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HISTORY LIVES: General Greene Inn


General Greene Inn. In 1752, at the intersection of today’s Old York Road (Rt. 263) and Durham Road (Rt. 413), Henry Jamison opened a tavern known as “Jamison’s,” a stop on the stagecoach routes to New York and to Easton.

After his death, his widow remarried and it became known as “Bogart’s Tavern,” serving as a monthly meeting place of the Bucks County Committee of Safety at the start of the American Revolution. General Nathaniel Greene, made the inn his headquarters during winter 1776, and from there he requested 16 boats and flats be sent from Tinicum to McConkey’s Ferry. These Durham boats were used when Washington’s army crossed the Delaware on Christmas night 1776 in a treacherous storm, en route to the Battle of Trenton.

The old inn, renamed Centreville Tavern or Wilkinson’s Tavern, was owned by a dozen proprietors throughout the 19th century, the longest by Colonel Elisha Wilkinson (from 1814 to 1846). Fancier of horses and dogs, Wilkinson entertained sporting gentlemen who came from Philadelphia for a few days of shooting. He also maintained a track near the tavern where he bred and raced Arabian horses.

Later known as the Sign of Penn’s Treaty and then the Sign of General Washington, the old inn was entirely remodeled in 1870 and a mansard roof was added.

Early in the 20th century, the name was changed to the General Greene Inn. The 1934 Doylestown Directory advertised:

Chicken duck, steak and roast dinners

German-American cooking

Summer boarding

Rooms for tourists

Banquets by appointment

Phone: Buckingham 1

By 1940, the Joos family owned and operated the General Greene Inn. While her parents operated the hotel, their daughter Edna Wehmeyer managed “Edna’s Antique Shop.” Although the inn closed its doors to the public in 1969, Edna continued to operate an eclectic antique store from a wing of the building. The shop closed sometime after 2013, and today the 270-year-old structure is falling into considerable disrepair.

Source: Terry McNealy, “The General Greene Inn,” Panorama Magazine, November 1973.

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