Two hundred and one years ago, Gilbert Van Dorn
opened a tavern and put a gilt sun on the sign for his Center Inn.
Today the family of Timothy and Amy Welsh live in the building. Amy
will share “Center Inn, Past and Present,” at the Big Walnut Area
Historical Society meeting in the Myers Inn Meeting Room at 7:30,
Tuesday, July 9.
Even before stage coaches began running through the community in
1820, there were taverns or inns where travelers could safely spend
a night. Lawrence Myers opened his one room tavern at the corner of
Walhonding and Portage Indian Trails in 1816. Gilbert Van Dorn
opened a tavern in a cabin on the Portage Indian Trail in 1817.
Other establishments were known to exist in this area in the early
1800's. Rice's Tavern and Major Brown's hotel in Berkshire Corners,
Blainey Inn in East Liberty, Starks House of Entertainment, Rt. 61
near Olive Green, Center Inn at 605 and Rt. 37, Curtiss Inn on
Yankee Street below Galena, Dustin House in Galena.
Hezekiah Roberts had a log cabin inn (now 81 S. Columbus Street) in
Sunbury. A half a block north, Lawrence Myers built the two story
frame Myers Inn in 1820 and forced Roberts to take boarders. During
the stagecoach days another hotel later called the Boyer Hotel was
built on the sw corner of Columbus and Granville streets. The south
third of that house is still at 63 1/2 S. Columbus Street.
Amy is a BWAHS Trustee as well as a detective for the Columbus
police department. She has researched the history of her home and
opened it for a fund raiser for the historical society in 2017 for
the 200th anniversary of the building.
Amy's presentation is free to the public. Refreshments are