JAI has been creating memories for 40 years!
Here’s how it began….
Forty years ago, when the “For Sale” sign appeared on the 12-acre Bonnymeade Farm, Richard Allman knew developers would pounce on the beautiful property with ideas for a housing, retail, or corporate complex. The estate consisted of a manor house with an original section built in 1734 and additions in 1820 and 1929, a stone bank barn built in 1820, and a tenant farmer’s cottage built in 1929. For almost 250 years, the property was a private farmstead.
Horsham Road was a narrow two-lane country road at the time, and the surrounding area was almost exclusively farmland. The 1980s in Montgomery County witnessed significant road construction, linking the quiet western suburbs to the turnpike at King of Prussia/Valley Forge and making the area attractive to developers.
Corporate facilities owned by the likes of McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Rohm & Haas, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Johnson & Johnson began sprouting up, and with that grew a need for lodging for visiting clients and executives. The area lacked hotels, and Mr. Allman saw the potential of creating a New England-style bed & breakfast to fill the need while preserving the important history of Montgomery Township in the process.
He purchased the property and began the transition. After months of work renovating the manor house and cottage, the Joseph Ambler Inn opened as an elegant Country Inn with 15 guestrooms. Each room was beautifully decorated with antiques and reproductions from the Colonial era with modern-day touches such as full baths, TVs, and telephones in each room.
Innkeepers Terry and Steve Kratz lived on the property, overseeing every aspect of the Inn’s operation from preparing the full country breakfast served each morning, to taking a personal interest in each guest’s comfort and well-being. Room rates were $60 - $80/night which included breakfast. Business flourished, with corporate travelers occupying the rooms during the week, and couples looking for a romantic getaway filling them on weekends.
Stay tuned for future posts as we continue to share with you the history and journey of the Joseph Ambler Inn through 40 years!