Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,835 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, February 05, 2023

#4678 - Black Bass Hotel, Lumberville, PA - 7/13/2022

Black Bass Hotel Tavern
Lumberville, PA

After a gorgeous drive from the Continental Tavern in Yardley, it might have been disappointing if the Black Bass Hotel Tavern was fairly pedestrian in appearance. But not to worry, as the historical site is currently a stunning setting and at its peak in the late afternoon sun and shadows. The tavern is set in the tiny village of Lumberville, a village in Solebury Township first settled by Revolutionary War veteran Colonel George Wall, and hence first known as "Wall's Landing."

My plan is usually to sit at the bar, but the beauty of the hour and the setting on the Delaware River demanded a patio seat. There I enjoyed some fine small dishes, while the family across from me discoursed in French. It seemed appropriate in this setting, as the weather, the water, the view made me feel this must feel somewhat like sitting on the French Riviera.

Black Bass Hotel Tavern
Lumberville, PA

A snippet of the history from the tavern's own web site: “Built in the 1740s, the Black Bass Hotel served as a haven for travelers, traders, and sportsmen. The famous tavern had many names through the years including Wall’s Tavern, Lumberville Hotel, Temple Bar, The Rising Sun and finally The Black Bass Hotel. As one of the oldest inns in the country, we are proud to be included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Bass seeps with a rich history. One of the most notable documents that while George Washington is known to have slept in several historic properties throughout the Delaware Valley, he notably did not stay at the Bass. As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington was turned away by the innkeeper of the Bass who was a Tory and loyal to the British Crown. He made it clear that Washington was not welcome to stay. Shortly thereafter, just 14 miles south, George Washington organized the first move in a surprise attack against the Hessian forces. He and his troops crossed the Delaware River to Trenton, NJ on the morning of December 26, 1776. This proved a decisive victory in the American Revolutionary War that helped turn the tides in American’s favor."

A hotel is said to have first opened here in 1745, as a tavern under the name of the "Temple Bar."

More recently, the site notes:

"In 1833 a fire broke out in the Tavern resulting in extensive damage. Major Anthony Fry, the proprietor at the time, broke open the cellar doors and, at the risk of his own life, carried out a huge quantity of gunpowder that was being stored there. This stopped an inevitable explosion and saved the Bass from total destruction. We thought this feat worthy of naming one of our suites after him!

In the late nineteenth century, the Black Bass fell into decline and passed through several owners until it was purchased in 1949 by Herbert Ward. Herbie, as he was fondly known, rescued the Bass and ran it until just before his death 54 years later. He was passionate about history and was a devoted Anglophile. His expansive collection of British memorabilia, as well as hundreds of antiques and notable artwork, were lovingly restored under the guidance of the Thompson family. Herbie purchased the famed pewter bar in the Tavern at
auction which originally resided in Maxim's of Paris."

When exactly the tavern was first known as the "Black Bass" is not clear to me. In J.H. Battle's History of Bucks County, it is described by as such by the time that W. Horace Fell took ownership in in 1887. Bucks County Magazine cites a January 18, 1837 edition of the Bucks County Intelligencer that includes an advertisement for the Rising Sun Tavern operated by Anthony Ely in Lumberville, likely the same tavern in this tiny town. The same article also notes that it was long known as Lumberville Inn, and that an 1863 ad describes it as the estate of Jesse P. Forker.

In addition to the river view, the hotel includes some beautiful grounds, which make it an attractive selection for wedding ceremonies. And, of course, as with any building of such antiquity and history, it is widely believed to host a number of ghosts, including old Hans, one-time owner of the tavern, who was stabbed to death in the early 1800s.

While its Tory past may have precluded certain claims to history with General Washington and the founding fathers, today's Black Bass Hotel is probably the most pleasant dining and visiting experience of any of the historical taverns I have yet visited.

Old photo of the now Black Bass Hotel
(Photo from hotel's web site)

Black Bass Hotel, Lumberville, PA
(photo from hotel web site)

Est. 1887 or earlier as "Black Bass Hotel," 1745 as a tavern (Temple Bar) - Building constructed: 1745
Previous bars in this location: Temple Bar, Wall’s Tavern, Lumberville Hotel, The Rising Sun
Web site: 
Articles: onlyinyourstate - nepascene - hauntedhouses - happeningmag - visitbuckscounty - americanpublichousereview - nytimes - thereporteronline - travelmaven - tripadvisor - newyorkoptimist 

No comments: