History

A  Brief History: The Washington House & Sellersville Theater 1894

1742-1798- A farmhouse is built by German immigrants along a Lenape trail, as shown by historic tax records.

1777- The Liberty Bell allegedly passes through Sellersville in its escape from the British.

1850s-70s- The first tavern license is obtained to open The Washington House. Many additions, including the iconic tower, are built.

1894- A stable is built next door to board horses belonging to patrons of The Washington House. This structure later becomes Sellersville Theater 1894.

1909- J. J. Witmer, the owner at the time, has added The Witmer Room, the final dining space on the first floor. It is built shoddily above a well, which becomes apparent during the 2016 renovations.

1920s- Prohibition goes into effect, but liquor is still served at The Washington House with the help of hiding places. Skeptical federal agents take the original wooden bar outside and destroy it.

1933- Prohibition is repealed and a new front bar is lovingly carved by local craftsman J. R. Newbold, whose name is inscribed behind it.

1950- The “Selvil Theatre” opens, transforming the old stable building into a movie theater. It was gutted by fire in 1970.

1972- The theater is repaired and “Cinema 1894” opens.

1985- The current owners, William Quigley and Elayne Brick, obtain The Washington House. After a series of unfortunate fires, intensive renovations begin.

2002- William and Elayne reunite the old stable building with The Washington House and renovate to open a live performance venue, Sellersville Theater 1894. More additions are made to enlarge the lobby and the performer’s lounge in 2008.

2016- Substantial additions and renovations are made to The Washington House, and the Hotel opens its doors.

Compiled by Robbie Fischer, 2018.
Special thanks to the Sellersville Museum.