A photo in the collection of the Plains District Museum has the caption “Stage Coach Inn at Mauzy (Built circa 1800). This was known as Hays Tavern in 1808.” The January 2019 issue of the Chimney Rock Chronicle had an article “Old Houses in Plains District” that had a modern photo of the Stage Coach Inn south of New Market and had information on the Inn compiled by Helen Smith and Laura Roberts for the Plains District Museum. The article cited information from books by Marie Arrington (Mountain Valley People Vol. 1), Nancy Hess (The Heartland) and Ann T. Baker (Old Houses of Rockingham County.) Smith and Roberts noted that Jacob Woodley, a pioneer settler in the Tenth Legion area, brought a Scotch-Irish indentured servant, William Pickering, to the area.
When Pickering married a Woodley daughter, the couple purchased land south of New Market known as “Hays Tavern.” Pickering built a two story house with twelve rooms on two stories around 1800. Hays Tavern and Rhode’s General Store were moved across the road beside the Pickering house later. The Pickering house became an inn and welcome stop on the Winchester to Harrisonburg Stage Coach Line. (The area became known as Sparta in 1831, and later Spartapolis. Jacob Mauzy, a French Huguenot surveyor from Charleston, South Carolina, became the owner of the property by marrying into the Pickering family. Mauzy purchased more property and became wealthy. The Stage Coach Inn remained a stopping place for travelers. In 2022, the Stage Coach Inn (which had last housed The Shoppes at Mauzy) and surrounding buildings were torn down.
A JMU student, Lauren Kuhno, saw that I posted a comment on the Facebook page of Sylvia Crumpacker, the owner of the Shoppes at Mauzy, about the Inn being demolished. Kuhno, who was doing research for SMAD 422: Multimedia Journalism, sent me a Facebook page asking if I would talk to her about the Inn for her assignment to find an interesting story to cover and develop into a multimedia story. Her group was researching old buildings which were being repurposed or destroyed. After talking to her about my memories, including that my cousin, the late Phyllis Dover Wampler, had once lived in the Inn, I called cousin Carolyn Dove Wampler, to ask more about the Inn. Carolyn confirmed that her family (Dove Farms) had owned the Inn building. Dove Farms purchased the building around 1976 or 1977 from Jacob Mauzy (for whom the exit off Interstate 81 south of New Market is named.)
I talked to Jodie Wampler, who lived with his late wife Phyllis and young son Chris for over a year in 1978-79. They were the last occupants of the Inn, which later became the Shoppes at Mauzy. Jodie recalled that the Old General Store which had been moved next to the Inn was open at that time and sold hardware and even pickles! Jodie did some renovations to the Inn including painting, and fixing the railings. The late Lloyd H. Cash had his real estate office on the ground floor in the Inn for several years around the time that the Wamplers lived upstairs. Dove Farm sold the property in the late 1980s to John and Sylvia Crumpacker who opened The Shoppes at Mauzy that was beloved by many customers.
The Shoppes Christmas open house was always well attended; many from out of the area travelled to this event. The Shoppes at Mauzy operated in the Inn and surrounding buildings until 2018. It was sold by the Crumpackers, then resold. (Sylvia Crumpacker still has a Shoppes at Mauzy at the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA. and also an Esty store (gatheringsbysylvia.) He said everyone he knew was shocked when they heard that the old Inn was being demolished. He noted that two farmers whom he knew offered to buy the Inn to turn into a bed and breakfast, but it was sold to another party and a Dollar General Store was quickly built there last year (2022.) And just like that, the old Inn at Mauzy from 1800 is gone. Memories and photos are all that remain for many of us who love old buildings and history.