HISTORIC WRIGHT TAVERN
Located on North Carolina Highway 65 in Wentworth, North Carolina, Wright Tavern is on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to being a historic site, the building also currently houses the Wentworth post office.
Originally, a residence was built on the site, probably about 1810, which was torn down for construction of the tavern.
Construction of the tavern began in about 1816, by William Wright, to accommodate customers attending sessions of court in the county seat of Wentworth. Built in several stages, it began as a simple Federal style “dog run” building. The term “dog run” refers to the fact that, on the lower level, the two wings of the building are separated by an open-air passage that served as both an indoor-outdoor, public-private space through which a dog could run end to end.
In about 1820 Wright extended the cross front of the building to the east and added a second story to be used as the family’s residence. The porch was added giving the building the general appearance it has today. In 1830 a one-story dining room and the northeast and northwest wings were added by James Wright, son of the original builder and operator of the inn.
The building continued to operate as an inn, boarding house, and dining room well into the 1920’s, by which time it was owned by the Reid family and referred to as the “Reid House.”
The building has been extensively restored but much of the original construction remains, including the original heart pine floors. There is a collection of books original to the tavern, as well. The tavern has been furnished with many period pieces of furniture and décor.
In addition to the tavern building, the grounds contain a separate kitchen building, moved to the side from the plantation of Governor John M. Morehead. The granary came from the Eli Price homestead and was rebuilt in 1988. The smokehouse came from the Watt-Richardson plantation. The other building on site is the law office of prominent Rockingham County attorney and Clerk of Court Ira Humphreys and was moved to its present location from its original site next to the courthouse.