The John Schaffer Tavern and Inn
This imposing three story,twelve room structure was built in 1828 by businessman John Schaffer who housed his fami ly and offered food and rest to Pennsylvania Canal construction workers and later canal boatmen and passengers. Travel conditions were austere in the mid-1800s.
According to Anna Liddick Dorman (1880- 1961),the third floor provided lodging space for both sexes, separated only by a curtain in one large open room. As many as forty persons slept on the floor on straw 1tick’ mattresses.
Schaffer purchased his lot from developer Jacob Baughman who in 1814 laid out eighty
-one lots in what became New Buffalo. The Schaffer House is one example of the dynamic economic development that occurred along the Susquehanna River as a result of the Canal. Two boat yards and two other lodging facilities,constructed in the Canal era, folded with the final closing of the Canal by 1899.
From its beginning,the structure has served multi-purposes,often as a private residence, including the Henry and Lydia Thatcher family in the 1840s. One son,Henry C.Thatcher (1842-1886) served as the first Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. His brothers,John (1836-1913) and Mahlon (1839-1916),opened banks throughout Colorado and theWest,and became the wealthiest persons in the state.
Over time,the left side of the house has been a general store,post office and restaurant. From 1899 to 1947 Odd Fellows Lodge 628 owned the building and used it for their meetings whi le renting out part of the premises. Since 1948,the house has been a private residence. In 1957,Harold H.and Anna Dorman Halter purchased the house,which as of 2015,remains in the family.
The road frontage,Mill Street,part of the Susquehanna Trail,was the main north/south highway until 1951 when Route 11/15 was rerouted and constructed on top of the long closed Canal.
Additional Photographs of the New Buffalo, PA John Schaffer Tavern and Inn through the Decades
Below, the 1907 New Buffalo baseball team on the front steps of 33 Mill Street, the John Schaffer House.
Ladies at the John Schaffer House, date unknown.
One of the persons is Cordelin Livingston.
A jitney ca 1900 which ran from New Buffalo to the Duncannon railroad station.
Mill Street, New Buffalo ca 1900 with John Schaffer House, 33 Mill Street on the left.
The John Schaffer House, ca 1911 with shutters removed in some windows.
Below, ca 1950, the back garden of 33 Mill Street along Peach Alley, the John Schaffer House. Plowing is Lester Arney, while his mother, Susan Liddick Arney, observes from the back porch.