Swan Tavern

Swan Tavern (HM1KT8)

Location: Yorktown, VA 23690 York County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 14.138', W 76° 30.532'

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Historic Yorktown

— Colonial National Historical Park —

"The Taverns are many here, and much frequented, and an unbounded Licentiousness seems to taint the Morals of the young Gentlemen of this Place...amiable Hospitality...seems...to have found no great Footing: Schemes of Gain, or Parties of Gaming and Pleasure, muddy too much their Souls, and banish from amongst them the glorious Prosperity to doing good." Edward Kimber, "Observations in Several Voyages and Travels in America in the Year 1736"

The most prominent tavern in Yorktown during the 18th century was the Swan Tavern, which opened for business around 1722 under the ownership of Thomas Nelson and Joseph Walker.

Strategically located one block from the town's thriving waterfront and across the street from the county courthouse, the Swan Tavern provided its customers with drink, food and a place to socialize. The tavern was also the site of public auctions, including one advertised in the Virginia Gazette in 1757, where two cargo ships and their contents of "sugar, rum, indigo, pimento, coffee, ginger, cotton, etc." were sold "to the highest bidders, for ready Money."

The tavern closed prior to Civil War, and by 1862, occupying Union forces were storing munitions in the building. On the night of December 16, 1863, a fire destroyed the tavern in one huge explosion.

In 1935, the National Park Service reconstructed the tavern and outbuildings to help recreate an important element of Yorktown's colonial history.
HM NumberHM1KT8
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 31st, 2015 at 6:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 366158 N 4122078
Decimal Degrees37.23563333, -76.50886667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 14.138', W 76° 30.532'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 14' 8.28" N, 76° 30' 31.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 300 Main St, Yorktown VA 23690, US
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