Gabreil Daveis Tavern House
The Gabreil Daveis Tavern House was built in 1756 and served as an integral Gloucester Township community focal point for over a decade. It also served as a field hospital during the Revolutionary War and has been inhabited by both Revolutionary and Civil War veterans since. The Georgian style home now serves the community as a historic house museum, giving people a glimpse into the life of how a middle-class colonial family lived along the banks of Big Timber Creek. The Gabreil Daveis Tavern House has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.
Backstory and Context
The area around the present Gabreil Daveis Tavern House was first settled by Gabreil’s grandfather, William Daveis, in 1710. It eventually expanded to a 178-acre plantation that stretched to Runnemede and where slaves grew and harvested apples, sweet potatoes and other crops. The land then passed to William Daveis Jr and then to Gabreil Daveis and his wife Sarah. Gabreil and Sarah initially lived in a log cabin on their land and he went on to serve the township as tax collector, clerk and constable.
In 1756, Gabreil built a three-story, vernacular Georgian style brick and field stone tavern along the Irish Road that connected Gloucester Township to Great Egg Harbor, just south of present day Atlantic City. Daveis understood that Big Timber Creek was a tidal river and people working and traveling along it needed a place to stay during low tide. Hence, the idea for a tavern was born. His tavern featured numerous items common to the Georgian style, to include brick in Flemish bond, wood paneled shutters, wood shingles, brick chimneys and a gable roof with a date stone at one end. These items have been restored and are featured to this day.
The tavern, aside from serving libations, also hosted township elections and meetings from 1757-1770. After Gabreil passed in 1767, his widow, Sarah, ran the tavern for a year, but then did not renew its license in 1768 and it reverted to a private home. During the Revolutionary War, the home was designated as a field hospital by George Washington and the wounded were cared for in the home’s attic. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the Hillman Hospital House. Over the years, the former tavern was occupied by patriot leaders Benjamin Pittfield and Major George Payne and Civil War veteran, Captain Edward Warrick.
The home was eventually acquired by Joseph Jaggard, who was related to the Warricks through marriage. Jaggard then permitted the house to fall into a state of disrepair over the years before selling it to William Schuck in 1923. Schuck allowed Jaggard to live in his former residence for another 30 years. Schuck, the last private owner of the home, died in 1976 and left the home and what remained of the land to Gloucester Township with the stipulation that it be used as a public historic structure.
The former tavern and home has since been restored and tours are conducted through its rooms two Sundays per month from April through November. The home features period furniture and antiques as well as the artwork of its last owner, William Schuck, who is buried on the property. The tavern also hosts special events throughout the year, such as Colonial and Revolutionary War Weekends with period actors. Please call for specific tour and special event times and dates.
Sokolic, William. "Glendora site boasts centuries of history." Courier Post. July 12, 2014. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2014/07/12/glendora-site-boasts-cent...
Krum, Logan. "Back to the future: Gloucester Township relives colonial times." Sicklerville Sun. April 25, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://sicklervillesun.com/back-to-the-future-gloucester-township-relives-colonial-times-623a6831b8...
"Gabreil Daveis Tavern." Historical Marker Database. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=94907
"Historic importance of the Gabreil Daveis Tavern in Gloucester Township." Gloucester Township. October 19, 2016. Accessed April 6, 2018. https://glotwp.com/news/historic-importance-of-the-gabreil-daveis-tavern-in-gloucester-township/