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
  • Thomas built the stone tavern to the east of the log cabin during his ownership, the location of the log cabin is now where the extension built in 1790 by Rice stands.
  • The tavern and stone barn was offered for sale in October of 1721.

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

  • Edward Kinnison also became the constable in 1712 of the township, succeeding Thomas
  • The house flourish and became a local landmark during this time
  • 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] (1746-11/8/1753)

  • Tavern petitions
  • Lost a horse in the middle of June, 1748.  A reward is offered of twenty shillings.  The mare should be brought to Mr. John Eiddle at the sign of the white horse on Market street in Philly.
    • Source: Penn Gazette 15 August 1748, Thu  •  Page 4
  • Sold at auction on Nov 8, 1753.
    • Source: Penn Gazette 25 Oct 1753, Thu  •  Page 2

Vaughan Jonathan (1756)

  • Tavern petition

Thomas [Jr.] Hubbert (1756 – 4/21/1764)

  • Tavern petitions
  • The estate of Thomas Hubbert owned the Tavern until it was seized by John Fairland prior to April 21, 1764.   It was sold at public auction on May 12th, 1764.  source: Penn Gazette May 3, 1764 notice of sale.

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

    • Tavern petitions
    • Unsure what Thomas Lemon’s role was, but he probably was not an owner, but perhaps the operator of the tavern during this time for the estate of Thomas Hubbert.

Owen Ashton (5/12/1964 – 7/29/1765)

  • Estate was seized on July 29, 1765 and sold at aution on August 17th.
    • Source: Penn Gazette, August 1, 1765 page 3.
  • He placed an ad in the Penn Gazette on 4 Oct 1764 to sell the property.
  • He was married to Rachel Phipps sometime between 1760 and 1765.
  • 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.
  • Source: From Owen’s will filed in Chester. [NEED TO VERIFY]

John Kerlin (1767? – 4/6/1789)

  • In 1762 John was living at something called “Sign of the Waggon” on Lancaster Road.
    • Source: Penn Gazette 10 June 1762  •  Page 3
  • 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.
  • Tavern was “To be Let” after John’s death in 1787.
    • Source: Penn Gazette 11 July 1787  •  Page 1
  • Sold at auction after John’s death by his son William.  In the advertisment for sale, Arthur Rice is mentioned, as keeping.
    • Source: Penn Gazette 16 March 1789  •  Page 1

Arthur Rice (1789 – 1791)

  • Operated the tavern for the estate of John Kerlin from 1787.
  • 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 until 1806.

James Bone (1791 – 1793)

  • Bone was the brother-in-law of Arthur Rice
  • Mentioned as “Innkeeper” in 1791 article.
    • Source: Penn Gazette 27 April 1791  •  Page 4

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 addition contains a date of 1811, which would indicate James extended 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 a stone barn on his property in 1839.  This is the barn at the corner of Plainbrook and Sweedsford, not the smaller 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.  Source: 9/30/1845, American Republican, and to meet at Adam Reitenbaugh’s. [NEED TO VERIFY]
  • 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 TO VERIFY]

Edward Rhine  (1866 – 1868)

William Weightman (…1873 – 1911)

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

Marcus Swanenburg (1911 – 6/25/1954)

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

Alfred and Ruth Adrien  (6/25/1954 – 6/23/1955)

  • Source: Chester County Deed 5150933.  Grantors list: Anna Mae, Marcus, Sarah E., and Watson Swanenburg

William D. and Beadie R. (Hazel P.) Morehead (6/23/1955 -10/21/1970)

  • Source: Chester County Deed 5161578 — Lists Hazel P. in Grantee, but when sold to Rambo, lists Beadie R. as Grantor

Davis E. A. and  Mary J. Rambo (10/21/1970 – 4/9/1976)

  • Source: Chester County Deed – 5355877
  • Source: Chester County Mortgage – 5355858, William Morehead held the mortgage for the Rambos.

John Danner (4/9/1976 – 8/24/1976)

  • Bought at a foreclosure auction by the 2nd and 3rd mortgage holder on the property to protect their investment
  • Source: Chester County Sheriff’s Deed – 5460794

Rutherford & Patti Miller (8/24/1976 – 12/10/2017)

  • Bought foreclosed property and restored property while raising their family on the property
  • Registered the property as a National, State, and County historic landmark
  • Address change from 480 Swedesford Rd., Malvern, Pennsylvania, to current 606 Swedesford Rd, Malvern, Pennsylvania

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

Leave a Reply