Posted: Sep 24, 2013 2:36 PM by Cristina Alexander, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Sep 24, 2013 10:28 PM
BOONE COUNTY - Construction workers began disassembling the 183-year-old historic Gentry-Threlkeld-Van Horn Tavern on Tuesday and will move it to the Boone Monument Village in Marthasville in order to preserve it.
"I think, in the process, I've had a great history lesson," owner of the tavern Patrick Dougherty said. "The story about the tavern has sort of become ingrained in me."
The tavern served as a pit stop for many pioneers travelling across the United States. One of the more famous historical personalities who stopped by the tavern was notable American author, Washington Irving.
Dougherty has had the property in his backyard for more than 40 years. He said he decided to sell the property because he can no longer maintain it.
"I've just been barely able to maintain the tavern for the past year and you can see the deterioration," Dougherty said. "There's some deterioration from my not getting out there and trying to fix everything that happened."
Dougherty has tried to sell the property before, but said the highest bid he got was of $1. Proprietor of the Boone Monument Village, Bernardo Brunetti, bought the property for $10. He said it is the second oldest structure he's ever worked with, the first being a building from 1799.
"This was an incredible find," Brunetti said. "We're looking forward to reconstructing it, disassembling it, and reconstructing it and making it back into a fully functional tavern from the period."
He said tearing down the property will take one week, but rebuilding it will take up to a year. The team putting the tavern back together will use an original picture of the tavern for reference when it is time to reconstruct it. He said adding the tavern to the monument village is important for historical reasons.
"The tavern will play a very important part because they will be serving typical foods of the time and drinks and so forth," Brunetti said. "We're going to try to integrate the actual history in a very effective way by making it, bringing it back to life, much more effective than studying it in a book."