Historic Stone Taverns in the Keystone State

Old stone taverns certainly tug at the heartstrings, don’t they? See one and your mind tends to wander off to a place long ago and far away. Can’t you just imagine the scene? A warm fire blazes in the open hearth as locals — from landholders to lowly farmers — huddle around candle-topped tables, discussing politics of the day as tankards of ale slowly take their toll. There’s something nostalgic too, about the notion of the weary traveler, stopping off at a wayside inn after a long journey to find conversation and perhaps a warm supper and a place to lay his or her head.

Early American tavern scene, Colonial tavern, old stone homes, old stone taverns

Figures in a Tavern or Coffee House by William Hogarth

There are many early American taverns still standing (and operating!) in this country. And on occasion,  an tavern-turned-home comes up for sale, the owner hoping to find a thoughtful someone willing to take on the caretaking responsibility for a few more decades.

If you’re currently shopping for an old stone home with a special spirit of hospitality, you’ll want to take a look at these five magnificent properties, located along old toll roads and once-busy thoroughfares in Pennsylvania.

Historic stone tavern, Cumberland Hall, Moore's Tavern, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, old stone homes, Early American tavern

Moore’s Tavern, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Cumberland Hall, an estate nestled on 2+ acres, was once known as Moore’s Tavern. The Carlisle, Pennsylvania, limestone home was built by James Moore in 1788 and operated as a tavern from 1795 to 1885. The home boasts 17 rooms, eight working wood-burning fireplaces, a rebuilt barn and a vintage brick tollhouse.

Gechter Tavern, old stone tavern, Early American tavern, Reading, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

Gechter Tavern, Reading, Pennsylvania

Originally known as the Gechter Tavern on the Oley Toll Road and steeped in Civil War history, this circa-1750 home, located near Reading, Pennsylvania, boasts four bedrooms, its original springhouse with walk-in fireplace, a bank barn and a wagon shed.

Historic stone tavern, LeVan Tavern, Kemp Hotel, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

LeVan Tavern, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

In 1740, Daniel LeVan, an immigrant from the Netherlands, built a stone home along a highway that connected the Pennsylvania towns of Reading and Easton. As traffic grew, so too did the size of his home until finally, in 1765, Daniel opened The LeVan Tavern, which would go on to host both John Adams and George Washington. After decades of serving as a hotel/bar/restaurant and, finally, as a yoga studio, the property is up for sale. Although the building is zoned commercial, second-floor living quarters are available for a brave soul willing to bring this historic tavern back to life.

Johnson-Hatfield Tavern, old stone tavern, historic tavern, Brier Hill, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

Johnson-Hatfield Tavern, Brier Hill, Pennsylvania

A stop for 19th-century travelers along the National Road in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, The Johnson-Hatfield Tavern was built in 1817 by Randolph Dearth for Robert Johnson. The building served as a tavern through 1855 and thereafter as a private residence. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home sits on 3.75 acres and features a historic stone springhouse.

John Hunter Tavern, John Hunter Inn, old stone inn, Oley, Pennsylvania, old stone homes

John Hunter Inn, Oley, Pennsylvania

Built in 1768 by Johannes Jaeger (John Hunter), this Georgian-style sandstone home located in Oley Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, doubled as a wayside inn during the colonial period. The home features 12 rooms and four fireplaces, plus an 18th century log cabin (not original to the site), a wagon shed and an English-style barn.

To learn more about the importance of the tavern or inn in the lives of Early Americans, take some time to read this informative post on the Gothic Curiosity Cabinet blog.

Old Stone Homes in the News

Three properties popped up in the news this week: one in desperate need of repair and two others of historic significance. Let’s take a look.

A Stone Home in Danger
Lapole Tenant House, Farmlands estate, Cantonville, Maryland
The Lapole House (Lurman House) in Catonsville, Maryland, may not look like much at first glance. The boarded-up stone cottage is located on the grounds of Catonsville High School but was once part of a much larger estate. The story starts with Edward Dorsey, who gave the name “Farmlands” to the area in the late 1700s. He passed the large tract of land to his son, Hammond, who built a mansion on the site in the 1790s. In 1820 the house with six hundred acres was sold to Henry Sommerville, who renamed it “Bloomsbury Farm”. In 1848, Gustav W. Lurman, Sr. purchased the estate and restored its original name. The Farmlands estate passed down through the Lurman family until 1948 when Miss Frances D. Lurman sold the last 65 acres to the Board of Education. The main house and most outbuildings were demolished in 1952 to make way for the high school. The tenant or gardener’s cottage, once the home of estate caretakers Charles and Ida Mae Lapole, is all that remains today. Local resident Jim Jones is raising awareness in hopes that the cottage can be saved from the ravages of time, weather and vandalism.

A Stone Home That Needs an Owner
Stone mansion, Fieldston Historic District, Bronx, New York, old stone home
It’s a mansion in fine condition. The only thing lacking is an owner. And for $3.7 million the home could be yours! Located in Fieldston, a privately owned neighborhood in the Riverdale section of the northwestern part of the Bronx, this 100-year-old home of solid fieldstone construction features eight spacious bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a formal dining room and a renovated eat-in kitchen. The Craftsman-style home, designed by architect William B. Claflin and built for Columbia University professor George B. Pegram, sits at the top of a 1/2-acre sloping, terraced lot and exists within the Fieldston Historic District.

A Stone Home That Wants to Tell Its Story
River Street neighborhood, old stone home, sandstone, Boise, Idaho, Erma Andre Madry Hayman
The 900-square-foot home at 617 Ash Street in Boise, Idaho, was once surrounded by timber-framed homes in a bustling neighborhood coined River Street. Built in 1907 of sandstone, the house became home to Erma Andre Madry Hayman and her husband Lawrence in 1943. Erma raised a large family in the small home and lived to the ripe old age of 102. After her death in 2009, grandson Richard Madry sold the house and property to the Capital City Development Corporation. Hopes are to protect the home via a National Trust for Historic Preservation designation and learn more about the vibrant multicultural working class community via an archeological dig at the homesite, led by the University of Idaho field school.

For Sale: Old Stone Homes of the Southwest

Attention, stone home lovers. Got a soft spot for all things Southwest and the legend and lore of frontiersmen and women? You can indeed find historic stone homes in the states that form the Southwest. We did a bit of digging and found a few beauties that you may wish to call home.

This stone home, circa 1882, is located in the Parkwood subdivision of San Antonio, Texas. The Texas Hill Country-style home is known to locals as the Francisco/Maximo Cadena House and comes with almost 20 acres of property. The home needs TLC, for sure, but we hope the new owner puts money into a restoration rather than building something new.

Cimarron, New Mexico, known for its colorful wild-west history, is now a peaceful community where historic buildings and the modern world co-exist. This circa-1908 home, the original home of W S Ranch (employer of Buffalo Bill!), was built with rocks brought in from The Palisades. The Victorian-style home boasts five bedrooms, sits on 1.4 acres and may host a ghost or two (just sayin’).

Nestled in the foothills of Farmington, Utah, this historic structure, known as Richards Grist Mill, was built in 1857 for early Mormon pioneers. The single family dwelling comes with seven acres, plus a studio and caretaker’s quarters.

Old Stone Homes for Sale in Ireland

Ireland, Countryside, Old stone homes for sale in Ireland, Castles for sale in Ireland, Oldstonehouses.com

Source: RJ Tours

We couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without exploring cozy stone cottages of the Emerald Isle. Have some time today to daydream? Take a look at these properties – your own little slice of Irish paradise!

A nature lover’s dream come true, this three-bedroom cottage is nestled within a horseshoe of mountains known as “The Pocket”. A replica of an original shepherd’s cottage that sat on the site, the cozy stone home offers both a duck pond and babbling brook and hiking trails as far as the eye can see.

Boasting views of both Kenmare Bay and Caha Mountains, this lovingly restored, circa-1800s stone cottage features two bedrooms, two living rooms divided by the home’s original stone fireplace and a garden that needs the transformative touch of a green thumb.

Brandon Lodge, a honey-colored granite farmhouse located in County Kilkenny, is perched on the southern side of Mount Brandon. Carefully restored in 2005, the home offers three bedrooms and the best of both town and country.

Belvelly Castle in County Cork desperately needs a new master – could it be you? Dating to the 13th century and built by the Hodnett family, the property later fell into the hands of Sir Walter Raleigh. The fortified tower house stands 80 feet tall and sits at the edge of a protected estuary. Planning permission has been granted to restore the structure.

Three Fabulous Mid-Atlantic Fixer Uppers for Sale

“Diamond in the rough”. “Fixer upper”. “As is”. Sure, there’s more than one way to spin the description but only one way to make a neglected stone home livable again: a lot of elbow grease, patience and plenty of padding in the mortgage for renovations.

But these three historic properties may be worth the extra effort it takes to modernize and mend poorly thought-out “improvements”. Take a peek and tell us how you’d update each home if you had the means to take on ownership.

Federal Style Stone Home, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Levengood Farm, 548 Manatawny St
This stately circa-1808 Federal-style home is located in historic Pottstown, Pennsylvania, a borough just 32 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The home was built by a prosperous farmer in the Levengood family and originally sat on 130 acres of land. Evaluated by architect Daniel T. Campbell in late 2012, the home features a stucco-over-brownstone exterior and boasts its original paneled wood doors and cabinets, lathe-turned stair woodwork and hand-planed moldings, chair-rails and floorboards. The five-bay, center-hall plan with two through-parlors, a north-south gable roof and gable-end fireplaces features both a basement and spacious attic, plus summer kitchen. What’s not to love?

Old stone home, Hampton Township, New Jersey
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and we see so much potential in this old stone beauty, located in Hampton Township, New Jersey. Yes, the interior needs a major overhaul, but the exposed beams and open basement hearth provide such wonderful inspiration. Plus, this circa-1790 home offers four bedrooms and sits on 25 acres of land.

Old Limestone home, Moravian home, Hope, New Jersey
Oh heaven, will someone please adopt this home? This circa-1830s three-story limestone home is situated within the historic Moravian village of Hope, New Jersey. Close to an old stone gristmill and a meeting house, the home boasts original trim and two original fireplaces. The property would require vision and someone with a passion for historic preservation but the pay-off could be priceless.

Old Stone Homes of New England

When we think of old homes in New England, images of timber-clad saltboxes or clapboard cottages may come to mind. But, believe it or not, cozy stone homes do exist in states north of New York. You’ll find the majority of these fieldstone gems in areas (Rhode Island, Connecticut) where both limestone and mortar were prevalent. But on occasion up pops an outlier,  most likely built by someone who brought the stone building tradition with him from another state or even Europe.

Take a peek at these lovely stone homes, currently for sale in New England. Viewers beware: These beaut’s will no doubt tug at your heartstrings!

old stone home, Colonial home, Alburgh, Vermont, Lake Champlain

This circa-1825 cut-stone Colonial located in Alburgh, Vermont, boasts a breathtaking view of Lake Champlain.

old stone home, Calais, Maine

The best of old and new: This circa-1880 stone home in Calais, Maine, was completely renovated in 2013.

old stone home, Dutch colonial, Van Deusen family, Massachusetts, Berkshire, historic home

Constructed in 1771 by the Van Deusen family, this rare example of Dutch colonial architecture is located east of the Hudson River Valley. This Great Barrington, Massachussetts, gem sits on over 10 acres.

David Sisson house, old stone home, old stone inn, Little Compton, Rhode Island

Built in 1854 by David Sisson, an iron and textile manufacturer, this three-story granite home, located in Little Compton, Rhode Island, most recently served as a luxury inn.

old stone home, Stonington, Connecticut

Located in Stonington, Connecticut, this stone cottage was built in 1790 and sits on over six acres of property.

An Old Stone Cottage to Call Your Own

Who doesn’t love an old stone cottage, nestled on a hilltop or situated within a town’s historic district. For some, it serves as the entree into historic home ownership; for others (singles, couples minus kids and retirees) it’s the ideal way to live.

Today, we present some of the most adorable stone cottages currently on the market — all under $300K and circa 1900 or older. Looking to adopt a little stone dream home of your own? Take your pick from this batch of nine beauties. View in slideshow mode.

Old Stone Homes That Will Steal Your Heart

We scoured the market to find old stone homes that would suit the DIYer, someone who has a soft spot for all things early American. These magnificent examples of Colonial and Federal-style architecture are in need of serious TLC (and perhaps the demolition of an awkward addition or two). But just imagine the possibilities! Granted, each home is a bit off the beaten path, but definitely the makings of a great country getaway. Take a peek at our slideshow and tell us what you think!