An annotated section of an 1847 map of Chester County
Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Archives.

No photographs have been found of this inn.

Land Ownership: The Black Bear Inn was located at the southwest corner of the Lancaster Turnpike (route 30) and Leopard Road (route 252). Thomas Pennington purchased the property from Robert Russell in 1768, Russell having acquired it from Joshua Evans in 1763.

One of the licensees, John Phillips, was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War (Pennsylvannia State Archives). He was captured during the battle for Long Island and later exchanged.

When Thomas Pennington senior died in 1796 the property was partitioned between his son, Thomas Pennington junior and his daughter, Hannah Parker, who acquired the section including the inn. She was initially married to John Parker who died in 1807. Hannah then married James Foot. They sold the inn to Eliza Parker in 1820. By 1828 it had been acquired by Randel Evans. He kept the inn property until 1851 when it was sold to pay off his debts. The inn was then acquired by its final owner, Hugh Steen. He kept the license until 1854. In 1877 the building was torn down.


Licensees for the Inn

  • 1785 Thomas Pennington, on Lancaster Road
  • 1786 Thomas Pennington - tavern (tax)
  • 1786 - 1788 John Phillips, formerly kept by Thomas Pennington
  • 1787 - 1789 John Phillips - tavern (tax)
  • 1789 - 1790 Thomas Pennington
  • 1791 Thomas Pennington - tavern (tax)
  • 1791 - 1794 William Himes, formerly kept by Thomas Pennington
  • 1795 Thomas Himes
  • 1796 Hannah Himes
  • 1797 - 1806 John Parker on Lancaster Turnpike Road
  • 1807 - 1809 Hannah Parker
  • 1810 John Oldwine
  • 1815 - 1816 James Foot
  • 1817 Henry Ham
  • 1818 James Foot
  • 1819 Robert Armstrong
  • 1822 Henry Ham
  • 1823 John Parks
  • 1828 Henry Ham
  • 1829 Randel Evans
  • 1830 - 1833 Abraham Beitler
  • 1834 - 1836 Abraham Lapp
  • 1838 - 1840 John Zuck
  • 1841 - 1843 John Robinson
  • 1844 - 1845 Joseph B. Townsend
  • 1849 Joseph B. Townsend
  • 1850 - 1854 Hugh J. Steen
  • 1877 Tavern torn down