led the posse back to Garrett’s, where he had left Booth for safe hiding.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series.
Star Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
2. Star Hotel Marker
This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
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.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Caroline Veterans Memorial ( within shouting distance of this marker); Caroline County, Virginia ( 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); John Cephas ( approx. 0.3 miles away); Milford Station ( approx. 2.4 miles away). 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
Star Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
3. Star Hotel Marker
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."
 
Additional keywords.
Star Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Jordan, August 1, 2010
4. Star Hotel Marker
John Wilkes Booth Escape Route
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
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 June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 4, 2008. This page has been viewed 3,694 times since then and 151 times this year. 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.. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the original site of the hotel. • Can you help?
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