Held at: Springfield Township Historical Society (Montgomery County, Pa.) [Contact Us]1432 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, PA , 19031
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Springfield Township Historical Society (Montgomery County, Pa.). Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
"The Black Horse Inn was one of eight inns and taverns that lined Bethlehem Pike in Erdenheim and Flourtown. It was constructed in at least five building campaigns, the earliest of which is believed to date to the 18th century and the current footprint was intact by the turn of the twentieth century.
"Local tradition holds that the Black Horse Inn was constructed prior to the Revolutionary War. Abraham Wackerly purchased the property in 1744 adding another tract in 1750 and at some point constructed a building on the site. Wackerly sold the land and building to his son, Ulrich Wackerly in 1775. Between 1798 and 1805 the property was transferred to Wendle Weant who operated a tavern on the site known as Sampson & the Lion.
"As the number of travelers on the Pike increased, a 3-story addition was added to the north side of the building, believed to have been constructed one year after Jacob Meninger's purchase in 1832. Samuel Roeder was the owner in 1846, followed by Charles Gerhart in 1848 and Peter Tracey in 1877. By 1846, the inn was known as the Black Horse Hotel and became a polling place under the ownership of Samuel Roeder.
"In 1880, Edward McCloskey acquired the inn and the McCloskey family continued operations for over a century into the 1990s. The Black Horse served the passing travelers, but was also an important gathering place for community residents. Township Commissioners' meetings were held at the Black Horse as were the meetings of many social, community and business groups, among which included the Society for the Apprehension of Horse Thieves.
"It is believed that many of the changes and 'modernizations' within the building likely occurred during McCloskey's ownership. It was also during this period that the township's Board of Commissioners was formed and the Black Horse served as their meeting place until 1905. McCloskey ran the Inn for more than twenty-five years before it passed to his son, Robert, in 1906, and stayed with the McCloskey family until 1997.
"After 1997, the building came under the threat of demolition. In response, the Springfield Township Historical Society formed an ad hoc group to identify solutions to save the inn. In 2001, the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike was formed to galvanize residents in support of the restoration of the inn. When Moreland Development acquired the property in 2003, the building and adjacent pocket park were sold to Springfield Township the following year and in 2005 the Friends and the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners signed an agreement to collaborate on the restoration of the inn.
"The township-appointed Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee was soon formed to oversee the restoration with the assistance of the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike and the Springfield Township Historical Society. Since 2005, the restoration of the inn has continued as funds have become available through state and federal grants and private donations. Momentum continues to build with the enthusiasm and commitment of township Commissioners, staff, and scores of residents who have contributed their time, energy and expertise to the effort."
Quoted material from display at the Springfield Township Historical Society. Viewed June 27, 2012.
This collection is comprised of reports, correspondence, and other documents relating to the history of the Black Horse Inn and its restoration. The collection contains: newspaper clippings, 1988-2012; a scrapbook compiled by Historical Society member John Roberts with notes, newspaper clippings, and minutes of the planning committee on the Black Horse Inn; and minutes of the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee regarding the restoration of the building facade.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of a pilot project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Springfield Township Historical Society directly for more information.
- Black Horse Inn (Flourtown, Pa.).
- Springfield (Montgomery County, Pa. : Township). Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee.
- Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration
- Historic hotels
- Historic sites--Conservation and restoration
- Springfield Township Historical Society (Montgomery County, Pa.)
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Springfield Township Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.