501 Madison Street/500 Fifth Street – The Western Hotel/The Joseph Nichols Tavern

“The Western Hotel” now known as the Joseph Nichols Tavern after the original tavern owner, was built in the early 1800s. Travelers from Lynchburg’s ferry crossing, including Thomas Jefferson who was driving between Monticello and Poplar Forest, stayed here. Its architecture is Federal. The original entrance faced Madison Street as it does today. Around 1840, a wing and columned porch were added providing a main entrance on Fifth Street. In the mid-1970s the Nichols Tavern was renovated into four apartments. The Tavern acquired a new owner in 2023 who plans to return it to a use more consistent with its history. The Nichols Tavern has been named to the National Register of Historic Places and the Register of Virginia Historical Landmarks.