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Source: Press Release
Date: November 13, 2006
Byline: Katie Worrall

Soirée & Auction benefiting the restoration of The Black Horse Inn

CONTACT: Katie Worrall 215-233-1305


Over $25,000 was raised for the restoration of the Black Horse Inn at a Soirée and Auction on November 4 at Sorella Rose in Flourtown. The money, which came from dinner reservations, donations and the sale of auction items, will help match state and federal grants received for the restoration of the inn, a Flourtown landmark. A highlight of the Soirée and Auction was the presentation of a ceremonial check to the Springfield Township Historical Society and the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike for an $85,000 Keystone Historic Preservation Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission. Other grants received for the project include a $500,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from State Rep. Lawrence Curry; $150,000 "Save America's Treasures" grant obtained by U. S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and a $5000 grant from Pennsylvania's Department of Commerce and Economic Development. Funds are also being raised by private donations and events like the Soiree and Auction. 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 at 1432 Bethlehem Pike, have been developed, but township preservationists were successful in efforts to keep the inn from being razed or relocated to another site. The building, now owned by Springfield Township, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Supporters are negotiating for the use of the inn by a combination of retail tenants and nonprofit organizations.

Over 200 guests attended the Soirée and Auction that was co-hosted by the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee as well as the Springfield Township Historical Society and the Friends of the Historic Bethlehem Pike. The fundraiser, which was co-chaired by Dianne Crookenden and Susie Disston, featured entertainment by Colonial Revelers, which presented 18th century music and by a group of local musicians that included Baird Standish, Rich Yesalis, Bill Nixon and Sherry Somach.