History

Golden Key InnThis eatery is one of the oldest continuously operating Inn’s serving food in Pennsylvania.  Recently we removed stucco in the front upper floor of the building to reveal the cornerstone.  The cornerstone reads “Built by Jos. & Ann Bowman 1859 A.D”.  In the early years, the Inn was named Ye Olde Golden Key Hotel.  In the early 1900s, it was owned by George S. Trafford, George was born in Jonestown and worked as an Ironworker in his younger years.  He was also a master marksman.  He lived in Lebanon on South Eighth Street and past away at the age of 69.

Blanche Molly was the owner of the Inn during Prohibition.  The Inn was called Molly’s Tea Room and was just one of the many Tea Room’s or illegal speak-easies that operated during Prohibition.  Prohibition began January 16, 1920 at midnight.  This was the day that the Prohibition Act or the Volstead Act was put into Effect.  Prohibition Lasted 13 Years and some of the side effects of Prohibition were a rise in death from poisoned liquor from 1064 in 1920 to 4154 in 1925.  Gang violence grew out of control in large cities where homicides increased by 78%.  The most infamous bootlegger was Al Capone who operated his organization out of Chicago. The price of beer rose sharply and Americans began drinking more potent drinks.

Tip Karinch, the originator of Karinchville, bought the Inn in the 1930s and changed the name to the Blue Bird Inn.  He owned the establishment until 1996.  During this period Frank Karinch, his brother, operated the Inn for 42 years until 1989.  A popular bartender during that time was Joe Arnick.

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