A Place in History
The Pittstown Inn, in various incarnations, has been hosting residents and travelers since the 1760's. The Inn was originally called Hoff's Mill, named for an early founder of the area now known as Pittstown. The Lawrence Hoff farm was a large holding, which included the property where the Kingwood Presbyterian Church now stands. Pittstown was known, in fact, as Hofftown in the 1700's. The name was changed during the revolution to honor William Pitt, Earl of Chatham.
In those days, the local tavern served as an informal Town Hall and community center. Local taverns like the Hoff's Mill Inn also served as stagecoach stops, mail delivery points, and lodging for travelers.
The tavern was reopened in 1800 by Moore Furman. Furman had purchased most of the village prior to the Revolution. He was Deputy Quartermaster General for the Revolutionary Army and used Pittstown as his supply depot. During the war, Pittstown was important in furnishing supplies to General Washington.
The Inn was almost completely destroyed in a fire in 1913. Known then as the Century Hotel and owned by L.N. Burnham, the entire contents were destroyed, leaving only the 18" walls. According to a letter written by Mr. Burnham's daughter, the bartender had left a lantern atop a whiskey barrel in the cellar, which then exploded. The building was gutted but the owners rebuilt the interior, repointed the stone walls, and were back in business in 7 months.
Mr. Burnham's daughter gives a fascinating look into village life in the early part of the 20th century:
"We had to drive to Phillipsburg or Philadelphia to secure cooks, maid, etc. My father ran a very strict bar and it was closed on Sundays. There was a music box in it which had a red dancing doll. The dining room did a good transient business as did room rentals, but it was the bar which paid the bills."
If you take a walk down the hall at the Pittstown Inn today, you'll see photos of the Inn before and after the fire, as well as licensing and other documents dating back to the 18th century.
The Inn has gone through numerous owners since the Revolution but has remained almost continuously in business. Now more than ever, it offers a welcome spot to both locals and travelers alike.