A Brief History: Shields Tavern is located at 422 East Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, Virginia. In the mid-1700s, there were 7 open taverns. One of them, Marot’s Ordinary was owned by John Marotfor a number of years, until his death in 1717. It was then passed to his daughter, Anne Marot Ingles in 1745 who purchased the tavern from her sister Edith. After Anne married James Shields, Marot’s Ordinary became Shields Tavern until his death in 1750. A year after his death, Anne was remarried to Henry Weatherburn who owned another tavern on Duke of Gloucester Street. A terrible fire ravaged the Tavern in 1754, leaving considerable damage. Since then, the property changed multiple hands and had become multiple things until 1858 when the building was once again devastated by fire. The properties final resident rebuilt the building to house a store that created carriages, buggies and wagons.
In 1989, the property was empty when Colonial Williamsburg began to be reconstructed. During the reconstruction, Shields’ Tavern was reborn based on its original configuration before James Shields’ death. The wine cellar (East Room) is the only original piece of architecture left making it one of the 88 original buildings in Colonial Williamsburg. It currently offers a wide array of food and beverages hailing to the 18thcentury.
Haunted History: Over the years, many have claimed the Shields’ Tavern to be haunted. It is said that the late John Lowe, who portrayed James Shields frequently makes his presence known in the restroom. Another story claims that the ghost of a little girl killed by a carriage shows up as a dark mist in pictures taken outside the Tavern. With all of these sightings, it’s hard not to say that Shields’ Tavern is haunted.