The Gabreil Daveis Tavern is opening its doors for the first time this spring as it gears up for the colonial reenactment weekend this Saturday and Sunday.
The Revolutionary Weekend is always filled with a lot of enthusiasm from attendees, and this year‘s events are sure to not disappoint.
Sharon Mickle, a member of the Gloucester Township Historic and Scenic Preservation Committee, is excited for this weekend and hopes the people who attend will get to feel the activities they are going to be shown.
“They are going to be a part of daily life. The difference between today and the 1700s is where people pretty much had to make everything themselves,” Mickle said. “They had to be self-sustaining, from raising their animals, raising their crops to making the yarn and making something metal with the blacksmith.”
The activities that will be shown range from the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s. Attendees will be instructed by authentic reenactors who will be staying on the premises throughout the weekend and sleeping in tents. For $1, tickets can be purchased for activities like tomahawk throwing, archery, building muskets, participating in beadmaking and more.
Having all those activities will bring people to the tavern and let them experience the unique area that surrounds it. The weekend reenactment will also be the spring open house, the first time the tavern will be open this season.
The tavern is located near Timber Creek, and Mickle gave unique insight to how important the creek was to colonial people.
“Timber Creek is why Gloucester Township is here,” she said. “People traveled by water, they needed water for cooking, for bathing, for washing and for drinking. It all depended on the creek.“
The main goal of the tavern is sharing the local history.
The founder of the tavern was Gabreil Daveis, who built the tavern in 1756 and housed many soldiers, travelers and other individuals who came across the tavern. It was also used for town meetings and elections.
The building went to Daveis’ widow, Sarah Daveis, after his death in 1767, and she tried to run the business the best she could, but struggled.
The tavern changed hands many times between families and eventually was placed in the hands of William Schuck. Schuck was an artist, photo engraver and physical culturist. He lived on the property from 1923 until his death in 1976. He is one of the biggest reasons the tavern is preserved in the condition it is today. His gravesite is on the property.
At the time of his death, his will stipulated that the tavern be given to Gloucester Township.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/glotwphistory/.