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Source: Press Release
Date: November 1, 2006
Byline: Katie Worrall

Soirée & Auction benefiting the restoration of The Black Horse Inn

CONTACT: Katie Worrall
215-233-1305

The Soirée & Auction to benefit the restoration of the Black Horse Inn in Flourtown is sold out. Two hundred guests will attend the Saturday, November 4, dinner and silent auction at the Sorella Rose Restaurant in Flourtown (1800 Bethlehem Pike). The fundraiser is being co-hosted by the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, Springfield Township Historical Society and Springfield Township-sponsored Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of a check for the $85,000 Keystone Historic Preservation Grant recently awarded the restoration effort by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. The check will be presented to Rob Ryan, president of the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike and Ed Zwicker, president of the Springfield Township Historical Society by PHMC chairman, Wayne Spilove.

The Keystone Historic Preservation Grant requires an $85,000 match, which the Capital Campaign for the Restoration of the Black Horse Inn will meet through private donations from residents & friends of Springfield Township, other grants, like the $150,000 "Save America's Treasures" grant and $500,000 Pennsylvania Commonwealth Capital Program grant, and fundraising events like the soirée and auction.

The Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program provides funds for local preservation projects throughout the Commonwealth. This past year, the Black Horse Inn was one of 27 sites that received funding from PHMC's Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program. Funding for the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program comes from the Keystone Recreation and Park Fund that is funded by the Commonwealth's Realty Transfer Tax.

Located at 1432 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, the Black Horse Inn was built in the mid-18th century and was the first stop on the Philadelphia to Bethlehem stagecoach line. The first section of the building served farmers bringing their grain to the flour mills in Flourtown, lime-carriers, and later, stagecoach passengers and meetings of the Society for the Apprehension of Horse Thieves. Prior to 1840 it was known as Sampson and the Lion. The McCloskey family owned the inn from 1880 through 1990. Until about 1980, cattle grazed in the field beside the inn.

In recent years, sections of the property have been developed, but township preservationists were successful in efforts to keep the inn from being razed or relocated. The building, now owned by Springfield Township, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The soirée and auction will feature entertainment by Colonial Revelers, a group of singers who perform songs of late 18th century America in period costume. Later in the evening, gypsy swing music and swing jazz of the 1930s and 1940s will be played by a group of local musicians including Baird Standish and Art Howe with Sherry Somach, guitar, and Bill Nixon, fiddle.

Among the over 60 items that will go on the auction block are a stay at a villa in the Tuscany region of Italy offered by the Wyndmoor-based Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential and donations given by many businesses in the Springfield Township and Chestnut Hill areas.

The check presentation will take place at a brief ceremony between 7 p.m. cocktails and 8 p.m. dinner. If you wish to cover the ceremony, please call Katie Worrall at 215-233-1305.