Final Touches to the Tavern Restoration

It was over a year ago when Colonel first laid eyes on a sad, decaying building that didn’t seem worthy of another look. But, the walls spoke of history that could not be overlooked. Luckily, the building was framed with original materials that could be saved, and Colonel’s vision led him and a team of craftsmen on the path to a restoration that would give this 200-year-old building a permanent future.

Watch the video as the final Andrew Jackson Tavern restoration is revealed.

The Final Steps

The hardest part of this restoration was out of the way – the chimney – but Payton and Corey had to flex their muscles just a little bit further as they worked with some of the remaining rock to create the front steps.

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Once the steps were finished, it was time for the final paint job. A dash of red paint was a clue that the final coat was ready to go on.

Painting and the Final Touches

When coming up with a solution for painting the tavern, something told Colonel this building needed more than just traditional white.  Colonel did his research, just as he did through the entire restoration process.  “Everything has been researched…nothing is an accident here,” says Colonel. Colonial Williamsburg provided inspiration for the paint colors for the interior and exterior.

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Kenneth Fralex and his brother, Donnie, added their special touch as they finished the painting on the exterior of the tavern.

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Poppy Hall Paints True Colors

Colonel knew of a nearby resident who would add the right effect to the walls. Poppy Hall is a professional painter who has spent many years honing her skills of faux finish and design techniques to make the new look old. “It was interesting researching about paint colors with Colonel,” says Poppy. The paint that was applied to the interior and exterior of the building was from a Benjamin Moore line of historical colors designed to match the true colors of the period.

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Poppy worked her magic to achieve an aged and weathered look, right down to the door frames, windows and stairs.  The steps even mimic where shoes would have worn the paint down as people turned to go upstairs.

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Custom Lattice Work

Payton and Corey built lattice to close off the space under the tavern.  They were handmade of red cedar and was thicker and of a better quality than what you’d typically find at the local home improvement store.

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Colonel gave the lattice his own special touch – treating it with, of all things, motor oil for a rich, red finish. You can count on the Colonel to bring something automotive to every project.

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The Tavern BEFORE . . .

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Above is the front of the tavern when it first arrived, and below is the view from the back.

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The Final Reveal of the Andrew Jackson Tavern

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The building may reflect the lifestyle and architecture of 200 years ago; but Colonel does have the option of some modern-day amenities like water and electricity, which Payton installed.

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It wasn’t long after the tavern was completed that Colonel began to furnish the building with some of his collectibles. (His wife became increasingly suspicious as she kept noticing things missing from the house.) As everything came together, the tavern seemed to be the perfect place to set up his office.

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Above the mantle is a painting of Colonel’s great-grandfather, William Riley Littleton, that Poppy created from an original photograph.

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Upstairs, a rope bed and other period furniture complete the look. This is the space where the walls feature very old boards painted with a rare stencil design.

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We wonder what new ideas will surface now that Colonel and his “thinking chair” have settled into this space.

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The Andrew Jackson Tavern sits as a reminder of its 200-year-old past. With its new solid foundation, Colonel expects it to be around for 200 more years.  The small building to the left is a smokehouse from a farm several miles away. Colonel brought the smokehouse, which was a gift from a friend, to Foxfire Farm this past year. It was cleaned up and painted to accompany the tavern, adding some extra storage space.

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In the end, Colonel could not have been happier with the way the tavern turned out. With the help of a talented team of craftsmen, his vision is now complete.

Fern Greenbank, of County Life Marshall Magazine, wrote about the start of this journey a few months back (a link to the article can be found here). She ended the story by saying, “That would be a perfect ending for this love story, the Colonel sitting behind a desk in the house that once fed and housed a soldier and future President of the United States.”  Yes, Fern, it has come true.

And, Colonel concludes . . .”I’m proud to say, the old tavern is alive and well once again.”

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