John Shelton opened the first tavern at the permanent site of Hanover Courthouse about the 1750s. The current tavern’s earliest segment dates from about 1791. The tavern prospered with the establishment of the stage coach line until the railroad diverted business in the 1830s. An essential component of the social life of Hanover County, the taverns attracted many important people, including Patrick Henry, Lord Cornwallis, and George Washington, among others. Several enslaved African Americans from the tavern complex were accused of participation in both Gabriel’s Rebellion of 1800 and the Easter Plot of 1802. In 1953, the Barksdale Theater was established here.
Date Installed-Dedicated: January 5, 2013
Year On Marker: 2012
Original Sponsor: The Honorable and Mrs. Christopher Peace
Geographic Location: Hanover County
Physical Description of Location: 13181 Hanover Courthouse Rd. (US 301/2), Hanover, VA 23069. Marker is on right when traveling south on US 301, just past entrance to Hanover Tavern.
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