Williams Ordinary

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The stately Georgian mansion known as Williams Ordinary is Virginia’s only surviving colonial building employing header-bond brickwork. Header bond was popular for finer quality 18th-century buildings in England and is found on several mansions in Annapolis, Md., but it was rarely used elsewhere in the colonies. It is likely that the Williams Ordinary building is the work of Maryland masons. The formality of its design is emphasized by its five-bay façade, hipped roof, stone quoins, keystone lintels, and rusticated doorway. The building, also known as the Old Hotel and Love’s Tavern, has long been a prominent landmark in the Prince William County town of Dumfries, on the old King’s Highway (now the busy U.S. Route 1). The Williams Ordinary’s early history is obscure, but it probably was constructed in the 1760s, and may originally have been a prosperous merchant’s house. George Williams was the proprietor of an ordinary here as early as 1788.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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