Monday, March 9, 2009

Back to Town Characters

Archippus Parrish was a native of Windham, Conn., where he was born January 27, 1773. In his early manhood he removed to Morristown, N. J., and there married Phebe, daughter of John Miller, August 12, 1806. He engaged as a contractor and built the turnpike from Morristown to Paulus Hook (now Jersey City).

He removed to the Wyoming Valley in 1812, and for a short time resided in Kingston. He then removed to Wilkes-Barre and kept a hotel where the Exchange Hotel now stands.

In March, 1824, he removed from the Wyoming Valley to Dundaff, Susquehanna county, Pa. and took charge of the Dundaff Hotel. Charles Parrish was born here. He remained in Dundaff about four years, and then removed to Wilkes-Barre where took charge of a hotel located on the site of the present Wyoming Valley House. He then removed to the hotel he had first occupied in this city, and which shortly afterwards burned down. The family for a few weeks were obliged to live in the old court house. He then removed to the Drake house, on Main street, next to the present Union Leader office, and there kept a hotel. He subsequently built and kept a hotel on East Market street, the Black Horse tavern, near the old jail.

About 1839 he retired from business and removed to a farm house at the corner of Canal and South streets and resided there until his death, October, 1847.

"The old tavern was burned on the night of February 22, about the year 1831. The sleighing was fine on that day, and there was to be a Washington's birthday ball at night. Bright fires had been kindled to warm up some of the upper rooms for the comfort of expected guests during the early evening, when at 9 o'clock a cry of fire was heard on the public square and flames were seen shooting up through the shingles of the roof, and in half an hour the old hostelry was reduced to ashes. " (Bradsby)