Warning: include() [function.include]: http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/content/c/u/m/cumbvoice/html/Cumberland_Road/pennsylvania/fayette/rush-hotel-tavern.php on line 34
Warning: include(http://www.cumberlandroadproject.com/includes/nav-main-sub2.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/content/c/u/m/cumbvoice/html/Cumberland_Road/pennsylvania/fayette/rush-hotel-tavern.php on line 34
Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'http://www.cumberlandroadproject.com/includes/nav-main-sub2.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5_3/lib/php') in /home/content/c/u/m/cumbvoice/html/Cumberland_Road/pennsylvania/fayette/rush-hotel-tavern.php on line 34
Rush Hotel & Tavern (MAP IT)
On the old National Road, Farmington, PA
The former Rush Hotel and Tavern is located at the intersection of US 40, the old National Road, and PA Route 381. The hotel and tavern was operated by Sebastian "Boss" Rush from 1840 until his death in 1878.
From Thomas Searight's book The Old Pike, 1894 (p.226)
We next reach the celebrated house of Sebastian Rush, invariably called "Boss." It is not a wagon stand, but an old stage house. Here stage passengers took meals, which were invariably gotten up in the best style. The house was built in 1837 by Hon. Nathaniel Ewing, who then owned it. Rush moved into it soon after it was finished, as lessee of Judge Ewing, and not long after purchased it, and occupied it uninterruptedly to the present time.
Here, also, is a store, post office and other improvements, constituting a little village called Farmington, and considered the grand commercial and business center of the mountains. Sebastian Rush is widely known as an influential Republican politician, has been superintendent of the road by appointment of the Governor, and nominated by his party for Associate Judge, but defeated by reason of the decided and long existing preponderance of the Democracy in the county.
When a young man, and living in a small log house near the tavern stand of his brother, Charles, he was elected constable of his township, and, being too poor to own a horse, performed the functions of his office on foot. Since then he has made constables and other officers, and owned horses without number.
Previous to 1837 the widow Tantlinger kept tavern in an old wooden house, on the ground now covered by the Rush house. The store here, before Rush came to the property, was conducted by Peter T. Laishley, an old and well known Methodist preacher, still living. He was then a Free Will Baptist.
Morgan Jones also once kept store at this point. He is now a real estate broker in Philadelphia, and said to be wealthy. He had several brothers, among them David, John and Samuel E., who were well known. David settled in Wisconsin, and became Lieutenant Governor John went to Kentucky, and became a prominent iron manufacturer. Samuel E. is a Probate Judge in southern Colorado. Allen Crane also once kept store here.
The house now owned and occupied by Washington Hensel, was once kept as a tavern by Samuel Frazer. Its public career terminated about the time Sebastian Rush located at Farmington. A short distance over the hill, west, there is a frame house, built by John Rush, and by him kept as a tavern for a number of years. Henry Clay Rush also kept this house for a short time. It is not classed among the old taverns, but during its short public career enjoyed a high degree of popularity. Boss Rush, Jr., lives here now in the capacity of a private citizen. John Rush was one of the most popular landlords along the road. He is a brother of Boss, and is still living, somewhere in the west. This old house was destroyed by fire a few years ago, and nothing remains of it but two tall chimneys, standing erect at this day.
From the History of Fayette County, by Franklin Ellis, Philadelphia,
L H Everts and Company, 1882.
The late Sebastian Rush, known far and wide as "Boss" Rush and also
popularly designated as the "King of the Mountain", filled a large place
in his locality, Farmington, Wharton township, as farmer, businessman,
and friendly adviser of a wide circle of acquaintances who sought his
counsel and particularly as the genial host of "Boss Rush's hotel" on the
line of the National Pike and over which he presided from 1840 when he
bought the hotel until he died February 9, 1878.
This hotel was a favorite stopping place of many of the great men of
other days. Henry Clay, Tom Ewing, President Polk, etc, when journeying
over the National Road, and Jenny Lind in her famous tour through the
country with the great showman, Barnum, tarried over night at "Boss's
Hotel", and Mrs Rush while living, as does Mrs Rush who now conducts the
house, made his more distinguished guests "twice happy" by honoring them
with lodgings in Jenny Lind's room, a species of sagacity as well as
gallantry worthy of imitation by publicans in general.
Mr Rush was an ardent politician, early in life an old line Whig
afterwards a Republican, and wielded a great influence in his region,
putting into local office whom he would when his party was in power and
was a Presbyterian in religion, which fact doubtless added to his success
as a politician. He amassed a large property, owning at the time of his
death about twelve hundred acres of good land adjacent to his house, as
well as several outlying farms of considerable size besides the country
store opposite the hotel, and which he for a long time conducted in
connection with his other business and other property. He was also an
extensive stock raiser. Though noted for his unusually good sense and
"clear head" in mature life, Mr Rush enjoyed but meager advantages of
study in his childhood but in after life was notable as a reader.
He was a man of great physical strength and during the latter portion of
his life of ponderous size, weighing sometimes two hundred and fifty
pounds. When he arrived at about twenty two years of age he was made a
constable and for years filled his office with more than the usual
ability, but for the first year or so he was obliged to execute his
duties on foot, lacking a horse to ride through pecuniary inability to
buy one. From such a beginning his great energy and sound sense built up
for him the fortune he afterwards enjoyed.
He was the son of Levi Rush, born 1783, who came to Fayette County from
Somerset County late in the eighteenth century. His mother was Mary Kemp,
a native of New Jersey but living in Henry Clay township when she married.
"Boss" Rush was born in the same township, November 20, 1808, and in
November, 1829, married Margaret Baird, a girl of fifteen years of age,
born 1814, a daughter of James Baird, a native of County Derry, Ireland.
This was a "runaway match" and though it proved a happy one, Mrs Rush, a
vigorous and intelligent lady now conducting the hotel, as she and her
husband so long and successfully carried on the business, is emphatic in
pronouncing against "runaway matches" among her children especially. Mr
Rush died leaving seven children, four sons and three daughters, three
other children having died before him, two in childhood.