Colonial Dumfries - Williams Ordinary

Colonial Dumfries - Williams Ordinary (HM1KZ)

Location: Dumfries, VA 22026 Prince William County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 34.13', W 77° 19.401'

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Inscription
Williams Ordinary is believed to have been built in the 1760s, although the exact construction date is unknown. The building's symmetrical fa?ade features header bond, a brick pattern rarely found in Virginia. This building was one of the most prominent structures in colonial Dumfries and reflected the port town's importance and wealth.

While the building is known as Williams Ordinary, records are unclear as to whether local tavern keeper George Williams occupied this structure during the 1700s. The building's name has changed to indicate various owners or uses. It has been called Love's Hotel, Old Love's Tavern, the Brick Tavern and the Stagecoach Inn. Research on the building is ongoing.

(caption of picture, lower left)
Williams Ordinary was called Albert's Hotel when this photograph was taken in the early 1930s.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

(caption of picture in center)
This detail from a 1751 map illustrates how important tobacco was to colonial ports such as Dumfries.From Peter Jefferson's and Joshua Fry's Map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland with part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Colonial Dumfries

Founded in 1749 by Scottish merchants, Dumfries' port rivaled those in Boston and New York. Dumfries became the Prince William County seat in 1759. Sailors, slaves, merchants and members of the influential Lee, Fairfax, Mason and Washington families frequented the town. By 1763, falling tobacco exports and silt clogging the port began Dumfries' slow economic decline.

What's an Ordinary?

The term ordinary was common in Europe and early America. These establishments provided travelers with an ordinary meal and sleeping space. Such places were also called taverns or inns. Ordinaries were the social centers of a community where patrons met and exchanged news. Many taverns operated in Dumfries, but those operating in this building were likely among its finest.

(caption of picture, lower right)
Ordinary patrons danced, gamed, drank and visited, as artist John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821) showed in this c. 1820 watercolor of an American country tavern.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
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Details
HM NumberHM1KZ
Tags
Year Placed2007
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 4:13am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 297589 N 4271490
Decimal Degrees38.56883333, -77.32335000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 34.13', W 77° 19.401'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 34' 7.80" N, 77° 19' 24.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 17674 Main St, Dumfries VA 22026, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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