Half a mile from Gloucester Court House stands a quaint colonial building, which was formerly known as Long Bridge Ordinary, now owned and occupied by the Gloucester Woman’s Club.
In colonial days when our ancestors travelled in the leisurely manner of coach and four or by stagecoach, many weary travellers stopped at Long Bridge Ordinary to refresh themselves and to bait their horses.
In the old Rising Sun Tavern at Fredericksburg hangs a poster, dated 1736, stating that the stagecoach left at eight o’clock in the morning for Hornet’s Nest and Long Bridge Ordinary.
An eminent architect has confirmed the fact that the house was built prior to 1727. The cornices, stairways, and other features are similar to those of houses built about this period.
This house stands against a hill, the first story is of brick, while the second and third are of wood. The outer doors are of two thicknesses each, the outside panels being straight, the inside ones slanting, to turn the point of the Indian’s arrow.
The quaint simplicity of the building has a great charm, and the large living room with its open fireplace radiates cheerfulness and hospitality.
In recent years the building has passed through many hands. Prior to 1907 the house was used as a dwelling by the Clements family. Mr. W. J. Burlee purchased the property in 1910, and from him it was purchased by Mr. J. Marshall Lewis, in 1911. In turn Mr. Lewis sold the property to the Gloucester Agricultural Association. Through the efforts of this organization and the financial assistance of Mr. W. DeWolf Dimock, the building was restored.
In 1914 the Gloucester Woman’s Club purchased the house and an acre and one-quarter of land. This splendid organization of Gloucester women deserve much credit for owning and preserving so interesting and valuable a landmark.