History

The Blue Bird Inn is one of the oldest continuously operating Inns still serving food in Pennsylvania.  As stated on the upper floor cornerstone, it was “Built by Jos. & Ann Bowman” in “1859 A.D.”  In the early years of the Inn, it was named Ye Olde Golden Key Hotel. During this time, it’s primary function was to provide overnight accommodations for both the Miners from the Cornwall Ore Mines as well as for general horse and carriage patrons.  The road in front of the Inn at the time called the Cornwall Pike.   It was a wooden laid road in which farmers and livestock as well as travelers were charged a fee charged for traveling on it.

 In early 1904, the establishment was purchased by George S. Trafford.  It became known as the Golden Key Hotel.  George was born in Jonestown and worked as an Ironworker during his younger years.  He was also a master marksman.  He lived in Lebanon on South Eighth Street and passed away at the age of 69.   During the Prohibition years, Blanche Molly was the owner.  The Inn’s name was changed to Molly’s Tea Room and was one of the many Tea Rooms or illegal speakeasies which operated during the Prohibition.  The Tea Room had secret doors which allowed access to the upstairs for drinking bootleg liquor at the time.  At one point during this time, the local police had a holding cell in the basement for about a year while they were building a new facility.

Matthew "Tip" Karinch, the originator of Karinchville and a contractor, bought the Inn in the 1930s and changed the name to the Blue Bird Tea Room.  It was eventually changed to the name everyone is familiar with today, the Blue Bird Inn.  He owned the establishment up until 1996 and in the laters was co-owner with his son, Karl Karinch.  During this period, Frank Karinch, Tip's brother, operated the Inn for 42 years until 1989.  Also, Joe Arnick was a popular bartender for 39 years.

In 1996, the Blue Bird Inn was purchased by Ed Tshudy, Sandy Tshudy, and Andrew Arnold.  They started a large renovation which included a deck and new kitchen in 1998, which provides the latest in culinary offerings.  Not soon after, Andrew and Richelle Arnold took complete ownership in 2001.  In 2009, to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the building, a new and open area was added which included a 21-foot ceiling, massive stone fireplace, and belt-driven fan system.  The original bar, which dates back to 1950, was moved from its original location to the new section where it still sits today.  The wood from the bar came from the Weaber Sawmill.  New men’s and ladies’ rooms were also updated at this time.  In 2011, additional parking was added to allow more space at our brewpub and eatery.  Lastly, in 2015, the deck again was updated to add more seating and roofing to allow for coverage during the unfavorable weather.

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