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.
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.
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.
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
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.