A colonial tavern in Heathsville VA, Rices Hotel Hughletts Tavern, is an authentic example of a historic tavern in colonial Virginia.
In Northumberland County, the tavern is an important part of the community…
Finding an authentic village tavern from colonial times, still in business, isn’t that easy to do.
But, on the Northern Neck Virginia, we have Rices Hotel/Hughletts Tavern, and it is a central part of the community, even today.
Rich in history, the tavern dates back to 1795, and with new life in recent years, it is the site of a number of activities in the community.
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Here is a preview of what you will see when you visit Rice's Hotel/Hughlett's Tavern.
A Village Tavern and a Courthouse Tavern
For many years, even though Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern (RHHT) operated in Heathsville, most of its customers were transients.
The hotel was a place to stay for out-of-towners, and it provided food, drink and an opportunity to socialize with others.
Part of its popularity came from the fact that it was located right behind the Northumberland County Courthouse. Like other courthouse taverns, patrons came because it was located so close to the courthouse.
Judges, lawyers and their clients and even jurors who were sequestered all met in the tavern and stayed there.
As time went on, traveling salesmen, steamboat passengers, teamsters and even truck drivers stayed at the tavern.
Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern Today
Now owned by the Northumberland County Historical Society, the tavern has become a center of community activity. The tavern has been restored by volunteers and is well worth a visit.
The Blacksmith Shop - Built by a group of volunteers, the Tavern Rangers, the blacksmith shop depicts a typical blacksmith shop from 1790 to 1840. The volunteers, using tools from that era, produce items that are sold in the gift shop.
Tavern Woodworkers Guild - The guild educates interested people about woodworking, and, like the blacksmith shop, they make typical items from the colonial era, to be sold to the public in the gift shop.
Quilt Guild - Learn to quilt and make authentic colonial quilts, to be sold in the gift shop.
Tavern Restaurant - The restaurant serves lunch, dinner (Tuesday through Saturday) and Sunday country brunch. You can make reservations by calling 804-580-7900.
Gift Shop - This is an interesting place to shop. You will find a number of handmade items, made by tavern volunteers, as well as unique gifts and red hats.
Farmers Market - From April through October, there is an outdoor Farmers Market out on the lawn of the tavern area. The market has about 50 vendors, and there are a number of interesting items for sale, in addition to local produce. It tends to be a time for socializing—just like the historic tavern was…
While you are making the rounds on your tour of the Northern Neck Virginia, why not stop in to see Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern?
This colonial tavern, with its authentic restoration, is a fun place to have lunch and experience a little of Heathsville’s history.