History of the White Horse Tavern

Welcome to my attempt at collecting all the disparate pieces of information related to the White Horse Tavern.  I will endeavor to update this with all the information, pictures, books, etc. that have some reference to the White Horse, often […]

Mention of “New Stone Brew-House” in 1765

Owen Aston advertised the White Horse Tavern for sale. He described the property comprised of “150 acres of choice land, 20 acres of which is extraordinary meadow, and well watered; also a very good orchard; there is every conveneincy for […]

October 21, 1747–Tavern Sold at Auction

The Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 Oct 1746, Sun  •  Page 4 Sold out of James Trego’s estate. Mentions tavern has been a good business for 30 years on a 94 acre property. Mentions several adjacent properties for sale. 130 […]

Freemason Lodge No. 50, A.V.M.

The history of Freemasons in Chester county starts with Philadelphia Lodge 2, to Valley Force Lodge 8, to the “first Lodge to meet in” Chester Lodge No. 50. Lodge 50 met at the “Sign of the White Horse” from 1790 […]

William Trent Visits the White Horse

William Trent wrote a letter to Richard Peters about marriage, business, and Indians. He stayed at the White Horse Inn on the night of July 21st, 1750, possibly along with John Potts. Trent, who also served with George Washington in […]

Voting Poll Creating Our Nation

On July 8th, 1776, the nation voted the creation of a new nation state. White Horse was at the center of our nation’s birth. Interestingly, the rumor of one of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence is […]

Gen. Smallwood lay at the White Horse

I haven’t found a copy of the actual handwritten notes by Captain Thomas Buchanan. This reference to the White Horse is either our beloved Tavern and Inn in Whiteland township or a farm using the same name in Willistown township. […]

Two Old Photographs of the Tavern

For a bit, I thought these were the same photo, but I was wrong. There are two photos of the Tavern, taken around 1900. What is interesting is that the photos are years, if not decades apart (looking at the […]

Once Owned by the Richest Man in Philadelphia

Referenced in Wayside Inns on Lancaster Turnpike, written in 1915, calls William Weightman “one of Philadelphia’s well-known capitalists, by whom it was remodeled and repaired.” He bought the White Horse sometime after 1869, where he repaired and remodeled the home, […]

Military Use in 1840’s

The barn provided shelter in the 1840s for horses as their owners, members of the 4th regiment, formerly the 143rd, gathered for drill and inspections on orders from Colonel Samuel Burnett. An advertisement appeared in the September 30, 1845 edition […]

Possible Underground Railway Stop

When we purchased the Tavern from Skip Miller, it was so much fun to walk around the house and listen to the history he discovered in his 42 years of rehabbing the property as he lived there.   One story […]

Map-Map of Chester Co., Pennsylvania. 1860

Real property map published by Kennedy, T. J. in 1860. Shows Tavern owner Adam Reitenbaugh (spelled as A. Reitenaugh and A. Rittenbough). Library of Congress Digital Copy https://lccn.loc.gov/2003627062 Kennedy, T. J. Map of Chester Co., Pennsylvania. [S.l.], 1860. Scale not […]

Map–Chester County, Pennsylvania. 1856

Shows reference to the “White Horse Inn”. Library of Congress Digital Copy https://lccn.loc.gov/2012590186 Kennedy, T. J. Map of Chester County, Pennsylvania / corrected, embellished, and published by T.J. Kennedy, Westchester ; from original surveys by S.M. Painter & J.S. Bowen. […]

Map–Seat of war in the environs of Philadelphia. 1785

Seat of war in the environs of Philadelphia.  Published in the London Magazine 1777. Library of Congress Digital Copy https://lccn.loc.gov/gm71002457 Kitchin, Thomas, -1784. Seat of war in the environs of Philadelphia: By Thos. Kitchin, Senr. [London] Printed for R. Baldwin […]

Map–The improved part of the Province of Pennsylvania. 1759

Show owner’s name Kennison. Library of Congress Digital Copy https://lccn.loc.gov/74692506 Scull, Nicholas, 1686?-1761? To the Honourable Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esqrs., true & absolute proprietaries & Governours of the Province of Pennsylvania & counties of New-Castle, Kent & Sussex […]

Confusion about the Real White Horse Tavern

I’ve now seen a book and a video that refer to a different building as the White Horse Tavern. They are confused by a marketing scheme to use the history of the White Horse to advertise a wine bar located […]

Animation of Battle of the Clouds

Kudos to Western Heritage Mapping on the animation of the battle of the clouds.  The house, where at the end of the video, Washington’s troops are lined up before they leave the area is the White Horse Tavern. Check out […]

First Reading of the Declaration of Independence

In part of the backup for the historical landmark designation for the White Horse Tavern, I found reference to this interesting tidbit. Skip Miller had mentioned this rumor, but this was the first I found it in writing, albeit not […]

Carved Graffiti

Many places on the property have initials or carvings.  One near the front door of the 1715 property clearly says B+H.  Not sure who that might be, but the serifs on the H are not something you see very often […]

Scene Of Indian Fight

[Taken from 1954 Main Line Times Article citing notes of Mrs. L. Carstairs Pierce] In 1727 a group of passing Indians shot and killed Richard Thomas’ cow there under the misapprehension it was some sort of fat deer.  Thomas drove […]

National Register of Historic Places

Title: White Horse Tavern National Register Information System ID: 78002373 Applicable Criteria: EVENT ARCHITECTURE/ENGINEERING Areas Of Significance: COMMERCE MILITARY ARCHITECTURE Periods Of Significance: 1750-1799 Significant Years: 1750 Resource Type: BUILDING Related Collections: National Register of Historic Places Collection Date Published: […]

James Thomas First Owner

The history of the White Horse Tavern starts with James Thomas. He was originally from Marion, Pa: James Thomas of Merion. From Llandboyden, Caermarthenshire. Will proved in Philadelphia, August 10, 1699. He mentions his sons Nathan Thomas and James Thomas, […]

Sources cited by Articles on the Tavern

These are sources I still need to track down original copies of: Futhey and Cope, History of Chester County, Philadelphia, Pa. 1881; [ACQUIRED] History of Malvern, ed. G. N. Highley, Malvern, Pa. 1964; Tredyffrin-Easttown History Club Quarterlies, 1931, 1940, 1942; […]

Map–Ye improved part of Pensilvania in America. 1687

The map doesn’t show the White Horse, but it’s interesting to compare with future maps.  The property that becomes the White Horse Tavern is in or to the west of “The Welch Tract”. Library of Congress Digital Copy https://lccn.loc.gov/81692882 Holme, […]

Short history of the Tavern in TEHSHQ

Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society History Quarterly, October 1970 Volume 15 Number 4, Page 77 At Plane Brook, on the southside, is the Swananbers home. This was formerly the White Horse Tavern, with blacksmith shops across the road, and graves of […]

Long Line of Ownership

The ownership dates back to the early 18th century: James Thomas (<1711 – 1722) A Welshman, Thomas, built a log cabin on this location before 1711, and according to tradition kept an inn at this location while he was constable […]