Located on Church Street in downtown Mathews, the 2½-story Greek Revival-style structure, owned by Court and Tammye Van Clief, was approved on Dec. 17 for its significance in the areas of architecture and commerce. It was operated as a hotel and tavern from its construction circa 1840 until 1918, when it became a private residence.
Under the Van Cliefs’ ownership, the building is once again serving its original purpose, as a bed and breakfast and restaurant. Tammye Van Clief said she’s very excited about the listing.
"I think it’s wonderful that we were able to achieve that," she said. "It’s a good thing for Mathews. The more historical designations a county can get, the more draw there is for people to come and enjoy it."
Van Clief said she and her husband had thought the building was significant, and that she believes there’s evidence that part of it may be even older, but that, in any case, "it’s been around here a long time and has a lot of community history."
"People think of Mathews County’s immediate history—fishing, crabbing," said Van Clief. "But there’s history that goes way back."