A long and storied history
surrounds the gateway to New Hope where the River House at Odette’s stands…
The Beginnings of New Hope
Nearly 10,000 years ago, the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans made their way through the Delaware River in search of land, forest and resources. Many of them settled in what we know today as New Hope, Pennsylvania. It wasn’t until the early part of the 18th century that New Hope was born. A man by the name of William Penn approved a sale of land to Robert Heath for the purpose of building a mill and establishing his village.
The Revolutionary War
New Hope received more exposure during the American Revolutionary War when General George Washington marched through the town. New Hope also played a role in preparing for the Battles of Trenton and Monmouth. Today, you can visit the Revolutionary War sites where events took place. Other historical sites can be found in Mount Airy, Hopewell Borough, Cranbury and Englishtown.
New Hope has always been a major transportation hub, which was why the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans sought it out in the first place. The quaint town is located along the Delaware River where stagecoaches, canal boats, trains, trolleys and automobiles all came through on their way to New York. The 60-mile long Delaware Canal was also used to transport coal and lumber, with as many as 100 barges passing through each day.
The original River House, built to serve boatmen on the Delaware River in 1794, was a favorite stopover for an evening of drinking and gambling before laying down for a good night’s rest. When the Delaware Canal opened in 1830, the River House thrived as at landing spot for coal barges making their way to New York, but as the coal industry stagnated, so too did the flow of traffic through the doors, forcing the establishment to shutter its doors.
Tourism and Modern-Day New Hope
Nearly a century later, New Hope experienced a resurgence of tourism as elite artists and actors created a culturally driven community, and soon after, the site of the River House became the town’s first hotel. Recognizing a need for elegant accommodations in the area, former screen star Odette Myrtil Logan purchased the lackluster hotel in 1961, renamed it Chez Odette, and transformed it into a landmark French bistro complete with live Parisian-style entertainment, including a cabaret and piano bar.
Today, the River House at Odette’s will thrive again weaving the rich history of its predecessors and the unique culture of the surrounding community into a lively new incarnation to be enjoyed by generations to come.
Planning a visit to New Hope, PA? Book your stay at our luxury lifestyle hotel in Pennsylvania for a full historical experience along the Delaware River.