Preston Place has the distinction of the oldest house in Salem, and due to the care of the Salem Museum and Historical Society, has been restored and preserved. The house dates back to 1821 when it was first built. Over the years, the property saw ownership by a few names including blacksmith John Cole, John Johnston, and Charles Issac Preston. Cole had an original house on the site that served as a way station for those journeying along the Great Road including a young Davy Crockett and future king of Louis Philippe. The existing home today was built by Johnston.
Throughout the years, the historic integrity of the house has not been harmed, and the structure continues to stand as a reminder of what the Roanoke Valley once was. Before any renovations could be considered, a new tenant was needed in order to fund and maintain the upkeep of the house. The Salem Museum and Historical Society decided that a tea house would be the perfect match, and so The White Oak Tea Tavern moved in. Serving lunch, bagels and scones, White Oak is famed for an assortment of teas from their own brand as well as other unique blends.
This old-fashioned setting is ideal for groups, club meetings, and small intimate events. There is a gift shop on site when their personal brand tea is available for purchase, and an outdoor terrace.
Cover photo of Preston Place by Promotion Commotion via Flickr Creative Commons.