Kennett Square History
Sharing Kennett Square history

114 E. State Street, currently LaVerona Restaurant

A 2 1/2 story house was built on the left hand side of this site in 1768 by Joseph Musgrave.  In 1776, Musgrave sold the property to Colonel Joseph Shippen.  Col. Shippen was an uncle of Margaret Shippen aka Peggy Shippen, wife of Benedict Arnold.  General Howe used the Shippen House as British Army headquarters before the Battle of Brandywine.  In 1794, Shippen sold the house and moved to Lancaster.  
In 1804, John Taylor (uncle of Bayard Taylor) bought the building which housed a store and post office. He built another bay onto the original section around 1810.  Brig. General Robert Bloomfield used the building during the War of 1812.  
Harlan Gause bought the property in 1831 and turned it into a hotel.  In the 1840's it was known as The Columbian Hotel.  Plow maker, Bernard Wiley, bought it in 1850 and added the third bay in 1855.  The hotel was known as The Plow Tavern.  
The hotel passed through several owners until 1878 when Isaac Pyle bought it.  He added the third floor in 1880 and the first floor iron porch.  Under the ownership of Samuel Babb, a fourth floor and the second floor iron porch were added.
In the 1930's, owners of buildings with iron porches were ordered to remove them, due to safety concerns.  The hotel underwent much needed improvements in 1950-1951 but an electrical fire gutted it in August 1952.  For 2 years the hotel awaited its fate until demolition began in December 1953.  A department store, J.J. Newberry Company, opened in 1955 and served Kennett residents well for 40 years.
The building you see now is the old department store with a coat of paint hiding the Mid-Century classic yellow classic bricks.

A token for the Kennett Hotel Livery Stable.  Twenty five cents for feed and one night stay.