The Deer Park Tavern has been a Landmark in Newark since 1851. Originally, the St. Patrick's Inn had stood in its place since 1747. Among the many travelers that used the Inn as a resting place were Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. With their team of surveyors, the boundary between Pennsylvanis and Maryland was established and became famous as a line of demarcation between free and slave states.
During the American Revolution, soldiers stayed at the St. Patrick's Inn and it is stated that George Washington spent a night. On December 23, 1843, Edgar Allen Poe lectured at the Newark Academy. As he was attempting to descend from a carriage at the Inn, he was reputed to have fallen in the mud and was so upset that he put a curse on the building. "A curse upon this place! All who enter shall have to return!" Patrons found this so amusing that they carried Poe into the tavern with a hero's welcome.
When the Inn, a three-story log cabin, burned to the ground, the present brick building, known as The Deer Park, was erected in 1851 using materials found locally in the Newark area. Bby 1874, the owner had developed the business into one of the finest hotels on the East Coast. Over the next century and a half, the building was also used as a woman's seminary, a place for fraternity and political meetings, a polling location, housed a barbershop and a ballroom. There are stories that it may have been a stop in the Underground Railroad for slaves seeking freedom.
Over the years, the Deer Park has changed owners and its appearance. One thing that has never changed is the welcoming atmosphere extended to all guests. The new owners, Bob and Sandy Ashby, are very aware of their responsibility in preserving the traditions of the Deer Park by continuing to serve great food and drinks with good fellowship and cheer. We are committed to preserving the history of the famous Deer Park as well as ensuring that the future generations will also have many happy memories of this wonderful establishment. We hope you enjoy your visit and find that "all who enter shall have to return".