Tyree Tavern (The Halfway House)

The Tyree Tavern overlooks the old Midland Trail (U.S. 60) near the New River Gorge.
The Tyree Tavern overlooks the old Midland Trail (U.S. 60) near the New River Gorge. (Photo courtesy Foxfire Realty)

The Tyree Tavern, also known as the Halfway House, is a historic landmark at Ansted, West Virginia, in Fayette County, near the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

On the National Register of Historic Places, it was established sometime before 1830 as a stagecoach stop along what was then a Virginian state road leading westward. The route had formerly been a Native American trail and was used by the Virginian militia marching to the Battle of Point Pleasant on the Ohio River in 1774.

A possible sword mark scars a mantlepiece, likely carved during the tavern's occupation during the Civil War, according to earlier historians.
A possible sword mark scars a mantlepiece, likely carved during the tavern's occupation during the Civil War, according to earlier historians.

Built of hewn logs covered in clapboard, it was famously located halfway between Lewisburg, then the most settled western outpost on the frontier, and the salt wells at Kanawha Salines, near present-day Charleston, West Virginia. For this reason, it was also long known as the Halfway House. The Tyree family also operated a second tavern built of stone nearer Lewisburg, also on the National Register.

The tavern hosted many famous lodgers through the 19th century, including statesmen such as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and U.S. vice-president John C. Breckinridge. During the Civil War, it was used intermittently as a headquarters for northern and southern armies.

Following the war, Confederate States General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson lodged at the tavern when visiting his mother's grave, located at a cemetery on a neighboring knoll.

The tavern was also renowned for its closeness to Marshall's Pillar, an overlook of the New River Gorge named for Chief Justice John Marshall, who visited the cliff in 1812. The pillar was later named Hawk's Nest for the number of birds that nested there and is now the centerpiece of Hawks Nest State Park.

In recent decades the property has been used as an inn, museum, residence, and event venue. It is currently for sale through Foxfire Realty.