This two-storey, masonry and timber frame building was once the tavern of Thomas Neale and his wife Eleanor, free people of color and owners of a plantation worked by almost 100 slaves. Built in the 1780s, the ground floor may have housed tavern supplies and spaces for lodging, with the Neale’s living quarters and other lodging rooms upstairs. Its exterior street-front terrace was likely a popular gathering place, allowing the activities in the tavern room to spill out to the outside. Its prominent placement on Duke Street suggests the tavern was an upscale establishment, run by a successful free black entrepreneur and his wife.
Duke Street Corridor
“Neale Tavern,” The Falmouth Project, accessed December 11, 2017, http://falmouth.lib.virginia.edu/items/show/1333.