advertisement

In 1746, Scotsman "Scotch John" Michie (pronounced "Mickey") purchased 1,152 acres of land from Patrick Henry's father, and in 1784, Michie's son, William, built this tavern on a well-traveled stagecoach route at Earlysville, 17 miles northwest of Charlottesville. A wealthy businesswoman, Josephine Henderson, had it moved to its present location and reconstructed in 1927. Included in the 30-minute living-history tours are the Virginia Wine Museum and reproductions of the "dependencies" -- log kitchen, dairy, smokehouse, icehouse, root cellar, and "necessary" (note the not-so-soft corncobs). The general store has been re-created, along with excellent crafts and clothing shops. Behind the store is a gristmill that has operated continuously since 1797.

Plan your visit to Michie Tavern to coincide with lunchtime, when a buffet is served to weary travelers in the Ordinary, a converted log cabin with original hand-hewn walls and beamed ceilings. The fare is typical Southern dishes such as fried chicken, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. They accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. During summer you can skip the buffet and order inexpensive barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream, and other snacks at the Spring House, an outdoor fast-food stand behind the Ordinary.