BIGBIE'S TAVERN IN NEWBERN
Augustine BIGBIE was born in Amherst County, Virginia, in
1826 and moved to the village of Newbern in the 1840s, where he
spent the remainder of his life. Soon after arriving in Newbern
he got possession of one of the choice properties in the village.
It was on the north side of the Wilderness Road, a well lying
lot in about the center of the village. The property was previously
owned by John TIFFANY. The Tiffany house, or inn was the site
of the first court held in Pulaski County, in the year 1839. He
was married to Mary TROVILLO, whose mother was Nancy, the sixth
child of Samuel and Nancy Cecil CADDALL, owners of Thorn Spring
It was on this property that Augustine BIGBIE established a tavern
that he named Bigbie's Tavern, but it was better known throughout
the area as Bigbie's "Rough and Ready." This tavern
became well known to travelers moving along the Wilderness Road.
It was a good stopping place for those looking for a good place
to eat and sleep and enjoy their fill of good whiskey shipped
in from the city of Lynchburg.
Augustine BIGBIE died in Newbern in 1867 at the age of forty-one,
but his tavern remained in operation, operated by his wife, Mary,
and other family members and some out-siders.
Another tavern in Newbern was the Haney Tavern, operated by Mary
BIGBIE's Uncle John and Aunt Cornelia Caddall HANEY. There were
two other taverns in Newbern at the time.
Mary BIGBIE must have soon learned that operating the Rough and
Ready was not the job for a woman and her son. It was definitely
a two-man job, and in 1844 she either hired, or took in as a partner
a notorious Newbern character to assist her son, as bartender.
This man was William A. FEAGLES, who was later accused and tried
twice for the murder of John CADDALL.
The business venture between William BIGBIE and William FEAGLES
lasted not more than two years, but the two must have become good
friends because when FEAGLES'
fifth child was born, he was named Charles Bigbie FEAGLES, after
his brother Charles, and his fellow bartender BIGBIE. Their working
relationship must have ended at about this point, and William
BIGBIE got other members of his family involved in the Tavern
that was by this time called a hotel.
In 1863 one man, who had stopped at the Bigbie Hotel, later wrote
about it as follows:
"Newbern is a rather lonesome looking village, situated on
a hill with a hotel of very uncompromising exterior, but the dinner
I got at "Bagsby's" was quite a surprise. It was uncommonly
good, and only served to remind me of what I knew before- - that
to appreciate life in Virginia, one must see the inside of their
I know of no picture or sketch ever being made of the Rough and
Perhaps the building was destroyed in one of Newbern's many fires.
If anyone knows of the existence of such a picture, I would like
to see it.
Members of the BIGBIE family who remained in Newbern are buried
in the family plot in the Newbern Cemetery. A large tall stone
marks the graves.
Other members of Augustine BIGBIE's family lived on Court Street
in Lynchburg, and operated a wholesale whiskey business, along
with other business activities.
Mary Trovillo BIGBIE, Augustine's widow, died in Newbern in 1880
at age fifty-one.