The land at the northeast corner of Bristol and Easton roads was part of William Penn’s land grant from King Charles II of England. In 1684 it was deeded to its first owner, John Gray. By the late 1700s, the land was owned by the Fretz family, and Christian Fretz built the core of the structures which survive today.
His well-known hotel and tavern, known as Fretz Valley Inn, welcomed guests from 1812 to 1846. Christian’s grandson, Phillip, erected the present buildings in 1871. The renewed Fretz Farm included a seven-gabled Italianate-Victorian house with projecting bays and small pavilions, and a cavernous barn, built on the site of the inn.
Phillip lived there until his new home, Fretz Mansion, was built in 1879. (Located on the opposite side of Easton Road, the Fretz Mansion eventually became the Tabor Children’s Home and today is being converted into office space, a preschool and a senior living facility.)