Where We Live: Home with ties to Raleigh Tavern, John D. Rockefeller

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700 Goodwin-19
The exterior of 700 Goodwin Street.(Courtesy John Walls/Third Wall Media LLC)

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The Raleigh Tavern, named for Sir Walter Raleigh and established around 1717, was one of the largest taverns in colonial Virginia. 

Three hundred years later, a home with ties to the historic site is on the market in Williamsburg.

The tavern's rich history includes meetings of Burgesses, after dissolution of the House of Burgesses, and the founding of Phi Beta Kappa. The structure was destroyed by fire in 1859, but later reconstructed on the original foundation as part of Colonial Williamsburg's restoration. It was dedicated on Sept. 16, 1932.

As part of the tavern's refurbishment, a commercial kitchen was added in the back of the colonial structure, according to information on Hornsby Real Estate Co.'s website. The addition included a pantry, a servants' dining room and a first-floor storage room. Two bedrooms and a bathroom were added on the second level.

When in Williamsburg, John D. Rockefeller stayed in the so-called “Raleigh Tavern wing,” in the room at the head of the stairs. Kenneth Chorley, who was then the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's president, stayed in the room at the end of the hall.

Plans to use the Raleigh Tavern as a restaurant were changed in order to keep the design authentic. The “Raleigh Tavern wing” was sold in 1950, and the building was transported to the corner of Burns Lane and Goodwin Street. That's where it stands today, at 700 Goodwin St.

After the structure was moved, the owner at the time, Hobart Ray, adapted the “Raleigh Tavern wing” into a home. Several walls were moved, the old kitchen was turned into a formal living room and the dining room was repositioned.

Other improvements and renovations made throughout the years include: a den with a gas fireplace, a dining room wet bar with refrigerator and a sun porch, opening to the upper deck.

The master bedroom saw the addition of a cathedral ceiling, dressing rooms, a tile shower and a Jacuzzi tub. Paneled doors in the master bedroom came from the Williamsburg courthouse of the 1930s. 

The kitchen, renovated in 2004, has a central island with a seven-foot pantry, three more pantry/closets, and a built-in glass display cabinet in the breakfast area.

The house is listed for sale at $649,000.

Where We Live is a weekly feature looking at homes the Historic Triangle. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at WYD@WYDaily.com.