About This Place
Gordonsville is a town in Louisa and Orange counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 1,498 at the 2000 census.
Nathaniel Gordon purchased 1,350 acres (5.5 km2) in 1787 and in 1794, or possibly earlier, applied for and was granted a license to operate a tavern. Travelers leaving the Charlottesville of Thomas Jefferson's day followed the "Fredericksburgh Great road" northward which, at the site of the present traffic circle in Gordonsville, crossed the road from Richmond leading west over the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Valley. President Jefferson described Gordon’s in 1802 as a "good house" when recommending the best route south to Charlottesville from the recently established National capital on the Potomac.
The building was known as Gordon’s Tavern, Gordon Tavern or later as Gordon Inn. Stagecoach passengers found a well-furnished public house where they could refresh themselves with apple brandy -'the common drink of the country,' a visiting Englishman noted, or other spirits. The commemorative marker at the site lists these prominent Americans as guests at the tavern: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, James & Philip Pendleton Barbour, James Waddel, William Wirt & Henry Clay. Another famous visitor was Major General the Marquis de Lafayette.