About Old Deery Inn

The OLD DEERY INN, also known as “The Old Tavern” or  “The Mansion House and Store,” is a historic building on Main Street in Blountville, Tennessee and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Considered the “centerpiece” of the Blountville local historic district, it is thought to have been constructed in the late 1700’s.

The Inn is a two-story Federal-style building with 17 rooms and 9 fireplaces. The original building was a two story log structure that served travelers passing through the area on the Great Stage Road during travels from Washington DC and Nashville.  William Deery, an Irish peddler from Ulster, acquired the property from Walter James.  It is said James convinced Deery to purchase the property during a trading trip to Sullivan County from Baltimore. Deery was finally convinced to locate in Blountville, purchasing the two story log cabin store and residence in 1801.

The Inn was constructed in three sections, 1) the 1790’s two-story hewn log house (hall, gathering room, family residence) purchased by Deery in 1801, 2) the two story frame building (store, tavern, inn) built by Deery in 1810, and 3) a three story stone structure (dormer room, grand dining room, stone kitchen) added in 1820 about the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Allison from Piney Flats.

Deery prospered well as a businessman. In addition to the inn, he owned and operated stores in several East Tennessee communities and ran a stagecoach line with eight stage wagons and 53 teams of horses as of 1821.  He also owned a steamboat with service between Knoxville and Chattanooga. In addition Deery owned hundreds of acres of farm land in the region. Notable people who are recorded as having stayed at the inn in its early history include Presidents  Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, the Marquis de Lafayette (on his U.S. travels in 1824–25), and Louis Phillipe Orleans, King of France. In his day Deery was said to be one of the richest men in the state of Tennessee.

After Deery’s death in 1845, various Blountville merchants managed or leased the inn from Mrs. Deery.  Reportedly Gideon and Mary Cate managed it during the Civil War and afterwards when they bought it, the name changed to Cates Hotel.  The Pearson’s bought it in 1887 and it became the Pearson House.  Judge Joseph Anderson Caldwell and his wife, Virginia Byars Coontz Caldwell, of Bristol purchased the Inn in 1940 and restored and adapted it for their residence.  It remained with the Caldwell family until 2001 when it was acquired by Sullivan County and restored as a house museum.


Summer  Hours 2017 

Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Last tour begins at 3:30 p.m.
(June, July and August )

Admission $5
Children (Ages 12 and under) Free
Tours may also be arranged by appointment.
Call (423) 212-3937 and leave a message
 Contact Us

** Click links to read more:

Ulster                                 Old Deery Inn
Tavern                                     Log Cabin
Stagecoach                              Irish People
Gathering Room
James K Polk                Andrew Johnson
Louis Philippe I             Andrew Jackson
Johnson City, Tennessee          East Tennessee
Bristol, Tennessee      Blountville, Tennessee
Federal Architecture
National Register of Historic Places
Historic Districts in the United States
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette