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American House/Enon Valley Inn - Enon Valley PA

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In about 1874 the American House, a boarding house and tavern, was opened by German immigrant Charles Fischer (1815-1896) in Enon Valley. Fischer was previously well known in Pittsburgh political circles and was involved in the oil and coal industry. He sold the property when he retired in the late 1880’s. In February 1889 the new owners, in financial trouble, signed the establishment over to a caretaker and secretly left town. It seems the doors were left open and patrons drank all the liquor at the bar – before the county sheriff seized the property. The property changed hands several hands, but was primarily owned by brothers Philip and Jacob Fischer beginning in about 1896. (c1910) Full Size

Harry G. Hilbert (possibly depicted above) is believed to have operated a cigar shop in the American House during the early 1900’s. He leased the 16-room hotel and began managing its operations in about 1904. He departed in late 1911 when he purchased his own hotel in Lisbon OH. The American House was then closed for a few years, but was reopened in 1916 by Jacob Fischer – who was later elected as Burgess (mayor) of Enon Valley in about 1927. The building seems to have remained in operation as a restaurant for many years – although its history seems cloudy. In the late 1950’s it “reappears” (possibly as a one-story building) as a restaurant and lounge known as the Enon Valley Inn. According to newspaper reports the structure was greatly renovated in 1984. (c1908)

The American House in Enon Valley. (c1910)


  1. You are correct. In the ’60s I used take my whole family; wife and 5 daughters down for fish on Friday evening. Best fish ever!! The owner has a new place south of Darlington on Rte. 51 called Harry’s Place. The new place serves the same great fish. There is a new Enon Valley Inn. I tried it only once.

  2. I still remember those fish sandwiches. My mother is 80 years old and still talks about them!


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