HISTORIC TYREE TAVERN
|Address:||123 James River and Kanawha Turnpike, Ansted, WV 25812|
David Sibray, 304.575.7390
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Built in about 1800, this period property ranks among the most historic in southern West Virginia. Its massive timbers were hewn and set in place just after the threat of Indian attack had ended, and sixty years later, generals from North and South headquartered here during the Civil War. Statesmen as influential as Henry Clay and Daniel Webster lodged beneath its roof while travelling across the Alleghenies.
Known historically as “Halfway House” or “Tyree Tavern,” it is perhaps one of the best preserved stagecoach inns of its kind. Located half way between Charleston and Lewisburg on the old James River and Kanawha Turnpike, it was an important stop for more than a century and remained a popular attraction even after the advent of motor-lodging when the turnpike became paved, two-lane highway U.S. 60.
Built on a foundation of hand-worked stone, the building consists chiefly of a 20-by-50-foot rectangle of hewn timber harvested from trees that were centuries old when they were squared and notched. Three massive stone chimneys vent five prodigious fireplaces, each of which boasts a unique hearth. Stone and timber have been exposed ornamentally within the house, which is otherwise known for its carpentered first-floor interior walls, which were likely finished in the 1820s.
Unusual features noted by historians include finished exterior walls along the front veranda, which runs across the entirety of the facade, and a second-floor entrance reached by an exterior stairway off the veranda. Others include a Victorian oriel window added in about 1888, and a back wing that includes a remarkably sloping second-story room legendarily built of a boat.
Of interest to many visitors, the house includes artifacts of its occupation during the Civil War in the form of sword hacks and carvings that appear on the walls, mantles, and door facings. The words “1862—Headquarters of the Chicago Grey Dragoons” is carved over one of the two front doors while “Union” is carved alongside another.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the property has undergone minor restorations and improvements, including the installation of a geothermal heating system and the restoration of a summer kitchen located off the rear wing. As the building is a designated historic landmark, tax credits and matching grants are available to help owners with its repair and development.
Much of the grounds near the house has been preserved. The stone sidewalk to the street-side coach-stand remains, as does a small wellhouse, and a large sycamore—perhaps older than the inn itself. Approximately 65 inches in diameter near its base, it is estimated at 260 years old.
The Town of Ansted, its present population estimated at 1,400, has long been associated with travel. Located along a natural passage through the Appalachian Mountains, travellers for more than a century lodged at its then-famous Halfway House and camped in the surrounding meadows. In the late 1800s, the community gained prominence as the downstream entrance to the New River Gorge. Coal barons and industrialists arrived, including William Nelson Page, organizer of the Virginian Railway, whose elaborate home overlooks Ansted’s small downtown area.
Ansted is perhaps best known as the home of Hawks Nest State Park, famous for its scenic aerial tramway and overlooks of the gorge. Other community highlights include its two-mile scenic rail trail and “Contentment,” a museum and the restored home of Colonel George Imboden. The grave of Julia Neale Jackson, the mother of General Stonewall Jackson, is located in the town cemetery.
In the early 1900s, Ansted blossomed as a tourist destination. The Midland Trail was improved to federal status as U.S. 60, a paved two-lane highway, and souvenir shops and small tourist attractions opened along with way. The elaborate stone overlook area at Hawks Nest was then built.
Ansted transformed dramatically in the 1980s after the National Park Service established the New River Gorge National River and after the area became famous as a destination for whitewater rafting. In 1988, heavy traffic on U.S. 60 decreased dramatically when I-64 opened to the south. The route was then designated a scenic byway and has become a preferred recreational travel route.
The Ansted economy is now tied to that of the New River Gorge, which is expected to be designated the New River Gorge National Park in 2020. Some tourism officials in the park region have predicted an increase of as much as 50 percent in park visitation above the current tally of some 1.2 million visitors annually.
Google Coordinates: 38.1347565°(N), -81.0964306°(W)
Address: 123 James River and Kanawha Turnpike, Ansted, WV 25812
Elevation: 1,310 ft. +/-
Construction Type: Frame and hewn timber
Style: Two Story
Sq. Ft. Main 1,672
Sq. Ft. Upper 1,400
Total Sq. Ft. 3,072
Total Rooms 14
Total Bedrooms 4
Total Bathrooms 1 1/2
Countertops Kitchen: Laminate
Countertops Bath: Laminate
Items to Convey: Range/Oven, Refrigerator
Mech/Elect Systems: Intercom, High Speed Internet
Air Conditioning: Central Air
Heating: Propane, Geothermal
Exterior Material: Stone; Timber; Clapboard
Features Exterior: Porches, Well House
Utilities: Electric, Natural Gas, Public Water, Public Sewer
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: DB 684 Pg. 654
Fayette County, West Virginia
Acreage: 1.8 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Fayette County (10), West Virginia
Ansted Corp (4)
Tax Map 13 Parcel 66; SURF 1.80/ ANSTED PT IMBODEN 347/245; Class 4
2019 Real Estate Taxes: $1,997.04
Ansted Elementary School
Ansted Middle School
Fayetteville High School
Ansted is located in Fayette County in the New River Gorge region of southern West Virginia. The area is one of the state’s chief tourism-destination areas, best known for its dramatic landscapes and opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, paddling, sightseeing, and rock climbing. The region near Ansted is, in fact, one of the chief climbing and whitewater-rafting destinations in the eastern U.S.
From Charleston, West Virginia, follow US-60 east approximately 40 miles into Ansted. Turn left onto James River and Kanawha Turnpike across from Dollar General store. Property is on left at .1 miles. From Fayetteville, West Virginia, follow the US-19 expressway north approximately eight miles to the US-60 exit. From the exit, turn west onto US-60 and proceed 6.1 miles. Turn right onto James River and Kanawha Turnpike across from Dollar General store. Property is on left at .1 miles.
- State of West Virginia
- West Virginia Explorer
- West Virginia Government
- West Virginia State Parks
- West Virginia Tourism
- Wonderful West Virginia Magazine
- WV Department of Natural Resources
- Virginia – Commonwealth of Virginia
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- Virginia Museum of History & Culture
- Virginia Museum of Natural History
- Virginia National Park Service
- Virginia Recreation
- Virginia State Parks