This tavern was built around 1832. Stagecoach passengers stopped here for lodging and food as they traveled between Detroit and Chicago on the Chicago Road
(later US-12) and on the La Plaisance Bay Pike
(later M-50) from Lake Erie to this intersection, Cambridge Junction. A stagecoach trip between Detroit and Chicago took five on more days, depending on road conditions. New settlers, who were among those travelers, helped Michigan become a state in 1837. In 1832 tavernkeepers Sylvester (1795-1868) and Lucy Walker (1796-1892), from Cooperstown, New York bought the tavern from Calvin Snell and it became known as the "Walker Tavern." The Walkers charged twenty-five cents for a meal. By 1853 business was so successful that the Walkers built a large brick tavern across the road.
In 1864 Sylvester Walker sold his taverns to former stagecoach driver Francis Asbury Dewey, who converted Walker Tavern into his home. While still living there, Dewey served as the President of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society and recorded local history, including stories about Walker Tavern. Dewey family members lived in the house until 1922 when Francis's great-nephew Wilford C. Dewey sold it to Episcopalian priest Frederick Hewitt and his wife Edna. The Hewitt family operated Walker Tavern and the nearby brick tavern as roadside tourist attractions. Walker Tavern housed antiques and a museum. In 1966 the family sold the property to the State of Michigan. The state restored the tavern and opened it as part of the Cambridge Junction Historic State Park. Walker Tavern was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Long time missing marker was replaced in 2015 with revised and expanded text.
Registered Site HB16
US-12 at M-50
Cambridge Junction, Lenawee County Topics:Early SettlersHotels and InnsParksHome
Latitude: 42.059164852, Longitude: -84.22178953