Overfield Tavern undergoing restoration

By Haylee Pence

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TROY – Over 200 years ago, Benjamin Overfield allowed travelers to rest at his home and tavern. Now, the Overfield Tavern Museum occupies the historical landmark and reflects Overfield’s life in the early 1800s.

The museum hosts five rooms containing historical items that early settlers would have used, including furniture, clothing, coverlets, decorative arts, pewter and ceramic dishes, and other kitchen necessities.

The oldest part of the building, a one-room log cabin, was constructed in 1803 as the Overfield family’s first home. The adjoining two-story tavern was built in 1808 and served as the first county courthouse in Troy. The building also served as a general gathering place for the community, hosting local Masonic Lodge meetings, social functions, auctions, and religious services.

“It’s an amazing space with an incredible history,” M. Chris Manning, executive director of the Overfield Tavern Museum, stated.

Currently, the building is undergoing a major restoration project that has been divided into phases. The first phase, completed in 2020, involved the replacement of the building’s roof. The phase of the project currently underway includes repair and partial replacement of several of the building’s original hand-hewn logs, as well as some foundation work to help stabilize the building. According to Manning, the current phase of repair work will be concluded by July, with the next phase — which will be the installation of wood siding and a complete paint job using historically appropriate colors — set to begin in late 2022 or early 2023.

“Our goal is to keep this 214-year-old building standing for another 200 years,” Manning commented.

Manning thanked all of the generous donors and organizations that continuously support the Overfield Tavern Museum, allowing it to continue to serve as a gathering place for the community and offering educational experiences and tours. Support for the current phase of the project has been provided by the Troy Foundation, the Miami County Foundation, and the Lucial H. Bravo Fund of the Overfield Tavern Museum Foundation.