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Full text of "The wayside inns on the Lancaster roadside between Philadelphia and Lancaster"

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PENNSYIX^^NIA. 
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lPenn6^lv>ania: 

THE GERMAN INFLUENCE 

N ITS SETTLEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT 



H •narrative an& Critical tistors 



PREPARED BY AUTHORITY OF 

THE PENNSYLVANIA-GERMAN SOCIETY 

PART XXIII 

THE WAYSIDE INNS ON THE LANCASTER ROADSIDE, 

BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND LANCASTER, 

PENNSYLVANIA 




PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY 



publication Committee. 
JULIUS F. SACHSE,'.I,itt.D. 
DANIEL W. NEAD, M.D. 
I. S. B. BUCKENHAM, M.D. 



on tbe 

Xancaster IRoabeibe 

betweeen 

IPbilaDclpbia anO Xancaster 



Part XXIII. of a Narrative and Critical History 

PREPARED at THE REQUEST OF 

THE Pennsylvania-German Society 



BY 

JULIUS FRIEDRICH SACHSE 




LANCASTER, PA. 
1912 



Copyrighted 1912 

BY THE 

pcnn0tlfanta«*5crman Socletie. 



Press or 
The New era PRtNTiNs cowpaht 

LANCASTER, PA. 




THE WAYSIDE INNS ON THE 
LANCASTER ROADSIDE. 



N provincial or colonial days the 
most important institution in 
our commonwealth, next to the 
church and school-house, was 
the wayside inn. Scattered as 
they were along the roadside 
throughout the province they 
were important beacons for the 
weary traveller, as well as a 
haven of rest and refreshment 
for the sojourner, whether 
farmer, drover, teamster or 
traveller upon business or pleas- 
ure bent. Many of these tav- 
erns or inns became important 
landmarks in both our social 
and political history, growing in the course of years from 
the lowly log tavern, to the stately stone turnpike inn of 
later years, in which important social functions were held. 
In many instances they were also polling places, and the 
meeting place of Masonic Lodges and similar organiza- 
tions. Some also were favorite places for mass meetings 

S 




6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

and political rallies, where the candidates held forth, occa- 
sions upon which the barrel of hard cider was ever in evi- 
dence to slake the thirst of the prospective voter. 

Many of these wayside inns in Pennsylvania became 
known throughout the land for their good cheer, cleanli- 
ness and hospitality. The hosts or landlords of these 
houses of the better class were almost invariably Germans 
or Pennsylvania-Germans, and the culinary department 
was supervised by the wife of the innkeeper. 

Everyone of these wives was a hausfrau in every sense 
of the word. Upon her devolved not alone the culinary 
department but the care and oversight of the whole estab- 
lishment, except the bar, stable yard, and supervision of 
the hostlers and reception of the guests, which fell to her 
husband the landlord. 

The meals at these inns, such as the Spread Eagle 
and Warren presided over by the Pennsylvana-German 
matron, as served were entirely different from the fare 
set out in the houses kept by other nationalities, for 
instance where in the other wayside inns, even of the 
better sort, regular fare consisted of fried ham, cornbeef 
and cabbage, mutton and beef stews and mush and 
molasses, bread half rye and corn meal, with occasional 
rump steak and cold meats, and tea. In these Pennsylva- 
nia-German inns we had such dishes as Kalbskopf (mock 
turtle) soup redolent with the odor of Madeira; Sauer 
bratcn a favorite dish of the Fatherland; Sclimor brateu 
(beef a la mode) ; Spanferkel (sucking pig stuffed and 
roasted) ; Kalbsbraten (roast veal filled) ; Hammclsbratcn 
(roast mutton) ; Kuttlefteck (soused tripe spiced) ; Hinkel 
pie (chicken pot pie) ; Apfelklose (apple dumplings) ; 
Bratzvurst (sausage) ; applecake, coffee cake with its coat- 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 7 

ing of butter, sugar and cinnamon, and many other dishes 
unknown to their English competitors. 

To conduct one of these stands in turnpike days required 
quite as much executive ability as is required to manage 
one of the pretentious hostelries of the present day. The 
proprietors in many cases were men of intelligence and 
prominence in the community; even members of Congress 
and State Representatives are to be found among their 
number. 

So closely were the lines drawn between the classes of 
the stage tavern and the wagoner, that no stage tavern 
would on any account permit a teamster to put up there 
for the night, for if it became known that a wagoner had 
stopped there it would be considered a lasting disgrace 
and would result in the loss of the better class of patrons. 

From the earliest days in our history there were sharply 
defined lines in these wayside inns, as each class catered 
for special custom. Thus those of the better class were 
known as "stage stands," inns where the travelling public 
by stage stopped for refreshment, meals, and sometimes 
rest over night. Here also the relays were changed. 
Next in the scale came the " wagon stands," taverns 
patronized by wagoners or teamsters: here they "put up" 
for the night, feeding their tired teams, and in many cases 
sleeping upon a bag of hay upon the floor of the bar-room 
or bam. Another class were the " drove stands," where 
special accommodations were to be had by the drovers 
for their cattle, which were here watered, fed or pastured, 
until they were again upon the hoof towards their desti- 
nation. Lastly, come the lowest class of the passing 
wayside inns, the " tap house," where the lowest class of 
the passing or resident public was catered to. These 
houses harbored such as none of the other classes would 



8 



The Pennsylvania-German Society. 



entertain. The chief income of these "tap houses" came 
from the sale of bad spirits or whiskey. They were 
invariably kept by Irishmen. 

In olden times all distances between cities and places 
were computed from inn to inn. Thus by referring to 
any old provincial almanac, tables like this will be found. 



Copy of an old Distance Table giving a List of Taverns on the old 
Lanxaster Road or King's Highway, which was the Predecessor 
OF the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike. 



Philadelphia to 



Prs.* 




Colters Ferry 

Black Horse 

Merion Meeting 

Three Tuns 

The Buck 

The Plough 

Radnor Meeting 

Mills Tavern 

The Ball 

SigneofAdr'l Warren. . . . 

White Horse 

Downing Mill 

The Ship 

The Wagon 

John Miller at the Tun. . 

Pequa Bridge 

Dougles's Mill 

Widdow Caldwells "Hat' 

John Vernon's 

Conistoga Creek 

Lancaster Court House. . 



Another feature of these old inns of the days gone by 
were their sign boards which swung and creaked in their 
yoke, high upon a mast or pole set in the roadside. These 
sign boards were all figurative and in some cases painted 
by artists of note. The cause for the figurative feature 
was twofold; first, they were more ornate and could be 
better understood by the two different nationalites which 



' Miles, quarters and perches. 



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fVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 9 

made up our population than signs lettered in either 
German or English. Thus, take for instance, "The Blacic 
Bear"; a representation of this animal was known at 
once to either German or Irishman, while the words 
" Black Bear" would have troubled the former, while the 
latter certainly never would have recognized his stopping 
place if the sign board bore the legend : " Der Schwartze 
Bar." Secondly, but few of the teamsters or wagoners, 
irrespective of race, could read; nearly all had their orders 
to stop at certain houses, and they knew them by the sign 
board when they came to them. Then again, in some 
cases the name of the subject would be different in the 
High or Palatinate German dialect; thus, twelve miles 
from Philadelphia, there was a wagon stand upon whose 
sign board was painted a sorrel horse, and among the 
English-speaking teamsters the inn was known by that 
name; referring to a High German distance-table, we 
find it scheduled as "Braunes Pfed," the "Brown Horse." 
To the Palatinate wagoner, however, it was known as 
" Der Fuchs," " The Fox." This was not an isolated case, 
the inn often receiving a nickname which eventually found 
its way into the local distance tables. 

Many of these signs were of a homely character, such 
as The Hat, The Boot, The Wagon, The Eagle, The 
Lion, The Cat, The Turk's Head, etc. 

The drove stands usually had signs pertinent to their 
class of patrons, such as The Bull's Head, The Lamb, 
The Ram's Head, The Swan (black or white) , etc. 

The tap houses were known by such names as "The 
Jolly Irishman," "Fox Chase," "The Fiddler," "The 
Cat," etc. 

The better class of inns or stage stands were usually 
named after popular heroes, such as "The King of Prus- 



lO The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

sia," "St. George and the Dragon," "General Washing- 
ton," "General Paoli," "Spread Eagle," and the " Indian 
Queen." The names were sometimes changed, owing to 
political changes; thus, one of the most noted taverns on 
the Lancaster roadside, the "Admiral Warren," after the 
Revolution had the coat on the figure of the sign board 
changed from red to blue, and henceforth it was "The 
General Warren," in honor of the hero of Bunker Hill. 
Similar cases are upon record where the head of " King 
George," after the struggle for Independence, was, by 
aid of the painter's brush, metamorphosed into " George 
Washington." 

The highest development of the wayside inn was 
reached when the Lancaster turnpiice became the chief 
highway and the model roadbed in the United States. 

Pennsylvania merits unquestionably the praise of hav- 
ing contracted the first stone turnpike in this country. It 
led from Philadelphia to Lancaster, it was 62 miles long; 
was commenced in 1792, and finished in 1794, at an 
expense of $465,000, by a private company, and it 
became the pattern for all subsequent hard roads in this 
country. 

Originally nine toll bars (" Schlagbaume ") were 
erected between Philadelphia and Lancaster, at the fol- 
lowing distances, beginning at two miles west of the Schuyl- 
kill, viz., 2, 5, 10, 20, 29^, 40, 49>4, S^y^i Witmer's 
Bridge. 

The Lancaster turnpike replaced the old Conestoga or 
King's road, which connected Philadelphia with Lancas- 
ter, the chief inland city of Penn's colony. 

The following is a copy of an old distance-table giving 
a list of the taverns and landmarks on the old Lancaster 
road or King's highway, which was the predecessor as it 
were of the turnpike: 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 



II 



Philadelphia to 

Colter's Feny 

Black Horse 

Merion Meeting 

Three Tuns 

The Buck 

The Plough 

Radnor Meeting 

Mills Tavern 

The Ball 

Sign of Adml. Warren 

White Horse 

Downing Mill 

The Ship 

The Wagon 

John Miller at the Tun 

Pequa Bridge 

Dougless Mill 

Widow Colwell's "Hat" 

John Vernon's 

Conestoga Creek 

Lancaster Court House 




It was the purpose of this series of papers* to give 
the historj' of some of these old public houses, land- 
marks as they were, both legendary and documentary, 
showing the developments from the earliest hostelr)', the 
" Blue Ball," in Tredyfifrin Township, Chester County, 
established half way bet^veen the Schuylkill river and 
Brandywine creek, when yet the pack-horse reigned 
supreme, to the multitude of public houses for the enter- 
tainment of man and beast, often so close together on 
the turnpike that several could be found within a mile. 

How the roadside inns and taverns increased on the 
new road benveen Philadelphia and Lancaster upon the 
completion of the turnpike between these two points, 
owing to the great increase of travel, is best seen by a com- 
parison of the above list of the King's or "Old" road 
with a list compiled by the writer and appended to this 
paper, where it will be seen that the number of roadside 
•1886. 



12 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

inns between the two cities had increased from fourteen 
on the old road to fifty and more on the turnpike. 

In this list are given some of the names by which these 
landmarks were known to the German teamsters, drovers 
or travellers of that day. 

The hard stone road, its white surface glistening in the 
sunlight, with its ever changing scene of life and activity, 
formed a picturesque and diversified panorama. In later 
days we have the Troy coach, swinging upon its leather 
springs, rolling along the hard road, drawn by four pranc- 
ing horses; the Conestoga wagon with its broad tires; 
the slow-plodding six-horse team with tinkling yoke bells ; 
the large droves of cattle being driven from the green 
pastures of Chester and Lancaster to the seaboard; the 
accommodation stage-wagon in contrast to the mail coach, 
and the farm wagon or "dearborn," with the farmer 
going to or from the city market; and many other features 
all contributed to this ever changing scene. 

With the advent of the railroad with its iron horse the 
scene changed until within a few years the various turn- 
pikes virtually became deserted highways, giving up to 
mere local travel — with road-bed neglected or abandoned 
until in some cases they became dangerous to travel. 

While the wayside inns, once so important a landmark, 
gradually went out of existence, many of them struggling 
for some time as country boarding houses, or degenerating 
to the level of an ordinary country tavern, which in colon- 
ial times were places of importance, and now merely live 
in the traditions of the county, and vaguely in the memory 
of a few of a former generation still amongst us, it was 
to perpetuate such records and traditions that the writer 
gathered such as were available relating to the various 
hostelries as were, or had been on the Lancaster road and 



PVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 13 

turnpike within the bounds of Chester County. These 
records, forming a series of papers, were published in the 
"Village Record" of Chester County during the "8o's" 
of the last century. 

The two following papers, "The Spread Eagle" and 
"The Warren" have been selected for republication in 
the Proceedings of the Pennsylvania-German Society, as 
these hostelries were strictly representative Pennsylvania- 
German houses, kept by the Siter and Fahnestock families 
respectively. These two houses, stage-stands of the first 
order, where " entertainment was dispensed for man and 
beast," had not only a local reputation for elegance, but 
a national one as well, during the former turnpike days, 
until supplanted by the state railroad from Philadelphia 
to Columbia about the year 1836. 

What is true of the old Lancaster turnpike applies also 
to the roads leading out from Philadelphia to Bethlehem 
and the northeast, and to the road to Baltimore and the 
south; many of the hostelries on these roads were kept 
by Pennsylvania-Germans, or men of German birth. 

Of late years, long after the following stories were 
written, a new factor appeared with the advent of the 
twentieth century, namely the horseless carriage, which 
has had an unexpected effect upon our old turnpikes, so 
sadly neglected for many years, and in certain localities 
abandoned as unfit for travel. The advent of this factor, 
with power derived from gasoline, electricity or denatured 
alcohol, brought about a demand for good roads. The 
agitation for safe roads spread over the land, and resulted 
in many delapidated and neglected turnpikes being again 
surfaced and put in good condition for safe and speedy 
travel; among these reconstructed roads there is none finer 
than the Lancaster Turnpike from Philadelphia, through 



14 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

what is known as the suburban district on the Pennsylva- 
nia main line; and it is now again, as it was when first 
built over a century ago, quoted as the model and speci- 
men piece of road building, second to none in the state. 

Whether this new condition of travel will eventually 
bring about the rehabilitation of any of our old colonial 
hosteiries in a manner suitable to the needs of the twentieth 
century, or whether they will be supplanted by establish- 
ments like those at Bryn Mawr or Devon, remains to 
be seen. 

In the meantime, these sketches of days gone by may 
prove of interest to the autoists, both male and female, as 
they gaily spin up or down the old highway, in a luxury 
and speed undreamed of by the old wagoner, teamster or 
stagers of a century ago. 




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♦jrN the old distance tables pub- 

" lished prior to the building 
of the Philadelphia and Lancaster 
Turnpike the distances are given 
from the court house formerly at 
Second and Market streets. This 
course was followed in the early 
days of the turnpike. The mile- 
stones on the turnpike, however, 
commence from the Schuylkill 
River. Consequently in the later 
§ distance tables the locations of 
the old landmarks appear to be 
two miles less than on the older 
tables, the two miles being the 
distance from the court house to 
the west bank of the Schuylkill. 
The following list of inns on 
the Lancaster turnpike is based on notes made by the 
writer during the year 1 886-1 887, when most all of the 
photographs were taken. 

Many of these old landmarks have been changed since 
that time; some remodeled for the use of wealthy subur- 
ban residents; others, half in ruin, are occupied by foreign 

15 




l6 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

laborers; some have been demolished, and a few have 
descended to the level of an ordinary country tavern. 

In compiling this list every effort has been made to give 
the proper location of the various old wayside inns between 
Philadelphia and Lancaster. 

Shortly after the turnpilce and the permanent, or 
Market Street bridge, over the Schuylkill was completed, 
the stage coaches started on their journey from the corner 
of Eighth and Market streets. 

The traveller after crossing the Market Street (perma- 
nent) bridge over the Schuylkill at Philadelphia, on his 
journey westward, first passed : 

1. The Fish, on the west side of the Schuylkill, which 

was kept by the Boone family. 

2. The Lamb Tavern, built and kept by John Elliot. 

The exact location of this old inn is not known. 

3. The Rising Sun. This was in Blockley Township, 

about two and a half miles west of the bridge. 

4. The Columbus Tavern, built in 1798, by Col. Edward 

Heston for his son Abraham. It stood on the turn- 
pike in Blockley Township, just east of Meetinghouse 
Lane, the present 5 2d Street. 

5. The White Lamb. Opposite the fourth mile stone 

near the present Wynnefield Avenue. This building 
is still standing. 

In this vicinity, in later years there were several 
taverns of minor importance, which are not to be in- 
cluded in our list of the Wayside Inns. They were 
known as : 

Hughes Tavern. 

The Durham Ox. 

ludwicks. 

Sheep Drove Yard. 

These have long since passed away, nor can the 




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Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 17 

exact location be given with certainty at the present 
day. 

6. The Flag Tavern. This was the first inn on the 

turnpike in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery 
County. The College of St. Charles Borromeo now 
covers part of the site. Near the fifth milestone. 

7. The Black Horse Tavern. Also in lower Merion, 

Montgomery County, about four miles west of the 
river. It is said that the original Black Horse Inn 
was built on the old Lancaster road by a progenitor 
of the Wynne family. This is about one mile east 
of the old Friends Merion Meeting-house just over 
the city line. 

8. The Three Tuns. In Lower Merion Township, 

Montgomer)' County, about two miles above Merion 
Meeting, seven miles from Philadelphia. 

9. The Green Tree. In same township, about half a 

mile west of the Three Tuns. 

10. The Red Lion. Also in Ardmore. This inn w^as for 

many years kept by the Litzenberg family. It is still 
kept at the present day as a saloon and tavern. It is 
about a quarter of a mile west of the seventh mile- 
stone. 

11. The Seven Stars. In the village of Athensville, now 
Ardmore, also in Lower Merion, Montgomery 
County. Kept for many years by the Kugler family. 
It was upon the south side of the turnpike, near the 
seventh milestone. 

12. The Prince of Wales. In Haverford Township, 

Delaware County. About half a mile west of 
Ardmore. 

13. The Buck Tavern. On the south side of the turn- 

pike, between Haverford and Bryn Mawr, in Haver- 
ford Township, Delaware County, %. mile west of 



i8 The Pennsylvauia-German Society. 

the eighth milestone, on the extreme verge of the 
county. This inn was a stage stand of the first order, 
and was renowned for its good cheer. It was kept 
for many years by the Miller family, and was ap- 
pointed a post-tavern at an early day. In 1832 
Jonathan Miller, the tavern keeper, was the post- 
master. 

14. The Sorrel Horse. In Radnor Township, Delaware 

County. 

15. The Plough. Also in Radnor township. In later 

years, after being remodeled, became the residence 
of a Philadelphia capitalist. The location is about 
eleven miles west of the Schuylkill. 

16. The Unicorn. Also known as "Miles Tavern," 

after the family who kept it for many years. It was 
also known as the "Irish" Tavern. The location 
of this old hostelry was a short distance below the 
fourteenth milestone on the turnpike, where both the 
old road and turnpike cover the same ground. 

[Note. These three taverns — the Sorrel Horse, 
Plough, and Unicorn — all appear as landmarks on 
the old Lancaster road. Also on the early distance 
tables of the turnpike this would lead to the inference 
that at least the Sorrel Horse and Plough were re- 
opened on the pike.] 

17. The Spread Eagle. Radnor Township, Delaware 

County, on the border of Chester County, a few rods 
above the fourteenth milestone on the turnpike. 
This was a stage stand of the first order, and re- 
nowned for its cleanliness and good cheer. It was 
a post tavern and relay station. For many years this 
inn was kept by the Siter family. The hamlet of 
eight or ten dwellings and shops that grew up around 
the old inn was known as Siterville. In 1832 



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Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 19 

Edward Siter was the postmaster. During the 
eighth decade of last century, the property was 
bought by the Drexel and Childs operation at Wayne 
and demolished. 

18. The Lamb Tavern. The first inn on the turnpike in 

Chester County. It stood a short distance east of 
the fifteenth milestone, and was kept by the Lewis 
family. Many of the reminiscences of this vicinity 
were told the writer by George Lewis, then in his 
ninetieth year. 

19. The Stage Tavern. On the hillside a little west of 

the fifteenth milestone. It was located upon what 
was claimed to be the highest point west of Phila- 
delphia. Here the town of Glassly was laid out 
about the year 1800. The old inn was a wagon and 
drove stand, and was kept by the Beaumont family. 

20. The Spring House. In the hollow, just east of 

Reeseville, now Berwyn. Kept for a time by a 
branch of the Kugler family. It was between the 
fifteenth and sixteenth milestones. In later years it 
was known as Peggy Dane's. The site is now 
covered by an artificial ice and cold storage plant. 

21. The Drove Tavern. In Tedyffrin Township, 

Chester County, opposite the sixteenth milestone. It 
was kept by the Reese family, from which the settle- 
ment took its original name " Reeseville," now the 
flourishing town of Berwyn. The old signboard is 
now in the Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

22. The Blue Ball. Prissy Robinson's, on the turnpike 

near the seventeenth milestone, now known as Dayles- 
ford. For years this old inn was kept by the notori- 
ous Prissy Robinson, who for years was a local char- 
acter In this locality. 

23. The Black Bear. For a time known as the Bull's 



20 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Head. This old inn stood on the south side of the 
turnpike where the road from Newtown Square to 
Howelville crosses the turnpike. It was a wagon 
and drove stand during the turnpike days and was 
torn dow-n in 1877. The barn stood on the south- 
west comer of the road. 

24. The General Jackson later The Franklin. On the 

north side of the turnpike at the eighteenth milestone. 
This old inn, still standing, was kept for years by a 
branch of the Evans family. Prior to the Anti- 
masonic craze (i 828-1 832), the inn was known as 
a lodge stand, as a special room was set apart for 
society meetings, among which was " Farmer's 
Lodge, No. 183, Free and Accepted Masons," who 
met there from 1822 until about 1830. This inn is 
in Trydeffrin Township, Chester County. 

25. The Paoli. Another of the celebrated stage stands 

on the eastern end of the turnpike. It was in 
Trydeffrin Township, Chester County, on the north 
side of the turnpike, just west of the eighteenth mile- 
stone. For many years it was kept by the Davis and 
later by the Evans family. It was the polling place 
for several townships, also the chief postoffice for 
this district. Samuel Davis was the postmaster in 
1 832. In later years the Paoli was used as a summer 
boarding house, presided over by Joshua Evans and 
Mrs. Davis. It was destroyed by fire some twenty 
odd years ago. 

26. The Green Tree. Near the nineteenth milestone in 

Willistown Township, Chester County. This was a 
wagon stand in the early days. Its last boniface was 
Davis Gill, sheriff of the county. It was demolished 
in 1877 when the Pennsylvania Railroad was 
straightened. 



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JVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 21 

27. The Warren Tavern [Admiral Vernon, Admiral 
Warren, General Warren]. In East Whiteland 
Township, Chester County, on the north slope of the 
South Valley Hill. It was near the twentieth mile- 
stone, and the first inn on the turnpike in the Great 
Chester Valley. It was one of the oldest inns west 
of Philadelphia, being on the King's Road in Pro- 
vincial days, twent}'-two miles west of the court house 
in Philadelphia. After the Revolution it was kept 
by a branch of the Fahnestock family from Ephrata, 
during whose regime its reputation was second to 
none in the state. In 1832 Charles Fahnestock was 
the postmaster. They were also the first innkeepers 
who refused to sell liquors on the Sabbath. 

28. General Wayne. A wagon stand, near the twenty- 

second milestone, at the north side of the turnpike. 
On the inside of the barroom door the marks of the 
teamsters' whips could be seen, where, in former 
years, they tried their strength, and the cutting power 
of their whip lashes. This building is now used as a 
dwelling. 

29. The Steamboat. On the north side of the turnpike, 

half a mile east of the twenty-fourth milestone. It 
is in West Whiteland Township, near the present 
Glen Lock Station on the Pennsylvania Railroad. 
At present writing the house is unoccupied and fallen 
into decay. 

30. The Sheaf of Wheat [Sheaf — Barley Sheaf]. A 

wagon and drove stand near the twenty-sixth mile- 
stone. 

31. The Ship Tavern. Near the twenty-seventh mile- 

stone in West Whiteland Township. Originally 
west of Downingtown, at a point where the Old Lan- 



22 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

caster road and the new turnpike occupied the same 
ground. When the original ship was closed, the 
old sign was taken to the new location, and there for 
many years swung and creaked in its yoke by the 
roadside. 

32. The General Washington. In East Cain Township, 
near the thirty-first milestone. Also known as Doivn- 
ings or the Stage office and on the old distance tables 
as Downing's Mill, thirty-three miles from the Phila- 
delphia court house. This noted hostelry was at the 
eastern end of the village of Downingtown, on the 
north side of the turnpike at the junction of the Lion- 
ville road. This inn was the halfway station be- 
tween Philadelphia and Lancaster, and occupied the 
same position on the successive roads between those 
two points. " Downings " was a "stage" stand of 
the first order. It is not known what eflUgy the 
signboard bore during provincial days. After the 
Revolution, however, it became known as the " Gen- 
eral Washington," and the swinging sign portrayed 
the general and a civilian standing side by side. In 
early days this inn was also a postoffice. Isaac 
Downing was the postmaster in 1832. The building 
is now remodelled and used as a private residence 

33. The Halfway House. A wagon stand on the south 

side of the turnpike, a short distance west of " Down- 
ings." The site of this old inn is now occupied by 
several store buildings. 

34. The Swan Tavern. Also in Downingtown. It is 

on the south side of the turnpike, a short distance 
west of the above two hostelries. The old Swan 
has of late been remodeled and is now the chief 
tavern and saloon in East Downingtown. 



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fVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 23 

35. Gallagherville Tavern. On the turnpike, near the 
thirty-third milestone. 

36. The Ship Tavern. The original Ship Tavern was on 

the south side of the turnpike in West Whiteland 
Township, Chester County, about one mile west of 
Downingtown, near the thirty-second milestone, at a 
point where the old Lancaster or Conestoga road and 
the new turnpike occupied the same ground. When 
the original tavern was closed, the old sign was taken 
to the new location, near the twenty-seventh mile- 
stone, where for many years it swung and creaked in 
its yoke by the roadside, perforated as it was by the 
bullet holes made by continental soldiers during the 
Revolution. The original building is still standing, 
being used as a summer residence. Thomas Parke 
was the proprietor during Revolutionary times, and 
later was acquired by the Edge family. 

37. The Prussian Eagle. On the east bank of the West 

Branch of the Brandywine, in Valley Township, now 
the flourishing town of Coatesville. In i860 the inn 
was kept by J. T. Minster, since which time it has 
been enlarged and is now known as the " Speakman 
House." It is west of the thirty-sixth milestone. 

38. The Midway House. Formerly on the turnpike just 

beyond the West Branch of the Brandywine. It was 
just east of the thirty-seventh milestone. The inn 
took its name from the fact that it was just half way 
or midway between Philadelphia and Columbia, the 
original termini of the old state railroad. In i860 it 
was kept by A. Bear. Henry Conroy was also a 
former innkeeper. 

39. Hand's Pass. {The Cross Keys.) This old inn, a 

wagon stand, was so named after its location. It 



24 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

stood in what was in former days a wild and lonely 
spot on the hill side, then covered with heavy timber. 
It was near the thirty-eighth milestone. Tradition 
tells us that it received its name from the fact that 
General Hand had encamped there with a portion of 
Washington's army. The old hostelry was sur- 
rounded by a dense wood, and for some reason had 
an uncanny reputation, so much so that many 
teamsters avoided remaining there over night as much 
as possible. There were also a number of ghostly 
traditions current about this old inn during turnpike 
days. 

40. The Rainbow Tavern. Between the thiry-eighth 

and thirty-ninth milestone. This was also a wagon 
and drove stand. 

41. The Barley Sheaf. Noted on the distance table in 

Carey's Almanac for 1 803 as being eight miles west 
of Downingtown. This would be near the thirty- 
ninth milestone. 

42. The Washington Tavern. West of the fortieth 

milestone. 

43. The States Arms (also United States Arms). This 

inn was in Sadsbury Township, on the north side of 
the turnpike, at the intersection with the road leading 
from the Conestoga and Pequea country to Wilming- 
ton. This inn, in the early years of the nineteenth 
century, was the last tavern in Chester County, where 
stages going west changed horses. The old inn was 
also known as a "lodge" stand, as here at the be- 
ginning of last century "Unity" Masonic Lodge, 
No. 80, held its meetings. It was between the 
fortieth and forty-first milestones. 



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JVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 25 

44. Sadsbury Hotel. Also known as Kend'ig's, formerly 

as Bacrs. Just east of the forty-first milestone, at 
the intersection of the Wilmington Pike. This inn 
was also one of the tavern postoffices. In 1832 John 
Kendig was the postmaster. At the present day it 
is used as a country tavern. 

45. The Black Horse Tavern. Near the forty-second 

milestone in West Sadsbury Township. This inn 
was also used as a postoffice. In 1832 Samuel Jack- 
son was the postmaster. House now owned by John 
Wallace Boyd. 

46. The General Wayne Tavern. At the forty-third 

milestone. At the close of the war of 18 12 John 
Petit was the owner of the Wayne with fifty acres of 
land. Being beautifully situated a company was 
formed to lay out a town in 18 14. Petit sold his 
tavern and farm to Abraham & Company for 
$16,000, whereon they laid out a town and called 
it " Moscow." The turnpike became Cossack street 
for the nonce, while parallel and cross streets were 
given Russian names. The plot was gotten up in 
fine style, but flourished only on paper. After the 
bubble bursted the tavern property became the cele- 
brated Moscow Academy, for many years presided 

over by Rev. . Latta. The milestone in front 

of this house is the first giving the distance both 
ways, viz., 43 m. to P.; 19 m. to L. 

47. The Cross Keys. A wagon stand near the forty- 

fourth milestone from Philadelphia, the eighteenth 
from Lancaster. 

48. The Mount Vernon. In Sadsbury Township, Lan- 

caster Count}', between the forty-fifth and forty-sixth 
milestones, a short distance west of the Chester 



26 The Pcnnsyhania-Germau Society. 

County line. The inn is still kept as a licensed house, 
and stands at the intersection of the road leading 
from Christiana to Limeville. 

49. Clemson Tavern. " The Continental." Formerly 

west of the forty-seventh milestone. This was also 
known as the " Gap Tavern." The house stood on 
the north and the barn on the south side of the 
tavern; and it was currently reported there was a 
tunnel leading from one to the other. It was the 
rendezvous of the notorious "Gap gang" broken up 
by the conviction of Amos Clemson, who died in 
prison, and others of its leaders. 

50. The Rising Sun. Also known as " The Sign of the 

Rising Sun" and "The Sign of the Rising of the 
Sun." A tavern on the turnpike near the fort}-- 
eighth milestone at the crossing of the pike by the 
Newport road. The locality is still known as the 
Gap. The inn was a wagon stand for the teamster 
and wagoner. In 1801 it was kept by John Young, 
and for a time was the meeting place for a Masonic 
Lodge. 

51. Slaymaker's Tavern. A noted stage stand and post 

house, on the north side of the turnpike between the 
forty-eighth and forty-ninth milestone. It was kept 
by a family from which it took its name. Amos 
Slaymaker was a member of the firm of Reeside & 
Slaymaker, who operated a line of stages on the turn- 
pike before the time of railroads. In 1832 Wm. D. 
Slaymaker was the local postmaster. 

52. Kinzer's Tavern. Between the forty-ninth and fiftieth 

milestone. 

53. Williamstown. Between the fifty-first and fifty- 

second (tenth and eleventh) milestone, now known 
as The Vintage and is an ordinary country tavern. 



* 



JFaystde Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 27 

54. The Plow and Anchor. At Leaman Place between 

the titty-second and titty-third milestone (ninth and 
tenth) . This Tavern was kept for many years by 
John Reynolds, an ancestor of General John F. 
Reynolds. The old inn is now the residence of Miss 
Mary Leaman, who still treasures the signboard of 
the old inn. 

55. Paradise Tavern. Near the fifty-third (ninth) mile- 

stone. 

56. Soudersburg Tavern. 

57. Geiger's Tavern. 

58. The Running Pump. Near the tifty-tifth (seventh) 

milestone, on what is now known as the Buckwalter 
farm. 

59. Greenland Tavern. West of Mill Creek, between 

the iifty-eighth and fifty-ninth (third and fourth) 
milestone. 

60. Tavern. (Bridgeport.) East end of Wit- 

mer's Bridge over Conestoga River. 

61. " Conestoga Inn " Tavern. West bank of Conestoga 

River at Witmer's Bridge. 

62. The Sw^an at Lancaster. Kept by Col. Matthias 

Slough from 176 1 to 1806. This noted tavern was 
built in 1754. This inn was a stage stand of the 
first order, and was the scene of many important 
gatherings, social, political and Masonic. The regu- 
lar meetings of Lodge No. 43, F. & A. M., being 
held at the Swan Tavern from June, 1788, until 
June, 1792. 




OLD INNS ON THE LANCASTER ROAD SIDE. 

THE SPREAD EAGLE TAVERN NEAR THE 14TH MILESTONE 




IT 



N the extreme northwestern 
part of Radnor township, in 
Delaware county, on the Lan- 
caster Turnpike, fourteen miles 
west of Philadelphia, formerly 
stood at the base, as it were, of 
the South Valley Hill, a large 
three-story stone building with 
porch and piazza extending 
along the entire front. 

By the date stone, high up in 
the gable the wayfarer could 
still plainly see the year when the house was completed, 
the legend read " 1796." This building, one of those 
monuments by which we may be able to trace the past, 
was formerly the justly celebrated " Spread Eagle 
Tavern," known far and wide to travellers from both 
continents; built, as the stone informs us, in the year fol- 
lowing the one in which was completed the first link of 

28 



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Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 29 

what was to be the first great National highway to the 
West, and at the date of the building of the Inn connected 
Philadelphia, then the Capitol City of the United States, 
with Lancaster, the second important town of the Com- 
monwealth, and it may here not be amiss to say that to 
Pennsylvania's private citizens who subscribed almost half 
a million dollars to complete this great work of internal 
improvement, belongs unquestionably the praise of having 
constructed the first stone turnpike in the Union. 

The turnpike at this point for a short distance occupies 
the bed of the old Provincial or King road. The present 
building supplanted a small rude stone house, which was 
kept as a house of entertainment by one Adam Ramsower 
as early as 1769. The following year he petitioned to 
have his license renewed. In his petition to the Court 
August 28, 1770, he says: "Your Honors hath been 
pleased for these several years past to grant me your 
recommendation to the Governor for a license to keep a 
public house of entertainment," 8cc. Anthony Wayne 
appears as one of the subscribers to this petition. 

The following year Ramsower advertised the place for 
sale as shown by the following advertisement in a Phila- 
delphia newspaper: — 

"To BE Sold 

on Thursday the 26th of December instant A Valuable 
messuage, plantation and tract of land, situate in Radnor 
Township, Chester County adjoining the Lancaster road, 
Containing near 100 Acres of good land, about 16 miles 
from Philadelphia, about 70 acres are cleared and the re- 
mainder exceedingly well timbered about 14 acres of very 
good watered meadow, and an excelent Orchard that bears 
plentifully every year; the dwelling house is a large well 



30 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

finished stone building, and a well accustomed tavern, 
known by the name of the " Spread Eagle " and is well ac- 
commodated with a barn, stables, sheds, gardens &c a 
pump of good water near the door, with trough to water 
creatures. Any person inclining to purchase may come 
and view the premises before the day of Sale, at which 
time the Conditions of Sale will be made known by 

"Adam Ramsower." 
{Pennsylvania Gazette, Dec. 19, 177 1.) 

The next official knowledge we have of the tavern is 
the following curious petition, together with the quaint 
"certificate of character" which accompanied it when 
handed into Court. 

"To the Worshipful Justices of Court of General 
Quarter Sessions of the Peace, held and Kept at Chester 
the 25th day of August, 1772: 

" The petition of Jacob Hinkel of Said County, Humbly 
Sheweth : 

"That your petitioner hath lately purchased the mes- 
suage and plantation where Adam Ramsower lately dwelt, 
situated in Radnor township, in said county, at which place 
a house of public entertainment hath been kept for a num- 
ber of years past, known by the name of 'Spread Eagle;' 
your petitioner therefore prays that your honors will be 
pleased to grant him a recommend to his honor, the 
Governor, for a license to keep a public house of entertain- 
ment at the place aforesaid and your petition shall pray. 

Jacob Hinkel." 
"Lancaster county ss. 

" Whereas, Jacob Hinkel, tanner, the bearer hereof, who 
hath resided within the County for the term of 12 years, 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 31 

is now moving to Chester county with the intention to 
keep a house of public entertainment on the road leading 
from Philadelphia to Lancaster at the noted tavern of 
the ' Spread Eagle ' and whereas, the said Jacob Hinkel 
did petition to us subscribing magistrates and other in- 
habitants of Lancaster county for a testimony of his char- 
acter whilst he lived in the said county, and also for a 
recommendation to the magistrates of said county of 
Chester. 

"This is therefore to certify that the said Jacob Hinkel 
whilst he lived in said county acted the parts of a true and 
honest member of the civil government, and as such by 
virtue of our underwritten names, we do heartily recom- 
mend him to the worshipful, the Judges of the Peace of 
the County of Chester, etc, etc. 

Edward Shippen, 
Emanuel Carpenter, 
James Clemson, 
and ten others, 
Lancaster, the fourth day of August, 1772." 

At the commencement of the Revolutionary period the 
house was known as the gathering place of the patriots of 
the vicinity, while " Miles " old tavern, a short distance 
below, which had been rechristened " The Unicorn " and 
was then kept by a loyal Irishman, was patronized by the 
citizens who were either Tory or Loyalists. 

During the alternate occupation of this territory by the 
opposing forces 1777-8, the house became somewhat of a 
land mark, sev'eral reports and letters in reference to the 
military' situation being dated at, or mentioning the 
" Spread Eagle" tavern. During the encampment of the 
American army at Valley Forge the inn for a time was used 



32 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

as an outpost, when the large chestnut tree on the West 
side of the Valley road, about fifty feet North of the 
present turnpike, was utilized as a signal station, or out- 
look for that picket; this tree still standing may easily be 
recognized on the road leading to the present railroad 
station ; it also marks the boundary line between Delaware 
and Chester counties. 

The inn continued in the possession of Jacob and Daniel 
Hinkel until 1778 and possibly until 178 1, although no 
records are known to exist, stating who kept the house 
between those years. We know that one Alexander Clay 
was in charge, from 1787 until 1791, when Adam Siter 
appears, and he was followed by John Siter, during whose 
time the new house was built. 

As soon as the turnpike was finished it at once became 
the main artery of travel between the East and West. As 
the line of the new road at some points deviated a con- 
siderable distance from the old provincial road many of the 
colonial inns which had been landmarks for a century 
became useless on account of their distance from the new 
turnpike, others which were still accessible did not come 
up to the needs or demands of the increased travel brought 
forth by the new state of affairs. 

Of the numerous inns which were at once projected 
and built along the line of the new thoroughfare, the 
" Spread Eagle " Tavern was one of the largest as well as 
the most pretentious public houses between Philadelphia 
and Lancaster. 

The first sign board of the tavern was supported by two 
tall masts planted on the south side of the road; and is 
said to have been painted by one of America's most dis- 
tinguished artists. It was a representation of the out- 
spread American eagle as depicted on the silver dollar of 



fVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 33 

that date with the shield of the Union on its breast, the 
wings extended, and grasping in one talon the arrows of 
war, while in the other the olive branch of peace; a blue 
scroll in his beak with the emblazoned legend " E Pluribus 
Unum " and thirteen stars for an event completed the 
gorgeous sign of the new candidate for the patronage of 
the traveling public. 

Shortly after Martin Slough's successful attempt in 
1795 to run a four-horse stage between Philadelphia and 
Lancaster, stage coach lines continued to increase on the 
new road, and the Spread Eagle at once sprang into popu- 
larity with the traveling public, as well as with the 
"wagoners" and "teamers"; for at that early day the 
furnishings and cuisine of the hostelr}' were probably un- 
surpassed in the State. It is said that during the summer 
and fall of 1798 when the Capitol city was again visited 
by the yellow fever scourge, our inn was crowded with 
members of the Government, as well as attaches of the 
accredited representatives of the foreign powers in Phila- 
delphia. 

It was not long before quite a hamlet grew up in the 
vicinit}' of the busy inn, besides the usual blacksmith and 
wheelwright shops, livery stable, bams and other out- 
buildings attendant to an inn of the first rank. There was 
a flourishing saddlery as well as a village cobbler and 
tailor. The large "Eagle" store on the opposite side of 
the turnpike still does a flourishing trade to this day. A 
post-oflice was located here at an early day and the hamlet 
became known to the world and on the maps and gazetteers 
of the day as " Sitersville." 

The inn on account of its distance from the city became 
the stopping place of both mail, post and accommodation 

3t 



34 The Petinsyhama-German Society. 

stages for meals and relays, it being the first station west 
and the last relay station eastward. 

It also was the usual breakfast station for the stages 
leaving Philadelphia at four and five o'clock in the morn- 
ing. In 1 807 the price charged stage passengers was 3 1 34 
cents per meal while others were only charged 25 cents. 
The reason given for this discrimination was, that being 
obliged to prepare victuals for a certain number of pas- 
sengers by the stage, whether they came or not, it fre- 
quently caused a considerable loss of time, and often a 
waste of victuals, whereas in the other case they knew to a 
certainty what they would have to prepare. 

The expense of traveling by the stages from Philadel- 
phia to Pittsburg at this period was $20 and I2)4 cents 
for every pound of luggage beyond fourteen. The 
charges, by the way, for meals and lodging were about $7. 
The whole distance was 297 miles, and was performed in 
six days. 

The expense by wagon was $5 per cwt. for both persons 
and property, and the charges by the way amounted to 
about $12. It would take twenty days or more to per- 
form the journey by wagon. 

The favorite liquid refreshments dispensed over the bar 
and drank by the hardy " wagoners " and travelers in these 
early times besides whisky, brandy, rum and porter, were 
such as "cyder" plain, royal or wine; "apple" and 
"peach" brandy; "cherry bounce," &c. Among the 
better class of stage travelers a good bowl of "punch" 
was always in order and never out of order. 

It is not known just how long John Siter remained in 
charge. He was succeeded by Edward Siter, who for two 
years retired from the old inn, as is shown by following 
advertisement. 



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IVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 35 

" Edward Siter 
Late of the Spread Eagle on the Philadelphia and Lan- 
caster Turnpike road, takes the liberty of informing his 
friends and the public in general that he has taken that 
large store on South East comer of Market and Eighth 
Sts Number 226 in Philadelphia where he is now opening 
a good assortment of groceries, wholesale and retail on the 
most reasonable terms, where country produce will be 
bought or stored and sold on commission with punctuality. 

He believes himself from his former conduct in business 
to obtain a share of publick patronage." 

{Federalist, Dec. 9, 1812.) 

Edward Siter was succeeded by James Watson for two 
years. But the venture of neither proving successful we 
find Edward Siter again in charge of the inn until the year 
1817. 

The following five years — 18 17 to 1823 — David Wil- 
son, jr., was the host. Zenas Wells kept the inn 1823, 
1824 and 1825. 

For a short time during the first quarter of the century, 
most probably while the house was in charge of Wilson 
or Wells, a change was made on the old signboard, 
another neck and head being added by a local artist, thus 
changing our glorious bird of freedom into one of those 
nondescript birds with two heads as used in ancient 
heraldry; this change is still fresh in the memory of several 
octogenarians who yet live in the vicinity. It is further 
said that this change was caused by some political excite- 
ment rife at that time. The new signboard, however, 
caused much merriment among the neighbors and wagon- 
ers, who could not see the utility of the change, and by 
them the house was nicknamed the " Split Crow," and in 
an article written about 65 years ago by Mr. George W. 



3^ The Pennsylvama-German Society. 

Lewis (still living) the house is referred to by that name. 
After Edward W. Siter came in possession, in 1825, the 
signboard was again Americanized, and after being re- 
painted remained until it was finally effaced by the action 
of the elements about the time the usefulness of the house 
as an inn had passed away. 

Among the curious customs pevalent at this time, was 
for the smiths to burn their own charcoal, and it was not an 
uncommon sight for the traveler to see a charcoal kiln on 
fire back of the shops. 

The continuing increase of travel and patronage soon 
necessitated the erection of more taverns; it is said they 
eventually averaged about one to the mile between the 
Eagle and Downingtown. The first of these new turn- 
pike inns stood about three quarters of a mile west of the 
Eagle, on the eastern end of what was then known as the 
*' Glassley Commons." The inn was known as the 
*'Lamb"; it was established by John Lewis about 18 12 
or 13, who remained there for two years, when he was 
succeeded by the " dingers," father and son, who re- 
mained in charge until the necessity for a public house 
there had passed away. 

A few hundred rods east of the Eagle where the old 
road intersects the turnpike stood an old provincial inn, 
"The Unicorn." This house was built in 1747 by one 
James Miles. A license was granted to him in the follow- 
ing year. This inn was known on the early distance 
tables as " Miles Tavern," being 16 miles, i qr., 26 perches 
from the Court House in Philadelphia on the road to 
Lancaster, and is noted on the quaint pamphlet published 
by Wm. Bradford in Philadelphia in 1751. This build- 
ing is no doubt still recollected by the residents of the town- 
ship; also its destruction by fire on St. Valentine night, 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 21 

Februar}', 1872, attended unfortunately by the loss of a 
life, an old man being burned to death in the attempt to 
save some of his effects. 

These two taverns just mentioned took most of the over- 
flow which could not be accommodated at the Spread 
Eagle, still it is yet within the recollection of many persons 
when the yards of all three inns were filled to their utmost 
capacity with wagons, stages and teams, while the bar- 
rooms within resounded with the roystering song or ribald 
jests of the hardy wagoner. 

The travel on the turnpike reached its height probably 
during the latter part of the '20's, just previous to the 
building of the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad by the 
Canal Commissioners of the State. During this era all 
was life and bustle about the Inn; there was hardly a 
moment during the twenty-four hours of the day that there 
was not some travel past the Inn. It was a frequent sight 
to see long lines of Conestoga wagons going towards the 
city loaded with the products of the West or going in the 
opposite direction freighted with the productions of East- 
ern mills or foreign merchandise; these wagons were 
usually drawn by five stout horses, each horse having on 
its collar a set of bells consisting of different tones, which 
made very singular music as the team trudged along at the 
rate of about four miles an hour. Emigrants could also 
frequently be seen on their way, generally in companies 
for mutual assistance, going with their families and worldly 
possessions towards the new West — there to settle and 
found homes for their posterity. Large herds and flocks 
also furnished their quota to this ever moving living 
panorama. 

Within the tavern all would be life and animation, on 
warm, fair nights the porch as well as the piazza above 



38 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

was illuminated by large reflecting lamps, when on such 
occasions congregated the ladies and gentlemen who were 
stopping there either permanently or merely temporarily to 
while away the time and watch the life and bustle on the 
road in front of the Inn, as well as in the yard beyond; the 
shouts and activity of the hostlers and stablemen at the 
arrival or departure of the mail or post coach, the rapidity 
with which the horses were unhitched, or replaced by fresh 
relays after the passengers had refreshed themselves, the 
number of travelers on horseback, or private conveyance, 
the occasional toot of a stage horn or ringing of the 
hostler's bell, all tended to form a continuous change of 
scene. In 1823 there were no less than eleven principal 
lines of "Land Stages," daily running on the turnpike to 
and from Philadelphia past the Eagle. These were 
known as the "Berwick," " Downingtown," "Harrisburg 
Coachee," "Harrisburg Stage," "Lancaster Accommoda- 
tion," "Lancaster Coachee," "Lancaster and Pittsburg 
Mail," " Mifflin, Lewistown, via Harrisburg," " Philadel- 
phia and Pittsburg via York," " Pittsburg via Harris- 
burg," "Philadelphia and West Chester" besides numer- 
our lines of accommodation stages. The fare for way 
passengers was usually six cents per mile; through fare 
from Philadelphia to Pittsburg was $18.50 each way, 
meals and lodging extra. 

The "Coachee" was a carriage peculiar to America, 
the body was rather longer than that of a coach, but of the 
same shape. In the front it was left open down to the 
bottom, and the driver sat on a bench under the roof of the 
carriage. There were two seats in it for passengers, who 
sat with their faces towards the horses. The roof was 
supported by posts placed at the comers, on each side of 
the doors, above the panels; it v/as open and to guard 




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Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 39 

against bad weather; there were curtains made to let down 
from the roof and fasten to buttons placed for the purpose 
on the outside. There was also a leathern curtain to hang 
occasionally between the driver and the passengers. The 
Coachee had doors at the side, since the panels and body 
were generally finely finished and varnished. 

As an instance of the importance of the Spread Eagle as 
a post town, a comparison of the receipts of the United 
States post office for the year ending March 31, 1827, 
shows there was a larger amount of postage collection 
there than at any other tavern post office on the turnpilce 
east of Downingtown, viz.: $60.25. During the same 
period the collections at the Paoli were but $6.54. 

In the year 1825, Edward W. Siter became the land- 
lord of the Spread Eagle and remained until 1836, when 
Stephen Home appears as the lessee, who had for some 
time been connected with the house. 

On the evening of September 15th, 1834, an incident 
occurred which probably caused more excitement and sen- 
sation in the immediate vicinity of Siterville than had ever 
been known on any previous occasion within the memory 
of the oldest inhabitant. This was caused by the descent 
of Mr. James Mills' balloon, which had started on an 
aerial voyage from Philadelphia at half-past four o'clock 
in the afternoon. The following is the bold aeronaut's 
own description of what took place : 

"Warned by the increasing obscurity of the world below 
I began to descend and at six o'clock and twenty minutes 
reached the earth in a fine green field, near the Spread 
Eagle, on the Lancaster Turnpike, 16 miles from Phila- 
delphia. As I descended very slowly, two young gentle- 
men and Dr. M , of Philadelphia, came to my assist- 
ance, and laying hold of the car in which I remained towed 



40 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

me about a quarter of a mile to the tavern, where I 
alighted, balloon and passenger, safe and sound. Before 
discharging the gas, several ladies got successively into the 
car and were let up as far as the anchor rope would permit. 
The gas was let out and the balloon folded. In doing this 
a cricket was unfortunately included, and having to cut his 
way out he made the only break in the balloon which oc- 
curred on this expedition. Mr. Home, of the Spread 

Eagle, treated me with great kindness, and Dr. M 

politely offered me a conveyance to the city, which I 
reached at one o'clock this morning." 

After the completion of the railroad which was located 
at this point, about half a mile to the north of the turnpike, 
and the successful attempt at steam transportation, the 
decline of the Inn was rapid, the glory of the once noted 
hostelry waned year after year, and it soon became merely 
a cross road country tavern with no patronage except what 
the laboring population in the vicinity supplied. 

The only exception to this desolation was during the 
winter when the sleighing was good then for a time the 
old tavern would for a short period be galvanized into a 
new life as it were. Open house would be held all night; 
four to six musicians were in attendance, and as sleigh load 
after sleigh load of young people would arrive to refresh 
themselves and enjoy a dance or two, some of the old 
scenes of life and activity approximating the former glories 
of the tavern were reproduced. To such as participated 
in any of these parties the cheerful rubicund face of the 
host will no doubt be recalled, whether it was Ned Siter, 
Steve Horn, or Benny Kirk. However even these sleigh- 
ing parties are now things of the past, and almost unknown 
to the present generation in the vicinity. 

After changing ownership many times the Inn finally 



IVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 41 

came into possession of George W. Childs, of Phila- 
delphia, who bought the property so as to prevent anyone 
obtaining a license for the sale of liquor so near his venture 
at Wayne station, a short distance below on the turnpike. 

In the following Summer the use of the building was 
given by its benevolent owner to the Managers of the 
Lincoln Institution of Philadelphia as a Summer home for 
the large number of Indian girls who were being trained 
and educated by that Institution. Fears had been enter- 
tained by the Managers and patrons of the Institution that 
a hot Summer in the city might prove disastrous to the 
Indian children, so it was determined to try the experiment 
of sending the girls to the country for half the year pro- 
vided such removal would in no way interfere with their 
training or studies. Therefore the Managers of the 
school concluded to accept the kind and opportune offer of 
Mr. Childs allowing them the use of the old Inn and sur- 
rounding grounds free of charge. It, however, cost the 
Institution over a thousand dollars to make the former 
hostelry habitable and suitable for their purpose. It was 
not long before almost a hundred girls were so established 
in their new temporary home and the experiment from the 
very start proved itself a complete success. 

The old Spread Eagle once more became a point of 
attraction, not only with the residents or sojourners in the 
vicinity, but also for the curious and sympathetic, some 
from a remote distance. Public religious services were 
held every Sunday at Wayne Hall; these services were 
always largely attended, on which occasion the choir, music 
and the responses, according to the ritual of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, were entirely rendered by the Indian 
girls, who seemed to thoroughly comprehend the meaning 
of the services. 



42 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

It was a beautiful, yet strange spectacle to see these 
dusky maidens, descendants of the aborigines, going tvvo by 
two, from their services, as they trudged along the smooth 
white turnpike, sober and demure with their prayer book 
and hymnal in their hands; w'here but a little over two 
centuries ago their people had roamed and hunted free 
and undisturbed by anything approaching civilization, as 
monarchs of these glorious hills and valleys. Now no 
vestige of this former race remains but an occasional arrow 
dart ploughed up by the husbandman as he tills the soil. 
During these two summers several traveling Indian bands 
that visited Philadelphia also visited the school at the old 
Inn, and it is said that the impressions made upon their 
minds, and the reports they made when they returned home 
were of the greatest use to the school. Probably the most 
noteworthy and interesting of the visits was the one when 
the celebrated " Sitting Bull" accompanied by his band, all 
resplendent in scarlet blankets, leggings and feathers, with 
faces and hands daubed and streaked with vermilion and 
chrome yellow, came and spent a few hours at the old inn; 
quite a feast was prepared for them by the Indian girls 
which they seemed to enjoy, still not a muscle moved in 
their stolid countenances which could be construed as either 
showing approbation or displeasure. 

One of the most interesting events during the sojourn of 
the Indian girls at the old tavern was the entertainment 
given on the evening of September 24, 1884, at Wayne 
Hall. It consisted of a series of twenty-two tableaux illus- 
trative of Longfellow's beautiful poem of Hiawatha. 
The Rev. Joseph L. Miller, chaplain of the institution, 
read those portions of the poem descriptive of the scenes as 
presented by the dusky children. There were 10 char- 
acters represented in the tableaux. All the scenes passed 



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fVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 43 

off successfully, and were well applauded by the large audi- 
ence present. Among the most vivid pictures were " The 
Indian's Home," Hiawatha's "infancy" with an Indian 
Lullaby, and "Hunting," "The Ambush," "Hunters' 
Return " and " Lover's Advent." The " Wedding Feast." 
with Its songs and dances were the crowning features of the 
evening. In this scene the stage was filled with the girls 
and boys of the institution all in striking costumes brilliant 
in color and beads, feathers, tassels, fringes and other 
tnnkets. A wedding song was sung, then came the dance, 
after which a chorus of over thirty Indians sang a hymn in 
the Dakota language. 

The old tavern was used by the Lincoln Institution dur- 
ing the years 1884-5, when after several vain attempts on 
part of the managers to buy the property from Mr. Childs, 
they vacated the old Inn and purchased ten acres of wood- 
land on the northern slope of the south Valley hill, about 
1 1/2 miles northeast of the old inn, where they erected three 
large buildings as a permanent summer school; this is now 
known as " Po-ne-mah." 

The suburban village and improvements which have 
sprung up on all sides of the old hostelr>^ with the at- 
tendant pleasure travel, on the turnpike now again put in 
first class condition by the Lancaster Avenue Impovement 
Company, so far have had little effect on old " Siterville." 
At the present writing (1886) the old inn though in good 
repair is closed and without an occupant, and looms up on 
the roadside like a dark and sombre relic of the past, with 
nothing to remind the present generation of its departed 
glories. 




THE WARREN TAVERN NEAR THE 20TH 
MILE STONE. 

HE traveller of the present day 
on the Lancaster turnpike, 
after leaving the " Green 
Tree," or Duffryn Mawr, 
crosses under the railroad 
where the old deserted stone 
road now running, north to 
the rival highway with its 
quadruple tracks, which so 
completely supplanted it, here 
commences his descent into 
the Great Chester Valley, winding around the hillside. 
After passing the Green Tree store, so long presided 
over by the Bakers and Philips, and the new hall of 
Thomson Lodge, No. 340, F. & A. M., the twentieth 
mile stone -with the attendant toll-booth, is soon reached. 
At this point the pike enters a gorge in the chain of 
the South Valley hills, and at the foot, after crossing 
the long stone bridge over the rivulet which pours down 
the hillside through the ravine which here intersects the 

44 




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PFayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 45 

other, there may be seen in the small valley thus formed 
a commodious house, of ample dimensions, two stories in 
height, capped by a sharp gable, pierced with three dormer 
windows, the enclosure within the bounds of the snow- 
white picket fence (1888) dotted with numerous outbuild- 
ings — the evergreens of stately growth, all tend to attract 
the attention of the traveller of the present day, and give 
the stranger an impression that the structure is one of more 
than ordinary' importance, and a well-preserved relic of a 
former period — perhaps dating back to the Colonial 
period, and that it was the home of some brave, sturdy 
soldier of the Revolution, who wore the blue and buft, and 
on many a field performed deeds of valor and prowess 
while opposing the hireling invader. 

In the first surmise the stranger would be correct. The 
house in question, and the more primitive structure which 
it replaced, was for over a century one of the best known 
landmarks on the Lancaster roadside. When first opened 
as a public house in the fourth decade of the last century, 
the sign-board as it swung and creaked in the wind bore 
the image and name of Admiral Vernon. This was, how- 
ever, soon changed to the Admiral Warren. After the 
Revolution, in turnpike days, it w-as known to all travellers 
as the "Warren," the British Admiral giving place on the 
sign-board to the patriot general, who died for his country 
on Bunker Hill. After the turnpike was completed toward 
the close of last centur)', it w'as not long before the house 
became a tavern stand or stage house of the first class, 
being equaled in reputation and patronage only by the 
"Eagle," " Paoli " and "Downings"; the reputation of 
the " Good-cheer" and the cleanliness of the bedding made 
it one of the most desirable stopping places on the thor- 
oughfare. Among the guests who patronized the inn, and 



46 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

who found shelter under the hospitable rooftree, drank 
the wines, and enjoyed the products of the larder, were to 
be numbered presidents, judges, foreign potentates, and 
the most distinguished travelers from this and foreign 
climes. 

The scenes of life and activity then to be seen daily In 
the "tavern yard" in front of the hostelry were not sur- 
passed at any other point on the road; the arrival and 
departure of the stagecoaches, the genial host " Funny- 
stock " always present to greet the new arrivals, or to wish 
the departing ones bon voyage; the bustling hostlers and 
stablemen, together with the shouts of the drovers, busy 
in the large cattle pens, stables and shelters, then on the 
opposite side of the turnpike, the passing teamsters, with 
strings of tinkling bells on the horse yokes, all tended to 
make up the ever-recurring scenes of excitement at this 
renowned halting place on the Lancaster roadside. 

When, however, in the course of time the stone age of 
travel, as the turnpike days may well be called, was super- 
seded by that of iron and steam, the Warren, in com- 
mon with its chief competitor the "Spread-Eagle," was 
left stranded far from the new road, and soon the inn from 
being one of the most busy spots between Philadelphia and 
Lancaster rapidly fell into decay, and after the withdrawal 
of the stagecoaches dropped to the level of an ordinary 
cross-road country tavern, and at the present day all that 
is left to remind the present generation of even the exist- 
ence of such a noted landmark is the name of the local 
postoffice, viz. : " Warren Tavern," and even this is in 
danger of being before long a thing of the past, as lately 
there has been started a movement looking to a change of 
name, as was the case with the " Spread-Eagle " by some 
supercilious newcomers, on whose sensitive ears the word 



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JFayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 47 

"Tavern" seems to grate harshly, and who ha\-e no idea 
of the derivation of the name, and who if they achieve 
their object may perhaps succeed in replacing the name of 
the revolutionar)' hero with that of one of his British of 
Hessian opponents, a proceeding which would be entirely 
in keeping with the course pursued by the Anglo-maniacs 
who have lately cropped out among us. 

How in 1733 the great road from Lancaster was laid 
out to a point in Chester County, near the " Sign of the 
White Horse," and the action taken by the residents of 
Tredyffrin, Easttown and Willistown and adjoining town- 
ships to have the road completed to the Schuylkill has been 
set forth in the preceding articles. It was not until No- 
vember 6, 1 74 1, when the final return of the commissioners 
giving the route to the Schuylkill was presented to Lieut. 
Governor George Thomas and Council. By this report 
we find that the new road was laid out east^vard from the 
" Sign of the White Horse " along the old road " until near 
Robert Powell's House, then leaving the old road, and on 
George Aston's land south 72 degrees, east 200 perches to 
a run, thence 80 perches, whence it again meets the old 
road, then on it south 33^ degrees, east 21 perches, then 
in Willistown south 33^ degrees, 20 perches, &c., &c." 

By the above survey it will be seen that at the time there 
was no house on the site of the Warren, or mention would 
certainly have been made of it. It is safe to assume that 
George Aston built the house as soon as the road was 
open for travel, at the point where the road crossed the 
run, and the ascent of Valley Hill commenced through the 
notch, or gulf before described. This was not until 1 743-4, 
and in the latter year we find Aston a resident of East 
Whiteland, as well as a prominent member of St. Peter's 
congregation in the Valley. He was also an active factor 



48 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

in building the stone church (St. Peter's) in the Valley. 
The church records state that: "April 15th, 1745, was 
held a vestry in St. Peter's Church, which was the first 
there ever held." George Aston is among those chosen as 
vestrymen, and in the subsequent allotment of pews No. 4 
fell to his lot. He was the eldest son of George Aston, 
who purchased 500 acres of land, and settled in Cain. He 
was a prominent citizen, and served as one of the justices 
of the county from 1724 to 1729. In the administration 
of his office he, however, seems to have been too zealous 
by encouraging litigation where it should have been 
avoided. Complaint of this fact being made, and coming 
to the knowledge of Hon. Patrick Gordon, the Governor 
acquainted the board that it was necessary that a new com- 
mission of " the Peace for Chester county should be issue, 
and that he had some very good reasons for leaving out 
one, viz: George Aston, who had acted but too much, &c." 
George Aston, the elder, died in 1738, leaving two sons 
and three daughters. George, the eldest, and builder of 
the old wayside inn, married a daughter of Owen Thomas, 
of East Whiteland, and became the owner of the property 
now known as the Warren property. Application for 
license was no doubt made to the Court as soon as the 
house was ready for occupancy. This was granted in 
1745. The inn was located, as was then the universal cus- 
tom, near or at a running stream of water, and situated 
about midway between its rivals — the " Blue Ball " and 
the " Sign of the White Horse " — became from the start 
the stopping place for the churchmen and missionaries as 
they journeyed along the road. The house when first 
licensed was named the " Admr. Vernon," after a cele- 
brated British naval officer. Sir Edward Vernon, the hero 
of Porto Bello, and who in view of his achievements was 



Wayside bins on Lancaster Turnpike. 49 

then the idol of England. With the outbreak of the 
French and Indian troubles, the gallant capture of Louis- 
burg, June 17, 1745, followed by the victories over 
the French fleet in 1747 by Admiral Peter Warren, 
K.C.B., the latter soon became the ideal hero of the war 
party in the province, of which Aston was a prominent 
member; and it was not long before the former hero was 
supplanted in the minds of the people by the latter, whose 
deeds of valor were performed really to protect the 
colonies. 

The change on the sign board of our wayside inn was 
probably made in 1748 when Aston relinquished the house 
to one Daniel Goldsmith, who rented the inn. It appears 
from the records that for some reason, not stated, the new 
host was refused a license by the Governor in the next year, 
1749. George Aston then again took, charge, but when 
the French and Indian troubles broke out in 1753, threat- 
ening the lives and homes of the inhabitants of the Chester 
Valley, while the Governor and the council were squab- 
bling as to whether there should be any defence or not, 
George Aston was among the first men in the county to 
form a company for the defence of the province, and with 
them did his duty well in checking the infuriated savages 
in Northampton County. 

In the account of the public expenditures of the day we 
find an entr}', March 2, 1756, where the Assembly voted 
£240, 15s. 4d. "to Captain George Aston for himself and 
his companys pay." 

On account of Captain Aston's prominence as a military 

man, the house now became a rendezvous and center for 

the military as well as the church party in this section of 

the county. In most of the local military documents from 

4t 



50 The Peiuisylvama-Gcnnan Society. 

Braddock to Stanwix we find "George Aston's " noted as 
a landmark and stopping place. Aston's son, Owen, be- 
came the County " Wagon Master," while in Roger Hunt's 
account book of 1759, who was a brother-in-law of Cap- 
tain Aston's, we find frequent reference to " George Aston 
at ye Admiral Warren." 

Aston appears to have kept the house during these trou- 
blesome times, when the PVench and Indians inspired so 
much fear in the community, until 1760, when he was suc- 
ceeded as host by one Peter Valleau. Three years later 
Aston and his wife sold the property to Lnyford Lardner, 
of Philadelphia, a brother-in-law of Richard Penn, and 
who was the agent of the Penn family in America. Val- 
leau continued until 1767. Nothing of note is known to 
have occurred during his occupancy. 

He was succeeded by Caleb Parry, who deserves more 
than a passing notice. He was the son of David Parry, 
of Tredyffrin, whose father, James Parry, donated the 
ground on which the Great Valley Presbyterian Church 
was built. During the French and Indian times David 
Parry was one of the associators, and the lad, Caleb, no 
doubt imbibed much of his military spirit from him, and 
at the very outbreak of the Revolution we find Caleb Parry 
commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel in Colonel Atlee's 
"First Regiment of Pennsylvany Musketry," recruited 
mainly from among the Presbyterians in the Chester and 
Pequea Valleys. He was active in all the military opera- 
tions around New York, which culminated so disastrously 
to the patriot cause, and on the memorable 27th of August, 
1776, in the engagement known as the Battle of Long 
Island, Colonel Parry was numbered among the slain, as 
his brother officers stated, "Dying like a hero." An 
account of the affair states: 



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"The men shrunk and fell back, but Atlee rallied them 
and Parr}' cheered them on and they gained the hill. It 
was here, while engaged in an officer's highest duty, turn- 
ing men to the enemy by his own example, that the fatal 
bullet pierced his brow." 

To return to the roadside inn during the second year 
that Parry was in charge, a danger threatened the inn. 
This was nothing more or less than the petition for license 
of a new house between the Warren and the Blue Ball. 
Parry fearing this would injure his business appealed to 
his landlord, Lynford Lardner, to use his influence with 
the Governor to prevent a license being granted to Joshua 
Evans, the new applicant. Lardner in pursuance to the 
request sent a protest to the Court, in which he states that 
about six years before he had purchased the estate of 
George Aston and wife, three and a half miles from " Blue 
Ball " and three miles from " White Horse," and he feared 
the establishment of another tavern between his and the 
Blue Ball would discourage his tenant, &c. The protest, 
however, did not avail, as the license was granted and the 
" General Paoli " was the result. Parr}' remained at the 
Warren for another year after the Paoli was opened, when 
he resigned in favor of Isaac Webb, who was there 
177 1-2-3. H^ ^'^^ ^^^^ ^ renter and was followed by 
Samuel Johnson, in 1774. In this year Lynford Lardner, 
the owner of the propert}', died October 6th, and his will, 
proved October 25, 1774, following curious provision is 
made. He orders that his executors " do sell and dispose 
of the iron works newly erected, known as the x*\ndover 
Iron Works, in the Province of New Jersey, and also my 
messuage and tenniment, commonly called by the name of 
Warren Tavern, in the county of Chester, and the planta- 
tions and lands thereunto belonging, which I purchased 



52 The Peimsylvania-Gcrman Society. 

from George Asheton and wife, for the payment of just 
debts, and for other purposes in this, my last will, &c., &c." 

In pursuance with the above provision, Catharine Lard- 
ner and John Lardner, the executors, November 2, 1776, 
conveyed the "Admiral Warren plantation, in Whiteland 
township," to Hon. John Penn, of Philadelphia. 

Samuel Johnson was the tenant until the property was 
transferred to the new owner, when he was succeeded by 
Peter Mather, a man of strong Tory proclivities. 

During the term of Webb and Johnson the old inn seems 
to have lost prestige. This was partially caused by the 
" General Paoli " becoming the favorite gathering place of 
the patriot spirits, with which the locality abounded, 
while the Warren and the Unicorn, seven miles below, had 
the reputation of being loyal houses. 

Local tradition tells us that the Warren became the 
gathering place for the Tories in the vicinity, and such 
persons as were disaffected to the patriot cause. Further 
that after the outbreak of active hostilities, meetings were 
frequently held in the house, where British envoys, or offi- 
cers, were present, and information which had been ob- 
tained was sent to the enemy. Notable among the visitors 
to the inn at the time was the talented, but unfortunate, 
Major Andre, who was then a paroled prisoner of war at 
Lancaster, and who had the liberty of certain roads, among 
which was the Philadelphia road to within a point twenty 
miles from the city. 

What good use Andre made of his parole may be sur- 
mised, when it is known that he is said to have mapped 
the country and suggested the capture of Philadelphia by 
way of the Chesapeake and Great Valley, the plan so suc- 
cessfully carried out by Howe and Cornwallis in the Fall 
of 1777. 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 53 

In the year 1777, -when it was destined that the tide of 
war should surge through our fertile valley — then the 
garden of Pennsylvania — the house was in charge of Peter 
Mather, who, If our traditions be true, was like his prede- 
cessor, a strong ton'. This is further strengthened by the 
fact that when the British Army was quartered In the val- 
ley Mather was one of the few who appears to have suf- 
fered no loss, while his immediate neighbors lost almost 
all of their possessions. 

On the eventful night of the 20th of September, when 
the cohorts of the enemy under Grey, accompanied by his 
aid, Major Andre, silently marched up theSwedeford road, 
they wheeled to the left at the road which led to the War- 
ren, where a halt was made, and to divert suspicion from 
the real traitors who guided the advance, the patriotic 
blacksmith at the shops, then situated on the south side of 
the old Lancaster road just north of the present turnpike 
bridge, was forced to get out of his bed and accompany the 
column. This dreadful occurrence of this dark night It is 
unnecessary' to repeat here, as they are well-known In his- 
tory as the " Massacre at Paoli," and have been graphically 
described by more able pens than that of the writer. 

After the British had left the vicinity Mather, the inn 
keeper, was publicly charged by his neighbors as being 
responsible for the massacre, also of having guided the 
British. Both of these accusations he strenuously denied, 
producing proof that he had not been out of the house dur- 
ing the night. In confirmation of his statements are the 
two facts, viz. : First, that In no known British letter, report 
or account Is mention made of Peter Mather, or his connec- 
tion with the attack; second, that notwithstanding the sus- 
picion attached to him he was permitted to continue to live 
in the house and keep the inn for a number of years. The 



54 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

place, however, was shunned and avoided by most of the 
residents of the vicinity, and the inn keeper drew his patron- 
age from the chance travellers on the road, who knew noth- 
ing of the odium common report attached to the unfortu- 
nate Boniface. From these facts it may be surmised that 
the enterprise was not a financial success. 

About the close of the Revolutionary war there was con- 
siderable excitement throughout the count}' in reference to 
the proposed removal of the county seat from Chester, on 
the Delaware, to a more central part in the county. There 
were three points suggested, all being public houses, viz.: 
"Downing's," the "Turk's Head" (now West Chester), 
and the "Admiral Warren," with the chances in favor of 
the latter on account of its position in the Great Valley, 
and being within easy reach from all points in the county; 
but the fact that the property was owned by one of the 
Penn family, together with the state of the popular feeling 
towards anything which savored of the old regime, pre- 
cluded the acceptance of the locality on any condition. 
Notwithstanding the activity of John Penn's agents and 
friends the agitation of the matter only tended the more to 
incense the populace against the old inn; consequently, 
when in 1783, the Assembly passed an Act (March 19) 
doubling the rates of all tavern licenses, the outlook be- 
came still darker for Mather. He, however, held out 
until the property was sold, when he made a sale of his 
personal effects and went to West Chester. Shortly after 
the removal of the county seat there he kept a licensed 
house within the new borough, again succeeding, it is said, 
the very man — Isaac Webb — who had occupied the " War- 
ren" prior to Alather. In the new location his expecta- 
tions again failed to be realized, so after remaining for a 
year or two he seems to have drifted to the city, where his 



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JVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 55 

ill fortune followed him ; as the people who knew him were 
wont to say "God frowned on him," so he fell lower and 
lower in the social scale. First he drove team or dray, 
but finally in his old age came down to pushing a hand 
cart or wheelbarrow, and even here the boys were wont to 
make his existence miserable by calling after him " Here 
we are and there we go," and " Remember Paoli." 

The ownership of the old Roadside Inn now passed into 
the possession of the Fahnestock family, in whose hands it 
was to remain for more than half a century, and reach a 
renown and popularity second to none of the sixty odd' 
hostelries on the roadside betw-een the city and Lancaster. 

Many are the tales told of how Fahnestock bought the 
house; how the vendue crier refused his bid on account of 
his uncouth appearance as he stood there in his long coat 
of undyed homespun, secured by large hooks and eyes in 
lieu of buttons; his long straggling beard and hair but 
partly hidden by his broad brimmed hat, his homemade 
cowhide boots, and worse than all he was clad in a pair of 
pantaloons, a fact which made him the butt of all present. 
Then how he produced the bright jingling coin, and told 
the crier that if his bids wouldn't count his money would, 
and the subsequent discomfiture of the vendue crier. These 
tales and many more of a similar import were told and 
retold in the barrooms, and to travelers in stages along the 
road until they were as current on the pike as they were 
among the children of the cross-roads school, or among the 
old crones who sat besides the hearth, " A whirling their 
wheel, or quilting the coverlids." 

The true facts of the case are that John Penn, the owner 
of the property, was anxious to dispose of the whole prop- 
erty. This by some means became known to Casper Fahne- 
stock, a member of the German Mystic Community' at 



56 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

Ephrata, and resulted in Casper, accompanied by Brother 
Jabez (Rev. Peter Miller), the prior of the congregation, 
and another brother, making a pilgrimage down the Lan- 
caster road in the last week, of March, 1786, to Philadel- 
phia. They traveled on foot, as was their custom, clad in 
the rough habit of their order with staff in hand, Casper, 
in addition, carrying a pair of saddle bags. When the trio 
arrived at the Warren they craved admittance, but received 
a rebuff from Mather, who told them "no beggars were 
wanted around there," so the three brethren continued on 
to the city. Penn, who was known to Brother Jabez, was 
at once called on, the price agreed upon, the conveyance 
made, executed and acknowledged in open court, March 
31, 1786, before Hon. Edward Shippen, President- Judge 
of the Common pleas. This document states that the 
Hon. John Penn, Esquire, and Dame Anne, his wife, con- 
vey to Casper Fahnestock, of Cocalico township, Lancaster 
county, shopkeeper, the Warren Tavern plantation of 337 
acres, the consideration being two thousand pounds lawful 
money of Pennsylvania in specie of gold or silver. This 
money was paid out of the saddlebags which Casper had 
carried all the way from Ephrata, the subscribing witnesses 
being Peter Miller and Joan Louis Patey. The trio imme- 
diately started west on their return in the same manner as 
they had come. Casper's saddlebags were lightened of 
their weight of coin, but contained the plantation in its 
stead. On their arrival at the tavern, it was long after 
nightfall. The mystic brethren, however, stopped and 
inquired for Mather, who had, it seems, already gone to 
bed. As the latter came down in gown and slippers, Cas- 
per told him that he was now the owner of the property, 
and intended to remain and examine his purchase in the 
morning, a proceeding to which there was no objection 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 57 

from the now obsequious Mather. In a few days the old 
Tory made a vendue, at which Casper was a frequent 
bidder, and ere the first week of April had elapsed the old 
Roadside Inn was in charge of the German Sabbatarian 
from the Monastery on the Cocallco. The new host, 
although an old man, being over sixty years of age, soon 
made his presence felt with the wagoners and travellers on 
the road. In view of the succeeding events, an extended 
notice of the first of the name in Chester count\', as well 
as his successors will not be amiss. 

Casper Fahnestock was a native of Germany, born in 
1724. He was the eldest son of Dietrich Fahnestock, the 
founder of the "whole tribe of Fahnestocks" (in Amer- 
ica) , as the inscription calls him on his tombstone in the old 
God's Acre of the Sabbath-keepers at Ephrata, on the banks 
of the Cocalico. Dietrich, the elder, came to this country 
with his wife, child and two sisters, in 1726. His sole 
possessions consisted of an axe, a weaver's shuttle, a Bible 
and a German thaler. He first settled on the Raritan 
River in New Jersey where the family lived for a number 
of years, but becoming convinced of the truth of the Sabba- 
tarian doctrine, joined that body of Christians, and about 
1748 we find the family residents of Ephrata. In the next 
year, June 21, 1749, a patent was granted him by the 
Governor for 329 acres of land at ? ? ? ? 

as the founder of the "Chester County" Fahnestocks. 
Casper, as were the rest of the family, was a member of 
the Ephrata community' ; his aunt even entered the Convent 
Saron, and became known as "Sister Armilla"; they were 
all consistent Sabbath-keepers, Casper and his wife Maria 
in addition keeping several other mosaic laws, such as 
eschewing the use of pork, the use of meats and milk at the 
same meals, &c. It was from these peculiarities that the 



58 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

common impression arose among his English neighbors, 
that the family were of the Jewish faith. 

The new owner had no sooner taken charge than the 
tavern at once became the stopping place for all of the 
Lancaster county Germans. Menish, Dunker, Ornish, 
Lutheran, Reformist and Moravian all found shelter and 
entertainment with theold"Sieben-Tager"* from Ephrata. 
Casper was ably seconded by the members of his family; 
his wife Maria, and mother-in-law, Elizabeth Gleim, took 
charge of the kitchen, the oldest son Charles presided over 
the bar, Daniel, who was a cripple, and his brother Diet- 
rich, assisted in the house and tavern-yard, while the two 
other children, Esther and Catherine, with Charles' wife 
Susan, attended to the wants of the house, table and guests. 
Just six months after the family were domiciled in the old 
tavern Casper's wife's mother, Elizabeth Gleim, died in 
her 75th year. She was buried on the plantation in a small 
clearing on the northern slope of South Valley Hill, about 
one fourth of a mile from the tavern, according to the 
custom of the Sabbatarians of that day; due north and 
south, with prayer and song, the ceremonies being con- 
ducted by the reverend Prior, of the Ephrata community. 
Brother Jabez. This spot was in the course of time sur- 
rounded by a low stone wall and became the burial ground 
of the Fahncstock family (Chester county branch) and 
now through neglect and the ravages of time has become 
about as gruesome a place of sepulture as it is possible to 
imagine. 

At this period of history the German element had in- 
creased to so great an extent in our State, that it actually 
became a question whether the State should not become a 
German State, and that all judicial and legislative proceed- 

* Member of the mystic Seventh-day Baptist Community of Ephrata, 
Lancaster Co., Penna. 




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Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 59 

ings be held in that language. In 1787, the German high 
school was established with a grant of 10,000 acres of 
land. German was introduced into the different charity 
and township schools; all tending to lay the foundation for 
a German commonwealth; the plan cherished by the pro- 
jectors was to eradicate the English language completely. 
The German element held together and won victory after 
victory at the polls over the "die diimmen Irischer," as 
their English-speaking opponents were called. At last 
their preponderance became so great that everything 
seemed favorable to bring about the result, viz.: That the 
German language would be legally declared to be the 
tongue of the commonwealth, when the French revolution 
broke out with its attendant influx of French refugees, 
French ideas of atheism, ( foreign to the German character) , 
liberty, equality, etc., etc. This was followed by the gen- 
eral war in Europe, and the almost total cessation of emi- 
gration from Germany. During this state of affairs the 
English-speaking element gained strength from day to day, 
and the German struggle for supremacy, so auspiciously 
begun, soon declined; and it was not long before the high 
school at Lancaster, which was to have been the great uni- 
versity of America, became a thing of the past. Politically, 
however, the Germans for many years continued to hold 
the balance of power. 

Among the wagoners and travelers on the turnpike the 
German element was so largely in the majority that no 
public house could succeed unless some one in charge was 
conversant with the German tongue. As there was no 
question about the nationality of the new host of the War- 
ren, he being German to the core, his great difficulty was 
from the start to provide for those who sought his shelter. 
Further, by his attention to business and the cleanliness of 
the house, the Inn soon became a desirable stopping place 



6o The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

for "Irisher" or "Gentleman," as well as for the 
" Deutscher." It even became a station for the profes- 
sional express rider, a character and occupation long since 
passed away and forgotten. 

Thus matters went on, the patronage and renown of 
" the Dutch tavern," as it was called by the wagoners, 
increased with the travel of the road, and the proprietor 
kept pace with the requirements of the traveling public. 
Casper kept the Corduroy Causeway through the swamp in 
better repair than it had been heretofore, a proceeding 
which pleased the frequenters of the road and proved 
another feature to attract custom to the Inn. This cause- 
way was to the north of the present turnpike bridge, and 
before this time was one of the worst places on the Lan- 
caster road, being often impassable in the spring and 
winter. 

Some idea of the difficulties of the travel in that day may 
be gleaned from the following letters, written just a cen- 
tury ago by Miss Marie Penry, the daughter of a cele- 
brated Welsh physician. She was one of the Moravian 
Sisterhood at Lititz, and gives a graphic description of her 
trip from Philadelphia to Lancaster. Nothing could illus- 
trate more forcibly the great change which has taken place 
during the centurj' in the time and manner of communica- 
tion between the two places. Miss Penry writes that she 
set out from Philadelphia on a Friday morning in Novem- 
ber, leaving the city at 8 o'clock. Her traveling com- 
panions consisted besides the driver of Mr. Tilt and wife, 
and two children, seven years old, twins. He was a Brit- 
ish officer who had been a prisoner of war at Lancaster, 
and there married, and on his release went to Halifax, and 
was now on his way to see his relatives. This composed 
the load. When they arrived at Fahnestock's they stopped 



JFayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 6i 

for refreshment for man and beast, and there met an Irish 
gentleman and his wife who had arrived in the country but 
a few days before, and were now on their way to the west- 
em end of the county. They had hired a chair and came 
thus far, when their driver refused to proceed on account 
of the bad condition of the roads, and being unable to 
procure any conveyance were in consequence stranded in a 
strange land. When the party started on their journey 
they took the " Irish Gentlewoman " as the letter calls 
her, in the stage with them, and as her husband could not 
even get a horse for hire, he was obliged to travel on foot 
along side of the stage. Thus the journey to the Brandy- 
wine commenced. It was, however, not destined to con- 
tinue to the end of their goal, as the extra weight in the 
stage with the roughness of the road, had a bad effect on 
the vehicle, which proved unequal to the strain. The party 
had not proceeded far ere a crack was heard, and the hind 
axle broke, letting the stage down on the road. Fortu- 
nately the horses were stopped and the passengers gotten 
out of the wreck without injur)'. The party, the letter 
continues, now all footed it Indian fashion to the nearest 
inn, which was about two miles from where the stage broke 
down (probably the Sheaf of Wheat). On their arrival 
they partook of an ordinary wayside meal. The spirits of 
the party were clouded by the prospect of having to pass 
Saturday and perhaps Sunday there. However, after the 
meal was finished a countryman offered to take the party 
to Downing's for a consideration, as a great favor. His 
team proved to be a country wagon without springs or 
cover, with no seats other than bundles of rye straw. Into 
this vehicle. Miss Penr)' continues, we went with all our 
packages, and our Irish gentleman, who seemed to think 
that " humble riding was better than proud walking on 



62 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

foot" was but too glad to avail himself of the opportunity 
to join the party. Thus the part)' arrived long after dark 
at the hospitable house of the "Downings"; as the fair 
writer adds — " Politeness and good nature had lessened 
every difficulty." 

The time, 1789, from Philadelphia to Downings, was 
over twelve hours, express time 1889 is one hour. 

At this period there were two matters agitating the com- 
munity, both of which seriously affected the usually imper- 
turbable inn-keeper. One was the question of making a 
stone highway, chaussie, or turnpike, to take the place of 
the old road. The second was the action taken by the 
Federal government in taxing whiskey, a matter which was 
destined to lead to the most serious consequences. 

A fact not generally known is, that the first organized 
opposition to the new excise law, took place in our Chester 
county, and the exciseman or collector was roughly used, 
barely escaping with his life. The rioters, however, were 
convicted and punished severely by the State Courts. On 
that occasion the foreman of the jury told the Attorney 
General " that he was much or more opposed to the excise 
law than the rioters, but would not suffer violators of the 
law to go unpunished." 

This opposition thus started extended to the western 
counties, where it culminated in 1794, in what is known in 
history as the "Whiskey insurrection." When President 
Washington issued his requisition for military force fo 
quell the incipient insurrection against Federal authority, 
Governor Mifflin, in response to the Federal proclamation, 
made a personal tour through the eastern part of the State 
to arouse the military spirit of the populace. In the prog- 
ress of this trip he came through Chester county and 
addressed the people at various points, among others the 



JVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 63 

Warren Tavern is named, where, it is stated that, notwith- 
standing the protests from the proprietor, who, as a con- 
sistent Sabbath-keeper, was a non-combatant, a recruiting 
office was opened and a company recruited by Edward 
Pearce, which became known as " Captain Parker's Com- 
pany " of Colonel Harris' Regiment, Edward Pearce being 
promoted to the Adjutancy. It was not long before the 
tocsin of war, the piercing note of the fife, and the heavy 
tread of armed men was again heard in our peaceful valley. 
Most of the troops, however, marched by way of the 
Swedesford, striking the Lancaster road a little below the 
"White Horse." The baggage and supplies came out 
over the new turnpike, which had been made here and 
there in sections between the Warren and the city, but 
which on account of the ignorance displayed by those hav- 
ing the enterprise in charge was almost impassable, even 
for the baggage trains. However, the incipient war in 
Western Pennsylvania was soon over, when the efforts to 
perfect the new turnpike were redoubled; the long bridge 
was built and the new road at the "Warren" occupied 
almost all the roadbed of the provincial thoroughfare. 
Casper, to be up to the times, and foreseeing the large in- 
crease in the travel, at an early day set about to prepare 
materials for a new house on as large a scale as the Siters 
had built six miles below. This new house was built so as 
to face on the north side of the turnpike. The old "Ad- 
miral Vernon," similar to all of the inns on the Lancaster 
road, was built on the south side of the road, and it was 
not long ere the new sign board of the " General Warren " 
swung in its yoke on a high mast near the southeast angle 
of the new turnpike tavern. 

With the native thrift of old Casper and his family all 
the work had to be done by themselves — trees were felled, 



64 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

hewed and sawed, lime burned, sand hauled and stone quar- 
ried — for the new hostelry. A curious anecdote is told 
about old Casper in connection with the latter labor: Dur- 
ing the fine moonlight nights in summer " Old Cas," as he 
was called, would make his men work in the quarry long 
after supper, or, at least, would go and swing the sledge 
by himself. This was not to the taste of the young genera- 
tion, and several made up their minds that they would 
stop the old German and get him out of his Dutch notions. 
So the Pearce boys, the next night, rigged themselves up in 
horns and blankets, carrying heavy log chains, and quietly 
getting near where the old man was cracking the stone in 
the moonlight, jumped up, rattled their chains and uttered 
unearthly yells. The old man, startled for a moment, 
resumed his labor as unconcerned as if they were trees, 
merely saying: " I bees not afrait von yous if you bees der 
teufel," finishing up with, " Wer auf Gott vertraut kan 
weder tod nocht teufel schaden,"* and calmly continued 
his work. 

Another one relates how it would worry the old man 
during harvest when the mowers or reapers would sit down 
longer for rest or refreshments than he thought they ought 
to, and when he could stand it no longer he would come up 
and say, "Now, poys, youse takes a bissel grog (whiskey 
and water) ; es is not goot so long to sitz on de kalt grund; 
takes a bissel grog and youse goes on." 

The new tavern, however, was built and ready long 
before the turnpike was a complete success, for many were 
the trials of the public spirited projectors of the enterprise. 
With the completion of the turnpike there came a demand 
for increased mail facilities. The government then en- 
grossed with the French question and the impending war 
with that power, yet found time to accede to the demand 

* Whoever trusts in God neither death nor Satan can harm. 



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Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 65 

of the people. A post office was established in Downlng- 
town April i, 1798, the only one between Philadelphia and 
Lancaster, and the official announcement was made that 
there would be three mails per week between Philadelphia, 
Downingtown and Lancaster, closing one-half hour before 
sunset every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This was 
hailed with satisfaction by everyone. 

In connection with the French war excitement of 1798 
there is a curious anecdote. Early in the year envoys were 
appointed to France by President Adams. One of these, 
Callender by name, in place of embarking for France left 
the city on a tour westward. Why or what for was not 
known at the time. He got as far as Fahnestock's and 
remained there several days, until on the morning of July 
13th, when he was found by a teamster a little after day 
break laying over 21st mile-stone dead — drunk. 

The explanation of Commissioner Callender's strange 
conduct is very simple when it is known that three fugitive 
French Princes, Louis Phillipe, Duke de Montpensier and 
the Count de Beaujolais, were at that time sheltered under 
the humble, but hospitable roof of the old German Sabbath- 
keeper. It would be difficult to imagine a greater contrast 
than the home of these scions of French royalty at that 
time with their former residence, viz., the Palais Royal at 
Paris. The humble Roadside Inn, however, had this great 
advantage, the three princes were as safe as the humblest 
laborer in the land; their heads were safe on the shoulders 
of their effete bodies. 

It was to consult with these princes that Callender came 
to the old Roadside Inn. The princes naturally did all 
they could to favorably impress the Commissioner and 
gain him for their cause. In this attempt they drew heavily 
on their scant resources, plying the Commissioner liberally 
5t 



66 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

with numerous bottles of old Madeira, which had been 
bought by Casper at Mather's sale and which it was 
claimed had come over the water, while yet the signboard 
bore the legend " Ye Adm'll Vernon." 

It was in this eventful year ( 1798) that the capital city 
was again visited by the yellow fever scourge. A camp 
for patients was established beyond the Schuylkill, and 
donations of farm and garden produce were solicited. 
The Fahnestocks at once took active measures to collect 
and send the needed supplies to the sufferers, vieing with 
the Downings and Joseph Moore, of East Whiteland, in 
supplying the necessaries and luxuries to the sick and con- 
valescent poor of the fever-stricken city. 

After the road was finished and by its advantages and 
superiority over the common roads came into universal 
favor, with teamsters and travellers, the old tavern stands 
soon had more patronage than they could accommodate; 
this was especially the case with the Fahnestock's. Old 
Casper although having long passed the allotted period of 
three score and ten, still continued as host and proprietor 
of the house, holding to the German maxim that "No 
father should give the reins of his hands to his child as 
long as he lived." However, in 1789, old Casper then 
in his 77th year, was forced by the infirmities of age to 
relinquish the house to his son Charles, who was then in 
his 37th year, and in whose name the license was granted 
for the last year of the Eighteenth Century. 

In the next year (1800), the present blacksmith shops 
were built on the turnpike. As before stated, the old shop 
on the Lancaster road stood in the meadow, about five feet 
north of the turnpike bridge. The top of the roof of the 
old shop was on a level with the low parapet of the present 
bridge and stood there for many years. 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 67 

As has been mentioned in a previous article, during the 
period of 1 790-1 800 when Philadelphia was the capital of 
the United States, there were frequently delegations of the 
Indian tribes, who travelled up and down the road in their 
journey to visit the "Great Father"; on one of these 
visits an occurrence took place, which caused much specu- 
lation, and remains to the present day an unsolved prob- 
lem, notwithstanding the many attempts made by the 
Fahnestock family and many others to solve the enigma. 
It was as follows: A short time after the turnpike was 
finished an Indian coming down the road had broken some- 
thing about his gun, and, when he came to the Warren 
asked the smith at the shops to repair it. The blacksmith 
had just run out of charcoal, which was the only kind of 
coal then used by smiths, and told the Indian that he could 
not fix his gun until he had burnt a new kiln of charcoal. 
The Indian asked him if he would do it if he got him coal, 
and getting an answer in the affirmative he took up a pick 
and basket which were in the shops, and giving a grunt 
started for the woods on the South Valley hill. He re- 
turned in about half an hour with a basket full of black 
rocks or stones. The smith tried to make the Indian under- 
stand it was coal that he needed. The Indian merely put 
some of his black stones on the hearth and pulled the bel- 
lows, and to the surprise of the smith the stones com- 
menced to burn. The Indian merely said, " White man 
now fix gun." The now thoroughly surprised smith found 
the Indian's rocks equal to his best charcoal. The gun was 
repaired, and the smith was naturally anxious to know 
where the burning stones were found, but nothing could in- 
duce the Indian to divulge where he had found it except 
that he said " there was much — much," pointing towards 
the wooded hillside. Many were the efforts made from 



68 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

that day to this to discover the location, but so far without 
success. 

Although with the advent of the nineteenth century 
Philadelphia had ceased to be the capital city the traffic 
on the turnpike showed no diminution; our road became 
the great highway to the West. Stage lines were started 
to all points, while wagoning and emigrants increased to 
such an extent that ere long the licensed houses on the road 
between Philadelphia and Lancaster averaged one to the 
mile, and even then the farm houses adjacent to the high- 
way were often called upon to accommodate the overflow. 

When the political question cropped out in relation to 
the western territory, which culminated in the "Aaron 
Burr" fiasco, it became imperative as early as 1804 that 
regular communication should be maintained between 
Philadelphia and the Ohio at Pittsburg, other than by the 
always more or less uncertain post or express rider. Satis- 
factory arrangements, however, were not consummated 
until after much effort on the part of the federal author- 
ities. The first notice of the new enterprise was the follow- 
ing quaint announcement — it was published in but a single 
paper, and is here reproduced in full as a contrast to the 
railroad advertisements of the present day — viz. : 

PHILADELPHIA & PITTSBURG 

MAIL STAGES. 

A contract being made with the Postmaster General of 
the United States for the carrying of the mail to and from 
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, in stage wagons, a line of 
stages will be in operation on the first of July next, on 
same route, which line will start from John Tomlinson's 
Spread Eagle, Market street. No. 285, Philadelphia, and 
from Thomas Ferree's, the Fountain Inn, Water street. 



JFayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 69 

Pittsburgh; and perform the same route in seven days from 
the above places. Passengers must pay $20.00 each, with 
the privilege of twenty pounds of baggage, all above that 
weight, or baggage sent by above line, to pay at the rate 
of $12.00 per 100 pounds, if the packages are of such 
dimensions as to be admissible for conveyance. 

The proprietors of this line of stages, well knowing the 
arduous undertaking of a new establishment, and aware of 
the laborious task and expense that the prosecutors of 
their necessar}' engagements will require, are determined 
that their conduct shall be such, as they trust will be sanc- 
tioned by a discerning public and receive their support. 

Printed cards will be distributed, and may be had at the 
proprietors' different stage houses, giving a full detail of 
the distances and times of arrival at the several towns 
through which the line shall pass. 

N. B. — Printers who shall think the above establishment 
a public benefit will please give the same a place in their 
respective papers a few times. 

Philadelphia, June 13, 1804. 

As announced in the above adv'ertlsement, promptly at 
8 o'clock on the morning of the 4th of July, 1 804, a fit day 
for the starting of the new national enterprise, the stage 
which was to be the first to run through from the Delaware 
to the Ohio was drawn up in front of Tomlinson's Spread 
Eagle stage office, then at the northeast corner of 8th and 
Market streets, the four prancing horses with bridles gaily 
decorated with red, white and blue ribbons. Long before 
the starting time the mail was in the "boot," the straps 
drawn tight, the booked passengers in their seats, while as 
a last precaution an extra keg of fistoil and tar was slung 
to the hind axle, the lynch pin examined and the dust proof 



7° The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

covers fastened over the hubs. Then after another glass 
was drunk the driver and armed guard took their places 
on the box, the lines tightened, the whip cracked and the 
pioneer mail stage to the West left the stage office among 
the cheers of the assembled multitude and whirled rapidly 
out Market street towards Center Square, where another 
ovation awaited the stage and its occupants from the citi- 
zens who were preparing to celebrate Independence Day. 
The new permanent bridge was quickly passed and the 
ironclad hoofs of the four prancing steeds clattered on the 
smooth turnpike. At every tavernstand the passing mail 
was received with cheers and wishes of Godspeed and safe 
journey to the travelers. Stops were only made at such 
stagehouses as the Buck, Eagle, Paoli, and there for liquid 
refreshment only. It was near t\vo o'clock in the after- 
noon, as the stage dashed down the Valley hill through the 
toll gate at the twentieth milestone, when the guard blew 
six sharp blasts on his bugle — this the signal to the host of 
the "Warren" how many guests there would be for din- 
ner; then came the notes of "Independence Day," the 
"Yankee Doodle," the echo taking them up and returning 
them through ravines on the hillside a hundred fold. 
Hardly had the echo faded, when the four prancing steeds 
were reined up in front of the " Warren." The stage door 
was quickly opened, the passengers alighting and meeting 
with a greeting as only Charles Fahnestock was capable of 
extending to the wayfarer. The dust was quickly washed 
down with cold punch, when dinner was served, toasts 
drunk and ample justice done to the viands. In the mean- 
time the anvil of the shops had been brought out into the 
road and improvised as a cannon, and load after load was 
fired in hjonor of the occasion. During the dinner the relays 
had been brought out, and the stage was once more ready 



JV ay side Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. ^i 

for the journey westrsvard. Another punch \%'as drunk, 
hands shaken, and amid wishes of Godspeed, the reports 
of the improvised artillery, and the cheers of the assembled 
neighbors, mingled with the bugle notes of the guard, the 
stage with its freight started merrily up the hill on its way 
towards the Ohio. 

This enterprise of running mail stages through to Pitts- 
burg formed the theme of conversation for the balance of 
the week. Many were the different opinions pro and con 
— prophecies of failure and adverse criticisms; yet notwith- 
standing the headshaking and discouraging comments of 
Old Casper, the stage went through, arrived safely on time 
in a week, and the through mail was an established fact. 
These stages were what in later years was known as the 
" Good Intent Line." The route lay from Lancaster to 
Chambersburg, by way of Carlisle and Strasburg; arriving 
in Chambersburg in t^vo and one half days, averaging 
about four miles an hour, from the latter place to the end 
of the journey; the progress under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances was much slower, the distance from Chamers- 
burg to Pittsburg, about 150 miles, taking four and one 
half days, or about two to two and a half miles an hour. 
There were thirty-five regular stopping places or stages 
bet^-een the two cities. At first the enterprise was slow in 
coming into favor with the traveling public. It was not 
until the following year ( 1805) that the proprietors were 
taxed to their capacity and were forced to run an occasional 
special or extra coach; this was necessitated by the excite- 
ment caused by the Burr Exposition, which had then 
reached its culmination ; the success of the through stage 
line opened a new era for the Warren, and the house under 
the management of Charles Fahnestock, became known to 
travelers in this country and Europe, as one of the best kept 



72 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

houses in America. He was a rather spare built man, of 5 
feet 1 1 inches, with a full beard, and always wore a brown 
or snuff-colored coat and spoke with a strong German 
accent. He was very particular in regard to the sale of 
liquors; ordinary local patronage and wagons were not 
encouraged. The bar was a small arrangement very high, 
and slabs running about 2 inches wide, and 3 inches apart, 
running from bar to ceiling. In front there was a small 
opening with an outside shelf holding about four glasses. 
The liquor was measured out by the gill or half gill and 
passed through this opening. When the landlord thought 
a patron had enough he would refuse him any more telling 
him quietly " to sit down awhile." The tavern keeper con- 
fined himself strictly within the old law of 1762 by which 
"Taverns were allowed to sell to regular inmates and 
travellers in moderation," (Acts Assembly, vol. i, pp. 
19-21 — fol. Phila. 1762.) 

The Fahnestock family had no sooner learned the prin- 
ciples and teachings of their guests than the Owens, Miss 
Wright and their followers were kindly and firmly in- 
formed by Charles Fahnestock that they would have to 
seek other quarters, that the house would afford them 
shelter no longer, nor would he harbor anyone who pro- 
mulgated sentiments similar to theirs, which were so for- 
eign to all religious and moral teachings. Another guest 
during the agitation of Owen's plan for colonization in the 
Great Valley was his Highness Bernhardt, Duke of Sachse- 
Weimar-Eisenach, who was then on a visit to this country. 
The attempt of Owen to interest the nobleman in his 
scheme resulted as did all of Owen's plans — in failure. 

As before stated, local custom was not encouraged by 
the inn-keeper, regular habitues of the tavern were few, 
and such as there was were respectable and sober. Charles 



JVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 73 

Fahnestock was naturally a temperance man, and had the 
courage, when the house was at the height of popularity, 
to close his bar on Sunday. This was an unheard-of inno- 
vation at that day, which called down much adverse criti- 
cism upon him. He, however, persisted, and even went 
so far as to hang a sign over the bar 

NO LIQUOR 

SOLD ON THE 

SABBATH 

and he had enough moral courage to adhere to the deter- 
mination. Among the few of the neighbors who were fre- 
quently to be seen on the tavern porch was an Englishman 
of means, Thomas Bradley, between whom and the inn- 
keeper a strong bond of friendship had arisen. It lasted 
until death parted the two friends in 1829. Thomas 
Bradley was buried in the Fahnestock ground and is the 
only stranger who rests within the enclosure. 

Another visitor who was occasionally to be seen at the 
Warren was Charles Fahnestock's cousin, Andrew. He 
was a Sabbatarian, and on account of his originality and 
appearance always attracted the attention of strangers. 
He always travelled on foot, dressed in a long drab coat, 
wearing a broad brimmed white hat, and carrying his long 
"Pilgerstab" (staff) in his hand. He was at one time 
quite wealthy, but gave all his wealth to the poor, saying 
"The Lord would never suffer him to want." He would 
never receive any salary for his services as preacher, trust- 
ing entirely in the Lord for his support. On these visits 
he would often take his cousin to task for joining the Pres- 
byterian Church with his family and failing to keep the 
Sabbath (7th day), as had his ancestors before him. 



74 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

The preacher on his journeys along the pike was often 
made the subject for the teamsters' jokes, who met him, 
but, as we would say at the present day, Andrew never got 
left. On one of these occasions, a teamster asked him if 
he believed in the devil. Andrew answered that " he read 
about him in his Bible." The wagoner then asked him if 
he ever saw the devil. The answer he got was, " I never 
want to see him plainer that I do just now." The ribald 
wagoner had no more questions to ask the German Sab- 
batarian. 

At the commencement of the fourth decade (1830) 
travel had increased to such an extent that greater facilities 
and shorter time was demanded by the traveling public. 
To meet this demand the proprietors of the stage line, S. 
R. Slaymaker & Co., from Philadelphia to Chambersburg, 
and Reside Slaymaker & Co., from Chambersburg to Pitts- 
burg, increased their stock and facilities to so great an 
extent that in 1831 they announced that they would hence- 
forth run two daily lines to Pittsburg, viz. : The U. S. Mail 
stage, the "Good Intent Line," would leave their office, 
284 Market street, Philadelphia, above 8th street, every 
morning at two o'clock a. m., for Pittsburg, via Lancaster, 
Harrisburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Bedford, Somerset 
and Mount Pleasant, going through in three days; only 
six passengers being admitted to each stage, as many stages 
were to be run as called for by the passengers, they aver- 
aging about six daily. 

The Mail Telegraph stage line left Philadelphia at 6.30 
a. m. by way of Greensburg from Bedford, making the trip 
in four days. This service was especially recommended to 
families or ladies, as the telegraph line avoided the fatigue 
of night travel. Firstrate horses, careful drivers and 
splendid new coaches were held out as the inducement to 



IVayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 75 

the traveling public. In September, 1831, during the 
height of the traveling season the tavern was discovered 
to be on fire. It was first discovered over the kitchen, and 
is supposed to have been caused by a defective flue or 
chimney. The whole structure soon fell a victim to the 
destroying element. 

A curious anecdote in connection with the fire was long 
current. As soon as the alarm was given Charles called 
on several of the willing helpers to carry down the old 
German chest, which had belonged to his father, Casper. 
It was so heavy that it took five men to carry it. The inn- 
keeper had it carried across the road. He then sat on it 
and calmly watched the destruction of his valuable prop- 
erty. His action at the time caused much comment. No 
information was vouchsafed. After the fire was subdued 
and the danger to the outbuilding over, Charles had the 
chest carefully carried to the house just east of the bridge, 
never leaving the chest out of his sight until it was again 
in a place of safety. The explanation to this was — the 
old German oaken chest was his bank, weighted down by 
the roleaux of gold and silver coin, which were stored be- 
tween the folds of several old coverlids. 

The house was at once rebuilt on the solid walls, which 
were unharmed by the fire, and on its completion enjoyed 
an increased patronage. 

In the month of April, 1834, the Philadelphia and Co- 
lumbia Railway was open for travel. For a time the 
Green Tree had been the eastern terminus for the stages. 
So far the Warren had not felt the effects of the new im- 
provement. Within a month after the first train went 
down the road drawn by the " Black Hawk " matters 
changed. The stage coaches were withdrawn east of Co- 
lumbia. It was the twentieth of May, a dark rainy day, 
when the last regular stage passed the Warren on its way 



76 The Pennsylvania-German Society. 

eastward. The P^ahnestocks, similar to many other tavern 
keepers who were off the railway, had no faith in its ulti- 
mate success. The various local stages still ran, so did the 
Pitt teams, but neither were accustomed to stop at the 
Warren, nor could the old tavernkeeper bring himself 
down to cater to that class of custom. For a while a stage 
was run from the West Chester intersection to the Warren 
for the benefit of such travelers who wanted to stop at the 
Warren, but the arrangement was soon discontinued. 
Charles Fahnestock, now well-advanced in years and dis- 
gusted with the existing state of affairs, turned the inn over 
to his son William, who had become a strict Presbyterian 
and member of the Great Valley Church, much against the 
wishes and advice of his " Uncle Andrew," who was wont 
to tell him that all of his plans would " go aglee " unless 
he returned to the faith of his forefathers and kept the 
seventh day. William, however, turned a deaf ear to his 
relative, and became a prominent man in the church. Be- 
side being active in all church matters, he was for some 
years the " precentor" and led the singing. 

Wm. Fahnestock had presided over the inn not quite 
three years when his father was gathered to his people, 
and was buried with his father in the old family plot on 
the Valley hill, the Rev. Wm. Latta consigning the body 
to the grave. It is said that this was the last interment 
in the ground. 

William now had full sway, and as he was a strong 
temperance man he at once stopped the sale of liquor, and 
to the surprise of the frequenters of the pike a new sign 
board appeared in front of the "Warren," not high up 
in the yoke as of yore, but flat in front of the porch. It 
was an oval sign hung on pivots and fastened with a hook. 
During six days of the week it read: 



Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike. 77 

WARREN 

TEMPERANCE 

HOTEL. 

At sundown on Saturday the sign was turned and until 
Monday it read : 

NOTHING 

SOLD ON THE 

SABBATH. 

The new departure did not meet with favor, and the 
patronage of the house rapidly decreased. The new host, 
in his temperance idea, eventually went so far as to cut 
down the large apple orchard which was in the field oppo- 
site the house, south of the pike. This was done so as to 
prevent the apples being used for cider. The year after 
the experiment of keeping a temperance hotel failed — 
summer boarders were tried with varying success. Wil- 
liam also made several attempts to locate the traditionary 
coal mine of the Indian, shafts were sunk at different 
points on the South Valley hill, but were eventually aban- 
doned. He also went extensively into the Morus Mitlti- 
caulis craze* which ended in failure. It seemed, as if not 
only the glory of the house had departed, but that the 
prophecy of the old Seventh-day Baptist preacher, " Uncle 
Andrew," was coming true.f So in the next year, 1838, 
Wm. Fahnestock divided the tract up and sold it to vari- 
ous parties, the tavern and adjacent fields being bought by 
a Mr. Thompson, who kept it one year and then sold it 
to Professor Stille, of Philadelphia, who in turn sold it in 
1846 to the present owners. 

• The silkworm craze. 
t I'ide p. 77, supra. 



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