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June 16th, 2007
We didn't go inside either the Grist Mill or the Michie Tavern, though in retrospect, we should have. Instead, we opted for going to the city of Charlottesville to check that out and to eat. Eating was our primary objective, though we soon found out that the Tavern does have an operating restaurant. In fact, it's mostly a restaurant/gift shop and the Grist mill is a crafting store, selling reproduction item and clothing from the days of old. The menu at the Tavern is extremely limited. If what I read is true, they ONLY have fried chicken and BBQ pork. However, everything there is supposed to be good old fashioned cooking, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, coleslaw, beets, stewed tomatoes, homemade biscuits and cornbread. You can't get anymore Southern than that. I'd of loved it, but we couldn't find much of anything in Charlottesville. We ended up at a Wafflehouse. So I recommend, paying the price and sucking up the short menu and going to the Tavern. People dress up in costume. You can buy admission to tour the mill and Tavern. I am guessing that there is more to the Tavern than just the restaurant. There must be more rooms or something on the grounds to look at. Wish we'd of spent the money now that I look back. A little history on the tavern: It was established in 1784 by Scotsman William Michie and provided travelers with food and drink and lodging till 1927. It's close to Thomas Jefferson's home and thus served as a waiting place for guests who did not know if Jefferson would be in residence (no phones back then you know!). The upstairs ballroom was also used as a schoolroom and also a place of worship on Sundays and then was converted for overflow space for travelers to sleep. It's rumored there may have been a dentist office there are one time as well. The Grist Mill was what it's name implied. It now is a clothier (colonial clothing), general store (sells old fashioned candy and food items) and crafts from the period. It's open 7 days a week. Food served 11:15 am - 3:30 PM April through October and 11:30 am - 3:00 PM November through March. Tavern tours from 9 am - 4:20 pm and the outside is self-guided. General store (mill) is open 9"30 am -5:30 PM and clothing part is open 11 am - 4PM. Cost of the tour is 8.00 and I have no idea how much the food is. Knowing this is the only thing for miles around (if you are not from the area you will not know where anything else is), it could be expensive, so bring a credit card or extra cash just in case. It's always better to be prepared. You can get what is called a President's pass, which is good for Monticello, the Tavern/mill and Ash Lawn-Highland which you can purchase at the Monticello Visitors Center or online at www.monticello.org/visit/pres_pass.html.
Left to right: Michie Tavern 2) Michie Tavern 3) Meadow Run Grist Mill (front) 4) Meadow Run Grist Mill taken from moving car with shut window, 5 Side of Grist mill as seen on the back of the Pamphlet above.
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