The Brentsville Tavern was among many buildings on the Tavern Square. Owner Thomas Hampton's 1828* notice read:
SALE OF VALUABLE PROPERTY AT BRENTSVILLE, PRINCE WILLIAM C.H., VA. On Thursday the 18th day of December next?the subscriber will offer for sale at public auction?that well known Tavern Stand, "THE BRENTSVILLE HOTEL" adjoing the public square. The lot containing three acres of ground well improved, with every necessary out building and a comfortable main building?Also ?Cattle, Hogs, Horses, Oxen, Wagons, Carts, some Farming Utensils, and all provisions on hand?
* Footnote: Alexandria Gazette, 22 November, 1828.
(caption for lower, left picture) Many animals lived in the Tavern Square in the 19th century. During the early 20th century, local farmers grew crops here.
American Farm Yard, Evening. By Currier & Ives, 1857. Courtesy of the Library of Congress
What did They Find?
Archaeologists placed several excavation units in the wooded area of the Tavern Square. However, they were not able to excavate the entire area. While they did not find evidence of structures where they tested, they did recover hundreds of artifacts dating from the 19th century. These artifacts show that domestic activities occurred across the entire Tavern Square.
(caption under lower, right picture) Archaeologists excavated hundreds of other artifacts from the Tavern Square. These fragments of ceramics and bottles, nails, animal bones, utensils and tools date from the 1800s.