Great Depression & World War II Spotted Tavern

Spotted Tavern

Two centuries ago Spotted Tavern was one of the best-known landmarks in Stafford County.  It stood on the main road leading from the Falmouth/Fredericksburg area to Fauquier Courthouse.  Today we’re accustomed to going west through lower Stafford via US Route 17.  Years ago, travelers headed to Culpeper or lower Fauquier followed the Warrenton Road to Richard Ferry Road and crossed the Rappahannock River by ferry.  Folks headed to upper Fauquier or Winchester rode out Warrenton Road, then followed Hartwood Road to Spotted Tavern Road and forded Deep Run.  This later route passed by the front door of Spotted Tavern, which for many years catered to tired and thirsty travelers.  These were not elegant accommodations, indeed few such establishments might have been described in those terms.  “Adequate” may be a more realistic term.

Using modern reference points, the tavern stood just northwest of Dodd’s Corner at what is now 82 Spotted Tavern Road and near the fork in the road.  The tavern foundation is located beneath the largest tree in the yard and in front of the present garage.

The builder of Spotted Tavern is unknown.  It’s earliest recorded description is from the mid-1930s.  It was described as a one and a half story log building.  The ground floor had one very large room along with two smaller ones.  The half-story was divided into two rooms.  A porch ran the length of the front and on the west end was a large chimney.  It’s not known if this was the original 18th century tavern.  Based on the land tax records,  it’s doubtful it was.  The property went through many owners over the years.  A complete history can be found in Jerrilynn Eby’s book “Land of Hogs and Wildcats”.