The Hanover Tavern is a rambling, two-story frame structure that served as the local tavern in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Through much of the twentieth century, the building was thought to be the original courthouse tavern, but apparently the present structure replaced an earlier wooden building located across the road, perhaps just south of the jail. The present tavern took shape over several major building campaigns. The original section to the north consisted of five bays, with two rooms on either side of a broad central stair passage. The detailing of the staircase, chimney, and other features suggests that this part was built at the very end of the eighteenth century. Some two or three decades later, an Lshaped addition was constructed to the south and linked to the older section by a one-bay section, which probably served as a bar. This new addition provided a large entertaining room on the ground floor and more than doubled the number of sleeping chambers on the second floor. A number of modifications were made through the end of the nineteenth century. In the early 1950s the cellar was enlarged and converted into a dinner theater. Also in the complex is the Pamunkey Regional Library (1942), in the Colonial Revival mode, a gift from David K. E. Bruce, the diplomat.
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