Seybold s tavern
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    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
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    Seybold s tavern


    In 1952 a fire burnt down a tavern about one and a half miles south of Excelsior Springs. Normally such a fire would not gain much attention, but the blaze took with it 130-year-old historical landmark---the Seybold Tavern.

    When the state of Missouri was only two years old in 1821, Nellie and Louis Seybold built the tavern, molded after tile same colonial home they left in Virginia. They bought the 110 acres that surrounded the tavern from the government for a mere $2.50 per acre. Louis Seybold built their 12-room house of white oak and walnut, and installed a huge stone fireplace at one end.


    The tavern became a stopover for stagecoach passengers traveling from St. Louis to Choeteau Landing (now the site of Kansas City). At one time the tavern even served as a make-shift hospital. When the Mormans were driven out of Independence they traveled to Clay County, and a few of them ended up at Seybold s tavern. Several of them became ill with what is believed to have been typhoid, and before the siege ended four of the Mormans died. Their graves still lie near the gate at the entrance of the property.


    The tavern gained in popularity as word at it s hospitality and home-made cuisine spread through the state. In 1858 Governor Robert Stewart of Missouri stopped over at the tavern, and was so impressed by it and the cooking of Aunt Phronie, the black cook, that he stretched his visit into several weeks.


    When the Civil War came to Clay County, one of the many battles was fought in the tavern's front yard. There were casualties on both sides, and the Confederate dead were buried in a small cemetery behind the tavern.


    The Seybolds owned the tavern until 1855 when Lewis Hardwicke acquired the property. Walter Moore later became the owner, and in 1870 John Wesley Ford bought the property. It was passed on to his son John Ford, who still lived at the tavern in 1952 when the fire destroyed the beautiful bit of history that stood on the 110 acres.


    Source: Greater Excelsior Springs Centennial, 1880-1980, p. 56.

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