Lucas Tavern

This is going to be another post that is largely about the photos, as most of the information I have is recounted in the three different historical markers dedicated to this site.  That being said, let's get into the story.

Lucas Tavern was another waypoint for people travelling through Montgomery County in the early days of the Federal Road.  Travelers were expected to make about 15 miles each day, so if you were heading to New Orleans in 1819 you would almost certainly sleep at Lucas Tavern one night and at Manac's Tavern the following night.  Lucas Tavern was located in present-day Waugh, Alabama, a few hundred yards east of Exit 16 on Interstate 85.  There's a plaque there to mark the original location of the Tavern, but that plaque was placed in 2002.  Another plaque was placed on the same spot by the D.A.R. in 1932, but it was moved to downtown Montgomery in 1980 (along with the building itself).  Today, Lucas Tavern is still standing as the starting point of tours in Old Alabama Town.  The third plaque is in front of the Tavern, and matches all of the other information plaques in front of each of the buildings that make up Old Alabama Town.

The Tavern has two big claims to fame.  It's the oldest remaining building in Montgomery County, and it paid host to a visit from the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825.  Lucas Tavern can be seen from the street, but if you want to go inside you'll have to pay the Old Alabama Town admission fee.  I highly recommend it if you're never taken the tour, and we'll be covering the other buildings in future posts.

These first couple of photos show the marker at the original site of the Tavern, along with the transcription and a shot of its surroundings.  Then you'll see a map showing the location of this first marker.

Lucas Tavern historical marker, Waugh, Montgomery County, Alabama

Lucas Tavern
Circa 1818

Stood 2800 feet north of this point, just west of Line Creek on the Federal Road. Moved to Montgomery in 1978 to serve as the Visitor and Information Center for the Old North Hull Historic District, it is the oldest remaining building in Montgomery County. Original proprietor, James Abercrombie, ran it from about 1818. Walter B. Lucas announced his take over of the tavern in the January 6, 1821 issue of the Montgomery Republican. A four-room frame building with a long central hall, the tavern’s most famous guest was Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette who stayed here on April 2, 1825 during his triumphant tour of the United States.
— Sponsored by the East Montgomery County Historical Society, Inc. and Alabama Historical Association, 2002

Setting of Lucas Tavern historical marker, Waugh, Montgomery County, Alabama


Next, we have the nearly century-old marker and its transcription, followed by the Old Alabama Town plaque and its transcription, both near the Tavern's current setting.

Original Lucas Tavern D.A.R. historical marker, now standing next to the building in Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama

Lucas Tavern

Stood four hundred yards North of this point

Lafayette spent the night here April 2, 1825
— Erected by Peter Forney Chapter (D.A.R.) - 1932, replaced - 1980

Lucas Tavern information placard, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama

Lucas Tavern
Early 19th century

Located on the Federal Road near Line Creek (present Waugh) in eastern Montgomery County, this wayside hotel was built prior to 1818 and was owned by at least two other families before coming in the possession of Walter and Eliza Lucas around January 1821. Originally a two room dogtrot, the building was brought to its present form by the Lucas family in the early 1820s. On April 2, 1825, Eliza entertained the Marquis de Lafayette and his entourage in the Tavern during their trip through the state. The family left for new business ventures in Mississippi in 1842, after with the Tavern became a residence and, eventually, a storage building.
The structure was moved to Old Alabama Town and restored in 1980. It is the oldest standing building in Montgomery County.
— Landmark Foundation of Montgomery, sponsored by Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C.

Finally, we have two exterior shots of the Tavern and three photos of the interior, followed by a second map showing the Tavern's current location.

Front view of Lucas Tavern, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama

Side view of Lucas Tavern, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama

Central hallway of Lucas Tavern, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama

Front bedroom in Lucas Tavern, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama

Rear room with serving kiosk in Lucas Tavern, Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama


We'll come back to early Alabama history in the future, but our next post is going to move closer to the present.  Thursday we'll look at one of the many historical markers dedicated to an individual who is more synonymous with Montgomery than anyone else, Rosa Parks.