King's Tavern

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King's Tavern
King's Tavern
King's Tavern is located in Mississippi
King's Tavern
Location611 Jefferson Street, Natchez, Mississippi
Coordinates31°33′37″N 91°23′57.2″W / 31.56028°N 91.399222°W / 31.56028; -91.399222
Area0.3 acres (0.12 ha)
Governing bodyLocal
NRHP Reference #71000444[1]
Added to NRHPMay 6, 1971
 
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King's Tavern
King's Tavern
King's Tavern is located in Mississippi
King's Tavern
Location611 Jefferson Street, Natchez, Mississippi
Coordinates31°33′37″N 91°23′57.2″W / 31.56028°N 91.399222°W / 31.56028; -91.399222
Area0.3 acres (0.12 ha)
Governing bodyLocal
NRHP Reference #71000444[1]
Added to NRHPMay 6, 1971

King's Tavern is an old bar located in downtown Natchez, Mississippi. It is currently open as a restaurant and bar. Mixology classes can be booked at The Tavern through Natchez Pilgrimage Tours. A package store and rum distillery are also in the works. New owners are Doug and Regina Charboneau. Regina is a nationally known chef with her original success on the west coast in San Francisco.

History[2][edit]

Pre-Revolution[edit]

The King's Tavern building was built in 1769, making it the oldest structure in the old river port city of Natchez. When the British moved in and established the nearby Fort Panmure, the King's Tavern building was originally built to be a block house for the fort. As there was no saw mill near this frontier town, this building and other structures were constructed using beams taken from scrapped New Orleans sailing ships, which were brought to Natchez via mule. Another source of wood used in the King's Tavern building construction were barge boards from flat river boats, which were dismantled and sold after arriving in Natchez with their goods after traveling down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Boatmen couldn't take their flat boats back up these rivers, so they just added to their profit by selling the boats as wood, which was needed to build Natchez. Besides the wood, sun-dried bricks also were used as building material. The result is a building which has an ambiance and decor of another era from the outside. Though the outside of the Kings Tavern has the rustic 1780s authentic wooden brick architectural style, the inside is a lovely place for cozy, quiet, intimate meal or to host luncheons, dinner parties, receptions meetings. The King's Tavern also provides meals for the large tour buses full of visitors who are traveling along the Natchez Trace Pathway.

Post-Revolution[edit]

After the Revolutionary War in 1776, the British left the area, leaving the river port open for other interests. In 1789, a New Yorker by the name of Richard King moved his family to Natchez where he bought this block home and opened a combination tavern and inn, as well as the place where the town's mail was dropped off. His inn business was very successful because of the need for boatmen and weary stage riders to have a secure place to rest for the night. The upstairs rooms on the third floor were comfortable accommodations. Selling drinks to townspeople and visitors as well was also a money maker. He also found himself to be very popular with people, because he received and sent the town's mail. Everyone congregated on the steps of his tavern, socializing and reading their mail. He enjoyed a celebrity status, and he and his wife became prominent and very much respected people in Natchez. During this time, outlaws began settling in Natchez. They preyed on the boatmen and visitors, made a living from gambling and robbing people, sometimes not thinking twice of killing their victims. After selling their goods and their flat boats for lumber, boatmen would spend the night at the King's Tavern, and then head home along the Natchez Trace Pathway. This usually caused highwaymen outlaws to hold them up, and usually kill them. The infamous, sadistic Harpe brothers were outlaws who took delight in torturing, mutilating and finally killing their victims. The Harpe brothers as well as other such men would return to Natchez and stimulate the economy, sometimes staying at the King's Tavern, if not in the Natchez Under the Hill area, notorious for being a haven for people of questionable character. However, with the invention of the steamboat, which could travel down and up the river as well, the need for this dangerous travel along Natchez Trace ended with this form of modern transportation. This development cut down on the lucrative stage business significantly, dropping the economic activity taking place at the King's Tavern. Richard King sold the King's Tavern in 1817. The building was once again a private home, becoming the Postalwaith family home for several generations, a total of 150 years, beginning in 1823.

Modern Day[edit]

In 1973, the building was sold to a local investor and it eventually became a tavern and restaurant to serve both locals and visitors, taking the original name, the King's Tavern. Under new ownership The Tavern has reopened in the fall of 2013. The owners are using the farm-to-table concept using locally sourced quality ingredients. Offerings include specialty flat breads made in a wood fired brick oven, salads, and desserts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ [1]