Center Inn Known as
Van Dorn Inn

Caroline Van Dorn in front of 14659 East State Route 37, Sunbury

Gilbert Van Dorn opened the first tavern in Trenton Township in 1817.  A four room log structure was the center of the rapidly growing community of Vans Valley, named after Van Dorn.

The Inn was originally located at the intersection of State Routes 37 and 605.  Highway efforts to remove the dangerous intersection moved 605 and thus the intersection so the inn is well past the intersection.

Marian Whitney wrote the following article which ran in The Sunbury News:

Ownership of the
Center Inn

1817     Gilbert Van Dorn built the Inn
             His wife, Magdalena (1797-1863)
             Their daughter, Caroline, married
              John Armstrong

1850s    John Armstrong bought the Inn
             from Gilbert (1783-1862)

1900     John died (1820-1900)
             Caroline (1825-1902)
              Their son Charles V. Armstrong
              took over the Inn

1935     Charles V. Armstrong (1852-1937)
             sold the Inn to
             Mr. and Mrs. Herman P.

1981     Michael and Alexandria Pifer
             bought the house from the
             Zieschanges.  An
article about their
             restoration ran in Country Living  
             magazine in 1984

1991     David and Linda Grubbs
             Held 3 day holiday open House
             in November 1994

1998    Edward and Patricia Kallay

2002    Lisa L. Jefferies

2004   Daniel and Heidi Harmon

2014   Timothy and Amy Welsh
           Held 200th Birthday Celebration 
            in October 2017




Country Living
magazine features the Inn
 in November 1984

CLICK Photos to Enlarge
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Dr. Wilber Price Armstrong, jr (whose T-Bird is in the background) and
Mrs. Herman Zieschange

Dr. Wilber Price, jr was the grandson of John and Carolyn (Van Dorn) Armstrong, the second owners of the stage coach inn
2003 photos by Janet McKenzie
  Plaques on
Van Dorn Inn
taken 2011

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