The Valley Green Inn is the Heart of the Wissahickon

News // July 10, 2024

The Valley Green Inn, the last operating establishment of the Roadhouse Era and among some of the most memorable places in the Wissahickon is still standing. Its facade forever connected to the wilderness that surrounds it and the people who enjoy it.

When you think of the Wissahickon, you think of the Valley Green Inn.

In the early 19th century, as roads began to lead to the land we now call the Wissahickon Valley Park and access down into the gorge improved, places to house weary travelers were established.

The Inn was one of seven original roadhouses including the two Indian Rock Hotels, Lotus Inn, the Log Cabin Inn, the Maple Springs Hotel, and Wissahickon Hall. To read more about the Roadhouse Era, click here.

The Valley Green Inn’s plot was purchased in 1850 by Edward Rinker, the small temperance hotel was built, unaffected by the Prohibition, it continued to operate after the land was purchased by Fairmount Park Commission in 1873 which prohibited the consumption of alcohol in the park. Did you know that the Inn only started serving alcohol in the 1980’s?

Once acquired by the City, the Fairmount Park Commission’s engineer recommended tearing down the Inn considering its extremely poor condition and the lack of funds to support its rehabilitation. Thankfully, a committee raised the necessary funds, and the Inn was rehabilitated not once but five times over the last 125 years. For the first time in 1899, a second time in the early 1930’s, and three more under the ownership of Friends of the Wissahickon in 1987, 2000, and 2014.

It’s safe to say the charm and the rich history of the Valley Green has been instrumental in its preservation. Lucky for you, 175 years later you can still enjoy this gem of the Wissahickon.

The Valley Green Inn is known for its friendly staff, central park location, and as a unique place for a memorable event. Do you know anyone who’s had their wedding at the Valley Green Inn?

Here at FOW, we take advantage of this wonderful venue for our annual Valley Talk series (keep an eye out for our exciting Fall circuit dates), big celebrations like our 100th Anniversary Backyard Bash, Volunteer Recognition Night, and more!

There’s nothing better than enjoying a cool beverage and a snack on the porch during hot summer days like we’ve been having this month. It’s always funny to stop and think about how different the view of the Creek might have looked just 100 years ago: horsedrawn buggies carrying supplies to the mills along the creek, rowdy “picnic parties”, and the unfortunate reality that all of the nearby establishments dumped waste into the beautiful creek Friends of the Wissahickon protects today.

Thinking about stopping by the Inn soon? Get a basket of the truffle fries for us or try a local brew from Wissahickon Brewing! Make your reservation today! Don’t forget FOW members get 10% off their meals and to take Wises Mill if you’re accessing the Inn by car. For more on the Valley Green Road closure, click here.