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Historic Site

Tomlinson's Inn (closed)

Formerly/Also Known As Tomlinson's Tavern

12871 National Pike
Grantsville, MD 21536

Historical marker text:

Tomlinson's Stone House Inn was built in 1816 at Little Meadows. Owner Jesse Tomlinson was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and already a successful businessman and innkeeper. He anticipated the business that the new National Road would bring to the area. The walls in the Stone House are two feet thick and 10 of the 18 rooms have fireplaces. Slave labor helped with much of the construction. Jesse Tomlinson died in 1840. His building has served as an inn, tavern, post office (1822-1834), and polling place. Presidents-elect James K. Polk and William Henry Harrison both were guests here. The Stone House remained an inn through the end of the 1800's. It has since retired from its days as a social and political center and is now a private residence.

From Searight's The Old Pike (1894):

Two miles west of Piney Grove the celebrated old Tomlinson tavern at Little Meadows is reached. This is an old stand; as old as the National Road. Here the lines of the National and the old Braddock roads coincide. Jesse Tomlinson owned the land at this point. And kept a tavern on the old Braddock road, before the National Road was made. Upon the opening of the latter he abandoned his old house and erected a new one on the new road, which he conducted as a tavern for many years. After his death the property passed to the hands of Jacob Sides. W. M. F. Magraw, as before stated, married a daughter of Jacob Sides. This place is referred to as the Little Meadows in the official record of Braddock's unfortunate march through the mountains in 1755. The region at and about Mt. Washington, further westward on the line of the road, where the conflict between Washington and the French and Indians occurred, in 1754, is designated by Washington, in his official report of that engagement, as the Great Meadows. Tomlinson's tavern is a large stone house, on the north side of the road. After Tomlinson, it was kept by Thomas Endsley, who was succeeded by Thomas Thistle, Thomas Thistle by James Stoddard, and he, in turn, by Jesse Huddleson, Truman Fairall, Lemuel Cross and David Mahaney, all before the rail road was continued west of Cumberland. It was kept by George Layman after the railroad absorbed the trade. Layman was afterward sheriff of Allegany county, Maryland. In the year 1862, while the property was under the control of Mr. Magraw, the old Tomlinson tavern was remodeled and much improved. The contract for the improvements was undertaken by George W. Wyning, a well known carpenter of Uniontown, who superintended the work in person, and during its progress he and Magraw together, spent many a pleasant hour amid the exhilarating atmosphere of the mountains, in the society of the old pike boys. James K. Polk dined at the Tomlinson house in the spring of 1845, on his way to Washington to be inaugurated President. Huddleson was keeping the house at that time. The occasion brought together a. large concourse of mountain people, who were addressed by the President-elect.

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Jesse Tomlinson house at Little Meadows.
Jesse Tomlinson house at Little Meadows.

Jesse Tomlinson house at Little Meadows.
Jesse Tomlinson house at Little Meadows. 1910 postcard.

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Last updated: 2014-02-27 06:12:14

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