Eagle Tavern was built in the late 1700s, and served as a stopping place on a stagecoach line before the advent of railroads. Watkinsville was a frontier town on the edge of Creek and Cherokee territories then, and travelers would stop here for food and drink and a place to sleep. Gen. George Stoneman's fleeing brigades came through here, before being turned back four miles short of the their goal of Athens by the Mitchell Thunderbolts at the Middle Oco-nee Bridge. A Confederate soldier remained concealed for weeks in a loft hiding place behind the huge chimney, kept alive by slaves who handed up food and buckets of hot coals. Today, the building serves as a Welcome Center and Museum for Oconee County.
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