Willow Grove in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Red Lion Inn, 1776
The Inn began as a tavern in 1762, called “The Wagon”, located across Easton Road at the point created by York and Easton Roads. It was a large stone structure of two and a half stories containing 23 rooms. In 1768, the proprietor, John Paul, advertised it for sale along with 102 acres of land, indicating: “stabling for a hundred horses, the best tavern between the Rising Sun (Philadelphia) and Coryell's Ferry (New Hope).” The Inn is described as having a 44 foot front, a depth of 62 feet; and a two-story, 194 foot stable sufficient for accommodating 75 horses or cattle.
During the Revolutionary War it was known as the Red Lion Inn and was kept by Joseph Butler. It served as a hospital when the wounded from the battle of Edge Hill were brought there in 1777. William Homer, in discussions with the historian William Buck, recalled that divisions of the Continental Army encamped several times in the orchard behind the Inn. The soldiers, mostly Virginians, practiced shooting at marks one hundred yards distant with rifles. Homer would cut the balls from the trees with a hatchet so the lead could be remolded into bullets and used again.
The Inn was owned by William Heaton in 1787, and from 1809 to 1822, by Israel Michener. Mr. Michener became the first postmaster in Willow Grove. The local residents
From 1848 to 1851, James Gordon Bennett, Sr. and his family stayed at the Red Lion Inn, while his wife was undergoing treatment at Dr. Schiffendecker's Hydropathic Institute on nearby Sampsons Hill. Dr. Schiffendecker capitalized on the curative powers of the local mineral springs. Mr. Bennett was the founder and editor of the New York Herald Tribune.
In the early 1900's, the lower part of the building was used as a meat and provision store kept by David J. Nolan, while the rooms became a boarding house operated by Mrs. Emma Masterson. The building was destroyed by fire on November 21, 1906.
Erected by Upper Moreland Historical Association.
Location. 40° 8.689′ N, 75° 7.006′ W. Marker is in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Park Avenue and Easton Road (Pennsylvania Route 611), on the left when traveling east on Park Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Willow Grove PA 19090, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Memorial Hall, 1925 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Manor House, ca. 1719 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fountain House Inn, 1717 (approx. ¼ mile away); Willow Grove United Methodist Church, 1889 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Union Library (approx. 2 miles away); Hatboro World War I Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away); Abington District World War I Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away); Old Abington Church and Graveyard (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Willow Grove.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Landmarks • Notable Buildings • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,162 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 28, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.