Date: August 25, 2008
Byline: Katie Worrall
Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The completion of the exterior renovations of the Black Horse Inn and the beginning of the last phase of fundraising for the inn's interior will be celebrated at " Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn" on Sunday afternoon, September 28, from 2 until 5:30 p.m. at the inn, 1432 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown. The free event is also designed as a thank you to contributors to the restoration effort and is being planned by the Springfield Township Historical Society, the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike and the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee.
Festivities will also focus on the colonial history of the Springfield Township area. Children will have an opportunity to make colonial and Native American-style toys, and tri-corn hats and mobcaps like those worn by 18th century men and women. Members of local Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Cub and Brownie troops will assist with the colonial crafts.
Speakers will include State Representative Lawrence Curry, a former history teacher and supporter of restoration efforts of the inn, who will give a talk on Bethlehem Pike's connection to the Battle of Germantown, which took place in the fall of 1777, and Ed Zwicker, historical society president, who will discuss history of the inns along Bethlehem Pike. "George Washington" is scheduled to join the festivities and speak about the Philadelphia encampment.
Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn will include performances by Springfield Township High School and Springfield Township Middle School band members, a parade, and speeches. High school and middle school teachers are planning an essay contest for some of their classes.
The oldest part of the Black Horse Inn is believed to have been built in the18th century. The inn served farmers, lime-carriers, travelers, and later, stagecoach passengers and was the first stop on the Philadelphia to Bethlehem stagecoach line. It remained an inn and/or restaurant until 1990.
In recent years, sections of the property have been developed for retail businesses, while supporters of the Inn successfully worked to keep the building from being razed or relocated to another site. The Black Horse Inn is now owned by Springfield Township and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Members of the Heritage Day at the Black Horse Inn committee are Cynthia Hamilton, a member of the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee and the Springfield Township Historical Society board of directors; Christine Fisher Smith, a historical society board member; Don Mitchell and Ellen Manning, former president and board member, respectively, the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, and Doug Heller, a Springfield Township commissioner.