Raleigh Tavern, Parlor
Interior of Raleigh Tavern's Common Dining Room, 1935. The portrait above the fireplace features the Marquis de Lafayette (accession # 1930-593), the young French major general who commanded an American division under General Washington at the 1781 Battle of Yorktown. An early eighteenth-century gateleg dining table (accession # 1930-72) is also exhibited in the center of the room, surrounded by other furnishings and decorative items along the room's perimeter.
The Raleigh Tavern was the frequent scene of both jollity and consequence. Burned to the ground in 1859, the tavern was reconstructed from published illustrations, insurance policies, and archaeology that uncovered most of the original foundations. Interior furnishings and decor reflect curators' views in the 1930s as to how Williamsburg's historic interiors may have looked in the eighteenth century. Nevertheless, with new research advances over the years, the Raleigh Tavern's interiors have changed and evolved to reflect a more authentic and accurate view of each room's likely contents and arrangements.