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The Dew Drop Inn

The Dew Drop Inn
The Dewdrop Inn at 440 Valley Street (shown above in ca. 2009) was a Scottsville landmark for many years.

Name:  The Dew Drop Inn, by Evelyn Edson

Date:  ca. 2009

Image Number:  Dewdropinn2009.jpg

Comments:  The Dew Drop Inn went through a number of different owners.  John Pearce remembers when it was a high school hangout in the 1950's with plenty of loud rock n' roll blaring from the jukeboxes.  He used to get a Dixie cup of ice cream that he ate with a wooden spoon.  When Chris and Judy Wade moved to Scottsville in 1974, they rented a house right across the street from the Dew Drop.  It was then run by Bill and Agnes Clayton.  Agnes did the cooking, and Bill, as Chris recalls, "ran a tight ship."  Our neighbor, Walter Parrish, liked to order the bowl of white beans---35 cents.  After Agnes died, Bill sold the property, and the atmosphere changed dramatically.  After listening, unwillingly, to a stream of profanity from the pay phone, which was all too close to the Wade kitchen window, they decided to move to a quieter place and found a house on Warren Street.

When Elsie and Ralph Rowley took over in 1985, they reported that the Inn had recently degenerated into a "dirty, dark, noisy, smelly beer joint," and "the scene of numerous fights, brawls, and at least one knifing."  They cleaned the place up, named it 'Pig and Steak Too' and reopened for a more respectable clientele.  Several years later, Jackie Lohr became the proprietor, advertising "Fresh Cut Steaks and Seafood Specials."  But even more important was the regular schedule of live music mostly the blues.

Jackie retired in 2003 --- doctor's orders --- and by 2006, the "Famous Dew Drop Inn" was in the hands of Billy and Fran Milstead.  The restaurant closed for good in 2009 and sat empty for several years.  "Who'll renew the Dew?" inquired The Hook, a Charlottesville weekly.

Tourists still come to Scottsville, looking for the Dew Drop Inn, inspired by its appearance in the television series, "The Waltons."  What they will find instead is the Beijing Kitchen, dishing out delectable Chinese specialties from egg rolls to Mu Shu pork, and --- in season ---soft serve ice cream.

The Beijing Kitchen, 440 Valley Street, ca. 2017
Beijing Kitchen, 440 Valley Street, ca. 2017
Photo courtesy of Beijing Kitchen.  See their website at:

Daily Progress, Newport News, Virginia, 12 August 1986, pp. 15-16, "Riverside Town Bends" by Bruce C. Ebert of Scottsville Va, contains the following photo and discussion of the Dew Drop Inn's role in the TV show, "The Waltons:
The Dew Drop Inn, 12 August 1986
On television show, "The Waltons," one character worked at the Dew Drop Inn
in Scottsville.  Series creator, Earl Hamner, Jr., lived in Nelson Co., VA.
Staff photo by Scott Kingsley

If you watched the 1970's dramatic series, "The Waltons," on television, you might remember Jason Walton and his job as a musician at a tavern called the Dew Drop Inn in Scottsville and who later became its owner.  His brother, Ben, worked there for a short time as a bus boy.

Well, it's real - just down the street from the Thacker Brothers Funeral Home.  Inside, there is nothing to even suggest "The Waltons," but regulars say tourists ask whether this is the Dew Drop Inn in Scottsville.

The real John-Boy Walton, writer Earl Hamner, Jr., grew up in neighboring Nelson County and would come to Scottsville with his mother.  Here he would climb up, down, and all around the furniture at Thakers' funeral home, which, more than just a business, is a clearinghouse for local news.



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