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
  • The cabin was located in “unbroken wilderness..on the very outskirts of civilization”
  • According to tax records of 1715, he was assessed double the amount of any other property owner
  • The first official record still in existence for the house is the application in 1721 of James Thomas for a license “to keep a house of entertainment, for selling wine, brandy, rum, and other strong liquors”
  • Thomas was constable for the township in 1711

Edward and Mary Kinnison [Kennison] (1722 – 1736)

  • Edward Kinnison also became constable in 1712 of the township, succeeding Thomas
  • The house flourish and became a local landmark during this time
  • Suspect Kinnison built the original stone tavern to the east of the log cabin during his ownership
  • Mary listed on tavern petition 1731.  Nee Greenaway.

Edward Jr. Kinnison [Kennison] (1737…)

  • Son of Mary and Edward, listed on tavern petition

James Trego (…1739 – 1746)

  • Pennsylvania Gazette of 1746 the Jame Trego estate is announced For Sale.  This notice carried the inducement ‘White Horse has been a tavern and a good business for 30 years past.’ Dates the origin of the Tavern to ~1715.

John Hambright [Hambryht] (1746-1755)

  • Mention in 1954 newspaper article, and tavern petitions

Vaughan Jonathan (1756)

  • Tavern petition

Thomas [Jr.] Hubbert (1756 – 1760)

  • Tavern petitions

Thomas Lemon [Leman] [Lemmons] (1761 – 1762)

  • Tavern petitions

Owen Ashton (1763 – 1764)

  • He was married to Rachel Phipps sometime between 1760 and 1765. Kept White Horse Tavern in E. Whiteland Township, 1763-1764. Captain in Capt. Jas. Young’s Company of Cumberland County Militia in 1780. From the “Pennsylvania Centre Democrat” newspaper: James Aston’s grandfather and great-grandfather came from England in the spring of 1755.   — From his will filed in Chester.

John Kerlin (1767 – 1787)

  • Filed for reparations from the British for debt incurred during the war
  • The first reference in tavern petitions 1776 as Sign of the White Horse.

Arthur Rice (1787 – 1791)

  • Rice was a trusted scout of George Washington during the encampment at Valley Forge
  • Built the eastern two-story stone addition to the tavern in 1790.
  • Masonic Lodge #50 was chartered on December 6th, 1790 and met in the eastern stone section of the house on the second floor

James Bone (1791 – 1793)

  • Bone was the brother-in-law of Arthur Rice

Arthur Rice (1794 – 1796)

  • Rice took back ownership from Bone for unknown reasons

Jean [Jane] Rice (1797)

  • Jane was the wife of Arthur and took ownership upon his death
  • “Jean” is listed in country records for tavern petition in 1797

Stephen Bowen (1797 – 1807)

  • Bowen married Jane Rice in 1797

James Rice (1808 – 1812)

  • Possibly son of Arthur and Jane.
  • Listed on tavern petition
  • Stone barn contains a date of 1811, which would indicate James built the small stone barn.

William Frederick (1813 – 1815)

  • Refers to the tavern as “Old White Horse Tavern” in 1815 tavern petition

Joseph [John] Pearce (1816 – 1824)

  • Joseph [John] was the brother of Col. Cromwell Pearce
  • Bought from Bowen’s estate?  Need reference since others file tavern petitions post-Bowen’s ownership.
  • In 1829 refers to the tavern as “White Horse Inn”
  • Member of Lodge 50 in 1805.

Elijah Davis (1825)

  • References in tavern petition

John Worrale (1826)

  • References in tavern petition

Joseph [John] Pearce (1827)

  • Unsure how ownership may have changed with Elijah or John above.

Jane Pearce (1828-31)

  • Possibly Joseph’s wife.  Listed in tavern petition.

Samuel [Peter] Reitenbaugh and his son Adam Reitenbaugh (1832 – 1866)

  • Adam rebuilt a log barn into the current stone barn on the property in 1839.  This is the barn at the corner of Plainbrook and Sweedsford, not the stone barn on the current property.
  • Adam also recruited a volunteer company in the 1840s.  Members of the 4th Regiment, formerly the 143rd, gather for drill and inspections on orders from Colonel Samuel Burnett.  See 9/30/1845, American Republican, and to meet at Adam Reitenbaugh’s.
  • He refused in 1856 to renew the tavern’s license, and the property became a working farm.
  • He sold the property for $31,000 in 1866.  Need reference.

Edward Rhine  (1866 – 1868)

William Weightman (…1873 – 1911)

  • “Philadelphia’s well-known capitalist”, was worth over 50M, richest person in the Philadelphia area.
  • Repaired and remodeled the home
  • 1873 and 1883 map shows Weightman owning property with house and two barns marked, as well as other property nearby.
  • Anna Walker (daughter) inherited all William’s properties on his death in 1904.

Mark Swanenberg (1911 – 1954)

  • Worked property as a farm until 1954 used Tavern as a residence
  • Subdivided the farm in 1954 and auctioned off the pieces
  • Reference to “Swananbers Home” in Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society History Quarterly, October 1970 Volume 15 Number 4, Page 77.

Roger Moore (possibly Moorehead) (1954 – 197_)

George Rambo (197_ – 1974(5))

John Doe (1974(5) – 1976)

  • Bought at a foreclosure auction by the 2nd and 3rd mortgage holder on the property to protect their investment

Rutherford & Patti Miller (8/24/76 – 12/10/17)

  • Bought foreclosed property and restored property while raising their family on the property
  • Registered the property as a National, State, and County historic landmark

Gestalt Holdings, LP (12/10/17 – Present)

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