Andrew Jackson Tavern – The Journey Home
A Saved Building Takes The Journey Home
There was a fragile, broken-down building in Belfast, Tennessee, the last remaining structure of what was a 200-year-old inn and tavern. The building was picked up and taken on its final journey home to Foxfire Farm in Lynnville on May 8, 2014. It has been undergoing a careful restoration, protecting its past and future – and its historic link to Andrew Jackson.
It was Lee and Kathy Flippo, two friends of Colonel’s and owners of K&L House Movers, who discovered the ramshackle building on a property it had been moved to, just a mile up the road from its original location. Time had taken its toll, and years of neglect were wearing the walls away with no one to breathe new life into it.
Something struck a chord with the Colonel, who is a preservationist at heart, and he knew it had to be saved.
The photo right was provided by the Marshall County Historical Society and shows the building to the left that was used as an inn, connected by a “dog trot” to the two-story building referred to as a kitchen, slave quarters and tavern. It sat at the crossroads of Finley-Beech Rd. and Belfast-Farmington Rd. The portion that remains is the two-story structure on the right. The chimney was already torn down and sold for the price of the vintage stone when the building was found.
In The Beginning. . .
Robert Adams was one of the original settlers of the Old Belfast area around 1808 and first owned the land and these buildings, which became known as the Adams Inn and Tavern. It is believed the larger building became a tavern that was run by Robert’s son, Alexander.
It was also during this time, that the future President, General Andrew Jackson, traveled through this area.
Andrew Jackson stopped in Belfast and stayed for three weeks while mustering troops, and while the old Fishing Ford Rd., a heavily forested area and one of the oldest traveled roads in Tennessee history, was cleared enough to handle the convoy of military wagons and horses through Elk Ridge. Jackson was believed to have stayed at the inn and to have frequented the tavern while his troops camped down the road. After Jackson had spent time here, the building became known as Andrew Jackson Tavern.
Around 200 years later, remains of these historic buildings were almost completely lost.
With little notice, residents were surprised to see the buildings gone from their original footing and moved a mile and a half up Finley-Beech Rd. The original inn / house was torn down, leaving just the tavern. And, it was in this spot where Lee Flippo and Colonel first laid eyes on the building and formed their own ideas about saving it. Anticipation grew as moving day came.
K&L Movers prepare to move the building from its old site. The pitched roof was actually laid down so it could be moved.
For 25 miles and over two days, the oversized load found the most forgiving route from Marshall County to Giles County: Finley Beech Rd., US 31A, SR-50, Old Columbia Rd., Scriptor Mill Rd., SR-373, Mooresville Pike, School St., Valley Creek Rd, US-31, Highway 129 to Foxfire Farm on Abernathy Rd.
The townspeople didn’t want to miss a rare sight like this as the building paraded through the streets of downtown Lynnville, TN. Of course, they had seen something similar when Colonel moved an 1874 one-room school house to the farm.
Just 500 yards away from its final resting spot, the trickiest part comes on the bridge that’s part of the driveway.
They carefully make it over the driveway and head for the landing spot.
The tavern in its original location sat among many cedar trees, so it seemed fitting to place it among a patch of cedar trees on Foxfire Farm.
A couple of trees were cut down to clear the a spot for the building.
And, then the move ends with the tavern at its final resting spot.
Between facts and folklore, the building is a reminder of 19th century times and a vital piece of Tennessee history.
Hundreds of people have come to know this building, which has been deemed the Andrew Jackson Tavern. We are still exploring and gathering information about its history. Descendants of the early settling families, county residents and historians have been an important part of the conversation.
Follow us on this journey.
We’ll bring its past story to light and give you a detailed look at its significance and a step-by-step progress report on its restoration. It won’t be a fancy remodel, but it will be a careful restoration bringing it as close as possible to its 200-year heritage. We invite you to join us on this journey.