Boykin’s Tavern Museum

Boykins Tavern

Boykin’s Tavern is named for Francis Boykin, who served as a lieutenant with Patrick Henry and later camped with George Washington at Valley Forge. Boykin inherited this land in 1780, as well as the house that had stood there since 1762. A smart businessman, he donated land for the Isle of Wight Courthouse of 1800 and jail. This way his tavern was conveniently located right next door for meals and refreshments needed by court officers and personnel, curious observers and travelers.

Historic Boykin’s Tavern is the only surviving structure associated with the Isle of Wight Courthouse of 1800. Located on one of the oldest thoroughfares in Virginia, Route 258/Courthouse Highway, the tavern provided accommodations during the 18th and 19th centuries when transportation was limited and roadways were marginally functional. Attendant to the courthouse, the tavern served as a meeting place for influential state and local government leaders as well as the center for social activity within the county. Additionally, the tavern, which houses architectural facets that are rare in rural Virginia, played a significant role in both the Revolutionary War and Civil War.

Used as a private home early in the 20th century, the tavern was purchased by the County in 1973. Recognizing the value of such a landmark, Isle of Wight took the initiative to have the tavern placed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Visit April through December for a self-guided tour of the first floor. Call for hours.

Boykin’s Tavern Museum
17146 Monument Circle
Isle of Wight, Va. 23397
(757) 357-5182


2018 Walking Tours of the Isle of Wight Courthouse Complex

10 a.m. April 21, June 16 and August 18.

Join us as we explore this 19th, 20th and 21st century site and share the story of its beginnings as well as a few tales of capers and duels. This tour begins and ends at Boykin’s Tavern.

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