The original stone building at Greystone Public House was built in 1798 by Godfrey Fritchey, one of Harrisburg’s earliest settlers. Fritchey was born in Schoenlinder, Germany, near Dresden, in 1755. In 1783, he traveled with a companion to America, fully intending to return home, however he never left. Life really is what happens while you’re making other plans…

In 1789, Fritchey purchased 25 acres of land on this site from Andrew Berryhill, the property’s original owner. Berryhill had received a warrant from the Quaker government for this tract of land on May 6, 1765. By 1798, Fritchey had built the two-story fieldstone house; it was not the typical 18th century home in this area. Most houses built here during that time were small log structures, and it’s clear that Fritchey came to the United States with considerable wealth. Fritchey designed this house to resemble his former home in Bavaria, and it became known in this early community as the Fritchey Mansion. On July 24th, 1787, Fritchey married Maria Dorothea Bucher in Lebanon. Dorothy and Godfrey lived here in the house that they had built and raised 13 children.

On April 16, 1805, Godfrey Fritchey obtained a liquor license and operated the Fritchey Tavern here. The original spirits license to Greystone Public House, dated 1805 and issued by then Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor Thomas McKean, reads:

Whereas Godfrei Fritchey hath been recommended to me, as a sober and fit person to keep a House of Entertainment, and being requested to grant him a license for the same, I do hereby license and allow the said Godfrei to keep a Public House in the Township of Paxton Dauphin County for selling Wine, Rum, Brandy, Beer, Cyder, and all other spirituous Liquors.

A copy of the original license hangs in the bar at the tavern. Fritchey Tavern was an obvious stop for traffic using the main thoroughfare, now Linglestown Road, which fronted the property.

Fritchey operated the tavern until his death in 1821, at the age of 66. In his will, Godfrey passed the property on to his wife, Dorothy. A portion of his will reads: I give unto my beloved wife Dorothy the tavern house with all the other buildings wherein I dwell and reside with my family and all the land thereto belonging containing about 25 acres.

We are proud of our rich history and strive to carry on the legacy of the great men and women who operated this tavern before us. We hope that you’ll enjoy your time here and you’ll visit again soon. Welcome to Greystone Public House…


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