Howlett's Tavern History
Due to the separation of Chesterfield County from Henrico in 1749, it became necessary for a courthouse to be built for the county. On June 2nd of that year, the first ever session of Chesterfield County Court was held at the home of John Howlett, Jr. At this session, Mr Howlett received his license to operate an ordinary (or tavern). Once the ordinary was built, court sessions were held there until the courthouse was completed.
Later on, during the Revolutionary War, the courthouse was burned by the British soldiers. While repairs were being made, court sessions were once again held at Howlett's Tavern.
In June 1987, bulldozers began to clear a driveway in front of Magnolia Grange Museum House and as the dirt was scooped up, wine bottles and bowls began to fall out! The bowls were identified by Lyle Browning, State Department Archaeologist, as being colonial delftware, circa 1750-1760, from England. The conclusion was made that this was indeed from John Howlett's Tavern of 1749, which probably suffered a small fire and was abandoned around 1780-1800.
The current Howlett's Restaurant & Tavern was originally founded in 1987 within walking distance from the historical location.
We operated at that location until our move in 2009 to the Chester Village Green.