Real estate taxes waived for Mahone’s Tavern

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

COURTLAND—Southampton County supervisors on Monday voted 7-0 to no longer require the owners of Mahone’s Tavern and Museum to pay real estate taxes.

The non-profit that owns the historic tavern at 22341 Main St. in Courtland, across from the county courthouse, pays $785 annually at the current tax rate.

Mahone Tavern and Museum Inc. three years ago purchased the tavern and is restoring it, said group President and Chief Executive Officer Warren Simmons. The property has an assessed value of $102,000.

“We want to be able to bring school children and civic groups (here),” Simmons said. “Our history needs preserved and we purchased the property so it wouldn’t fall by the wayside. We are working diligently to make that happen.”

“It was expensive to purchase the property,” he continued. “And restoring it is more expensive.”

Warren noted that although the county will lose money, down the road, it could pay off.

“We feel like in the next 10 years, when a person visits the county, they will need a place to stay,” he said. “We feel the little that is given will pay off.”

Teresa Preston of Ivor spoke in favor of waiving the real estate taxes.

“It takes a lot of volunteers and donations to pay those taxes,” Preston said. “We have several other entities in the county who have received tax-exempt status. The museum is trying to get on its feet.”

Built in 1796, the tavern for 100 years was a place for residents and visitors to do business in Southampton County and provided lodging and meals. The tavern is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The tavern is named after Gen. William Mahone, who was a civil engineer, teacher, soldier, railroad executive, and a member of the Virginia General Assembly and U.S. Congress. During the Civil War, as a leader eventually attaining the rank of major general of the Confederate States Army, Mahone is best known for turning the tide of the Battle of the Crater against the Union advance during the Siege of Petersburg in 1864.