Tanglewood Ordinary ca. 1928
The origins of the land that eventually became the Tanglewood site trace back to what was once a much larger tract. In 1858, after belonging to several other owners, this larger property, then known as “Kameschatka”, was purchased by Richard G. Morriss, who renamed it “Mount Bernard”.
As the land passed through the family generations, a number of changes occurred. Morriss’ daughter, Ann, married Maj. William Nelson Barret. Their son, Morriss Barret, was graduated from the College of William and Mary and the Medical College of Richmond. He practiced medicine in Richmond in 1884 and 1885 after which time he returned to Goochland to practice and made his home at Mount Bernard. In 1890, Dr. Barret married Princess Helen Barbara Nestorowitch, daughter of Prince Alexis Constantine Nestorowitch and the Baroness Adele Appony (spelling of these names vary with sources) from Hungary.
In 1908, the Barrets sold the original home site on the property [which is now separately listed on the National Register]. Dr. Barret retained some of the land and built another home on the south side of present-day Route 6 (then State Route 19 prior to its being paved), across from what is now Tanglewood Ordinary. This is where he and his wife, “The Princess”, as she was known by family members, lived.
Tanglewood was built on family land on the north side of Route 6 by their son, Syme Barret, for his sister, Helene Barret Quick, in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Tanglewood served as a filling station and doubled as a sandwich shop.
The original two-room log cabin structure was built for around $80. Ike Mayo, a local Goochlander who once worked for the Barrets, helped chop down the pine trees to build the front portion of the log store that is the oldest part of Tanglewood. Mayo said in a 1989 interview that he hauled the logs from the woods from behind the Barret home by horse and wagon. On July 19, 1932, Dr. Barret sold the land on which Tanglewood was built to his daughter, Helene.
In 1935, a large three-story addition was added behind the first at Tanglewood providing a basement, dance hall, and living quarters. Another two-story addition was built in 1942-43 adding additional space beyond the dance hall. During these years Tanglewood served as a popular spot for “locals” and travelers between Richmond and Charlottesville. Dances were still held there on a weekly basis and also the senior prom for Goochland High School for many years.
Tanglewood passed from the hands of the original family in 1983 to local Richmond contractor, Jimmy Gottwald, who spruced it up with care. Fresh paint, floor refinishing, new electrical, and plumbing were among the improvements. He operated it as a restaurant after its refurbishment until it was sold to current owners, Anne and Jim Hardwick, in 1986. The Hardwicks remodeled the kitchen and other areas before opening as a true family-style restaurant in May 1986.
Throughout the years, Tanglewood has maintained its original character, one that only a building made of hand stripped logs and built with little or no plans in hand can have. It is unique in Goochland County and Virginia, and is believed to be one of the largest commercially used log structures in America. Having long served as the community place to hold service club meetings and other gatherings important to the life of the county, Tanglewood reflects nine decades of the history of Goochland County and America in the 20th century.
Facts taken from application for The National Register of Historic Places, where they are documented.
Our thanks to the Goochland County Historical Society and their inclusion of Tanglewood Ordinary on their 2008 House Tour!