ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — During the restoration of the Historic Rogers Tavern, crews discovered a second structure nearby thought to date back to the early 1800s.
Crews in Rogersville halted demolition work at the tavern after they found what they believe to be the tavern’s original kitchen. The log structure was found when modern siding was stripped away during an overhaul project.
“We discovered another log building that was inside of this,” said Stephen Nelson with the Rogersville Heritage Association. “I’ve been involved with this for probably 30 years, and nobody knew that that log structure was there. Looks like it was probably just a one-story log structure.”
Nelson told News Channel 11 that the unearthing of the structure was exciting for crews.
“This is a great discovery, and we’ll know more when we sort of do more digging on this thing,” Nelson said. “We just found it the other day.”
Due to the discovery, Tennessee’s second-oldest town’s plans for the restoration are expected to slow. The Heritage Association plans to restore the newly discovered structure alongside the tavern itself.
The structure’s style and construction materials appear to match the Rogers Tavern, and Nelson said the suspected kitchen was likely built at the same time as the tavern over 200 years ago. According to Nelson, the Rogers Tavern is documented in the Lewis and Clark Expedition and played host to President Andrew Jackson on several evenings.
“It’s kind of amazing to find this piece of history,” Nelson said. “It looks like it was built originally at the same time as the original Rogers Tavern.”
The kitchen is believed to have been hidden under old renovations when a more modern kitchen was installed.