• The Levan Tavern / Kemp’s Hotel

The last leg of our Summer vacation included a stop in Kutztown, Maxatawny Twp., PA. My wife’s LeVan family settled in the area after emigrating from Holland in the 1730s and 40s. Our plan was to eat lunch at a little restaurant called the Seasons Grill, located in the homestead built by her 6th great grandfather, Daniel Levan, and later operated as tavern and hotel.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a parking lot overgrown with weeds and this sign on the door:

The lousy economy had claimed another victim. I think it closed sometime after 2004.

Danel Levan built his stone house, in about 1740, in Maxatawny Twp., just about a mile from his brother, Jacob, who settled in the Eagle Point area. The house was built beside the highway that ran from the towns of Reading and Easton. In 1755, the road was improved, and in about 1765, because traffic had become so heavy, Daniel doubled the size of his building and set up business as proprietor of what is said to be the oldest hostelry in the eastern part of Berks County.

Berks Co. Map showing location of the Tavern (click to enlarge)

The Levan Tavern was situated beside the road where the first defenders of the colonies marched to Cambridge, MA. On  September 18, 1777, the Continental Congress adjourned as Howe’s British Army was approaching. In John Adams’ diary, he mentions stopping over night at the Levan Tavern.

The following is from the book Genealogical record of the LeVan family: descendants of Daniel LeVan and Marie Beau (Huguenots), natives of Picardy, France, who settled in Amsterdam, Holland, 1650 to 1927 by Warren Patton Coon

“On the evening of November 12th, 1777, there was a group of half a dozen men at Levans’s, whose conversation one might wish had been more fully reported. One was the Hon. William Ellery, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and, as Representative from Rhode Island, at this time a Member of the Continental Congress sitting at York, Pa. From his Diary under that date we learn,–“From thence to Levan’s about 15 miles from Snell’s, where we lodged. Here we met Col. John Brown and four other New England men. Brown gave us an account of his expedition to Ticonderoga and of the Mode of Surrendry of the vaunting Burgoyne.”

It is quite certain that most of the noted characters of the American Revolution passed over this “Easton Road”, en route to and from York, Pa., where the Congress sat so long, and, with every probability, many of them “dined” or remained over night at the Levan Tavern.”

As seen today via Google Earth

When Daniel died in 1777, he left the building to his son Daniel. In 1788, it came into the possession of  the elder Daniel’s daughter Susana and her husband, Captain George Kemp. There are two special stones on the front face of the building. One says the name of George Kemp, and the other, Susana Kemp. Both have the date of 1795 with their names.

They operated the renamed Kemp’s Hotel for the next 52 years.

We were disappointed that the old Hotel is no longer open. The outside is in pretty rough shape. I hope that the building is saved. It is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. It would be nice if there was a marker noting it’s significance.

The following are pictures of the building as it looks today. I was able to peer in the windows and get a couple of inside shots. It’s pretty sad to look at.

An announcement was made on January 3, 2013, by Brandi Woodard, stating that she “recently signed an agreement of sale to purchase the Kemp Hotel property. I plan on restoring it to it’s former glory and would appreciate any and all help in accomplishing this project.”

More information about this can be read in the comments on this blog and on the Facebook page dedicated to saving the the building. A link to that page is here.

As of May, 2013, The Yoga House and Nectar’s Cafe & Juice Bar has opened. You can visit their website at www.yodates.com.


On December 17, 2014, Brandi Woodard announced that she is putting the building up for sale.

Per the Yoga House’s Facebook page, she states that she “Just wanted to post that Nectar’s Cafe & Juice Bar At the Yoga House is for sale. This amazing property will hit the open market tomorrow at a asking price of $725,000.00. Pictures and all information will be available online through Monaghan Reality, Zillow, etc. We will continue to do business as usual until a buyer is found at which point we will move into a new location. If you always wanted to live and work in the same property, you should check this out!”


64 thoughts on “• The Levan Tavern / Kemp’s Hotel

  1. David, Thanks so much for the history and photos. I wish I could have gone when the restaurant was still open. Shirley was there in 2003 and Yvonne a year or two later. Great pictures!

  2. You’ll have to tell the story of Suzanne’s ghost. Shirley was fortunate when she was there to be taken upstairs and got to see all that was up there. I believe she saw the “ghost”!

  3. David,
    Those pics from today breaks my heart. It was so nice when Shirley and I were there in 2003. If I had lots of money I would buy and turn it into a museum. I found the map interesting to see where the LeVan mill was located. Did you know that four brothers brought acres ? in a square and each had their’s? It tells that in the LeVan book. Do you have a copy? I bought one from a store that handles old books in Pa. Shirley said that a farm that belonged to one of the other brothers has an old LeVan cemetery on it but they won’t let anyone go on it anymore. Don’t know what happened. I belonged to the Redding library for a few yrs. and got a magazine and e-mails from a man that was the ninth in his family. The library has an organ that belonged to our grandfather and I got to see it when we were there. It looked like a chest of drawers. I still have the magazines and will look up the man that used to do the e-mails.Will try to get in-touch with him and see what happened to the inn and tavern. While communicating with him he learned that I was a LeVan and descendent and he and the woman that was editor of the mags. said they wanted to meet me the next time I came. Unfortunately, I never got back. I may have mentioned this to you? Will let you know if I make contact again.

  4. My 7th Great-Grandfather was Jacob LeVan, Daniel’s brother. These photos are so meaningful. I have not been to the old homestead but am planning to go. Perhaps together we can determine how to get a marker for it via the Historical Society?

    Stacey Inglis
    (302) 562-1701

  5. This past week Jan. 4, 2012 I had an article in the Reading Eagle about Levan / Kemp hotel and next week there will be an article in the Kutztown Patriot. For the past two years I have been doing whatever I can to save this hotel. Anyone interested in this can send me their e-mail address and I can link you to the article written by Ron Devlin, columnist at the Reading for the article; or you can contact him yourself for the article. If the Levan descendants want to save this 272 year old relic of their ancestor, it’s going to have to be done now.

    • Greetings!

      Just this past Thursday, a realtor friend of mine and I were able to look inside this building. It pains me to see what I saw, but it made me all the more determined to see that it gets saved and I’d love to help.

      My email address is jamesracheld@gmail.com

    • I am a descendant of Isaac Levan and would like to help save the building if we can. I ate there in 2000 with my aunt, sister and cousin, all Levan descendants. It was a special experience. It’s so sad to see the building unused and in such poor condition. y email is wdillen@att.net

    • Hi Clark. My name is Brandi Woodard and I just signed an agreement of sale to purchase this amazing property. I plan on bringing it back to life and would really appreciate any type of assistance in doing so. It appears alot of people would like to be involved and I could certainly use the help. I’ll begin fixing it up in January. Any ideas?

      • Hello, It is great to hear that you bought the property and have plans on restoring it! If you are in need of assistance in anyway, my wife and I will gladly help. Please contact us through our email at jtahls@hometownu.com

  6. Recently, I traced my ancestry back to Daniel and found an article on the Levan Tavern. Mr. Frederic was interviewed for the article and was trying to bring more attention to the old hotel in hopes of preserving it. I would like to speak to Mr. Frederic about the family history and perhaps meet him when I come to Kutztown to see the hotel. If this is posible, please email me. I look forward to receiving a response and meeting a distant LeVan relative.

    • Hi Gayle,

      I have not met Mr. Frederic, but have corresponded with him via email. Please give me your email address and I will give you his so you can contact him directly.

    • Hi Gayle. My name is Brandi Woodard and I just signed an agreement of sale to purchase this amazing property. I plan on bringing it back to life and would love to collect as much history about the building and family to have displayed in the main hall. If you could assist me, I would greatly appreciate it.

      • Hello Brandi,

        I am very happy to hear of your plans to bring the tavern “back to life”. What are your plans for the tavern? Unfortunately, I don’t have much information on the tavern other than what can be found on Tree Rings. I just pieced my genealogy to Daniel last year. I am sure you would do well to speak with Clark Frederic who seems to have a great deal of information on the LeVan family, including the tavern.

  7. Although I have been working on my genealogy for 50 years, which includes the Levan’s I certainly don’t consider myself an authority on the LeVan history. I have a site on Ancestry. Com which includes what I have gathered on the Levan’s; it is listed under the name of Frederic & I believe anyone can view it at no cost. Of the four Levan brother’s; Jacob, Isaac, Abraham & Daniel that settled in Berks County, Pa., I have discovered Jacob & Daniel are my 5th great-grandfather’s since Jacob’s son Jacob Jr. married Daniel’s daughter Catherine, which are my 4th great- grandparents. My current endeavor is trying to establish if Abraham might also be my 5th great-grandfather. One of Abraham’s daughter’s married a Reeser, from Maiden Creek Twp. & my grandfather Daniel Levan married Fanny Amanda Reeser, born in Maiden Creek Twp., confusing but intriguing. I enjoy finding new decedents & sharing and correcting what information I have. My e-mail address is reno392001@yahoo.com
    Clark Frederic

  8. My name is Elizabeth (Betty) Claire LeVan Campbell. I was raised with the knowledge of the LeVan family. My grandfather was Alfred Daniel LeVan, his father was Levi LeVan. I was thrilled to find these pictures, though much saddened to see how the hotel has deteriorated. I remember my Dad (Russell Levi) taking me there when I was very young. Would really like to be in touch with family members. The only one I am aware of is my first cousin, Doris June. My email is: song4m22@embarqmail.com.

    • Hello Elizabeth- My name is Stacey. My great-grandparents were George Bear and Catherine Le Van Bear. Catherine was the daughter of Levi and Susanna Le Van, therefore Catherine was the sister of Alfred. I have a few photos of the Le Vans which I shared on the Le Van across America Facebook page. I live in Delaware, an hour and a half from Allentown, but I visit family frequently. I’d love to meet and share information and stories. I have photos of Anna Le Van Ingham, Catherine and Alfred’s sister. I’d love to hear stories about her, I understand she was quite the character. In the photos she wears furs, holds cats and has a chauffeur driven convertible automobile.

      A few months ago, I was in Amsterdam and stood in the church where our 8th great-grandmother Marie De Beau Le Van is buried in the floor. The church has been there since the 1600’s but hardly anyone attends it anymore so it has become part of Amsterdam University and they hold chorus rehearsal there mainly. So that was a little sad, but just to be able to stand in the church that my 8th great-grandmother attended, was truly one of those moments not many people can experience.

      Please let me know if you have time to meet for lunch or tea?
      Stacey (Bear) Inglis

      • Hi Stacey,
        my name is LaRaine LeVan Rose and I descend from both Daniel and Jacob, brothers that came over on the William and Sarah. I have been doing research as of late and have located records of Daniel and one of his brothers, Francois, taking their mother to Amsterdam. Her name is Elisabeth Cochefer and she was buried in the Westerkirk Church crypt where they feel that Rembrandt is supposedly also buried. This particular church is open and active, so could you tell me the name and location of the church that Marie LeBeau is buried in and guide me as to the records that indicate that. Is it the Walloon Reformed Church?
        I also found records showing the LeBeau family going to Amsterdam, including Abraham, his wife, Jeanne Gueul, Isaac, Daniel, Isabel, and Marie; then Jacob came 2 years later.
        Abraham LeBeau looks to be the one that drew the family off to Germany. The records show Abraham, Jeanne, Isabel, and Jacob leaving the church for Germany at the same time…Daniel LeVent married Marie six weeks before the LeBeau’s left. Less than 2 years later Daniel and Marie left Amsterdam for Germany. That is where I lose track of them…until 1727 when their children are ready to go to America. They were located in Plankstadt, Germany. That’s where Jacob’s (se)Bastian was baptized and Daniel Jr. got married to his wife Elisabeth Wagner.
        Stacey, I would appreciate any feedback. The records for Leiden and Threadneedle Street in England have really revealed a lot. The name on the baptism of Abraham has a ‘t’ on the end. Susanne LeVent, listed as one of the witnesses is Daniel’s sister…the other is Susanne’s husband. The purest form of the surname that I found was —le Vent, then LeVant, Levandt—and a lot of slight variations. Apparently we ended up with LeVan because of the language barrier on the ship at the time.
        Sorry for the long email…I’m headed across country in a month and I had wanted to stop and see the inn…Apparently I’m too late. Any suggestions on other LeVan places to connect to while I’m in PA?
        I am happy to share my sources for the information listed above. My email is laralevan@aol.com

  9. Oh, my, Stacey – how I would love to – unfortunately, I live in Henderson, Nevada – so meeting for lunch, or tea, would be difficult. I haven’t been back East since 1977, before my husband died. My dad, Russell Levi LeVan, Alfred’s second son died in Florida at the age of well, three months shy of 91. Granpop’s first son, Harold, has been gone for a long time, but his daughter, Doris June, lives in Atlanta. Trying to figure this out – I think we are of the same generation. Great-Aunt Annie – oh, yes, she was a character, and I rode in her chauffer-driven car. It also had little vases beside the rear seat for small flowers. When my husband and I returned from living in Germany (post-war) we visited my Dad, then living in Norristown, and also went to visit Aunt Annie and Uncle Tom. When Uncle tom offered us a drink, we asked for a highball – Aunt Annie informed me that young ladies did not drink “hard” liqour in the afternoon, I could have a glass of sherry! Oh, yes! She was a character!! Wish I had known more of the history then – we were in Amsterdam, and I wish I could say that I visited Marie – it would have been memorable indeed.
    Please do contact me directly – my email is song4me2@embarqmail.com. I would love to hear from you.I know nothing at all about Levi and Susanna – have no memory of ever meeting them, neither does June who is a couple of years older than I am.
    I’m so tickled!
    Elizabeth (Betty) LeVan Campbell

  10. On June 7, 2012 LeVan’s Inn, aka, Kemp’s Hotel/Seasons Grill/Whispering Springs, was sold at sheriff’s sale for $43,400 to Robert N. Thomas, from what I could find out he is associated with a real estate Co. in Philadelphia, by the name of, The Pyramid Investment Group. Since the Hotel is listed as a National Historical site; I checked to see if there were any restrictions preventing it from being demolished, there is not.
    Clark Frederic

  11. Hello, LaRaine – I read the information you gave with great interest. You really have dug out a lot of information that goes back much further than anything I have seen before. I also see you are traveling across country and hope to visit the Inn while in Pa. That makes me wonder if you, like me, are from somewhere near the Wet coast. I live in a suburb of Las Vegas, Nv. It would be nice to feel that I have family “near” by. I am a descendant of Daniel, and still finding my roots digging deeper than I could ever have imagined.
    Have a wonderful day –

    • Elizabeth,
      I live in a small rural town NE of San Diego, California called Ramona. Ramona is noted for being the town that was on fire in 2007 and had to be completely evacuated…not fun, but we survived. My husband and I go to Las Vegas on occasion and I would love to meet you the next time we are over that way. I will use the above link to privately email you…LaRaine

  12. Dear LaRaine – I am amazed at the information you found about the Lebeau and Levan families’ european history. Could you share your sources with me? As I posted on the board, I am descended from Isaac Levan, one of the four brothers who settled in Pennsylvania. I was in Pennsylvania last month and located Abraham Levan’s house and the Levan Cemetery near Oley. I didn’t go up to the house so I don’t know if family members are welcome. The cemetery is visible behind the barn. I also located Isaac’s house in St. Lawrence, near the Schwarzwald Church and cemetery. The homestead is also occupied and posted, although I found a spot to get a fairly good photograph. I also visited the cemetery at the St. John’s UCC Church in Numidia where Levans from Columbia County are buried. I’d be glad to share photos. I am slowly posting them on Findagrave.

    Clark- I am happy to find someone with Maiden Creek connections. Isaac’s ggrandson, Daniel, moved to Maiden Creek. He was married to a Bieber, possibly Mary Bieber. Would you know anything about these folks?

    I am in Colorado, so if anyone is travelling from the west coast to Pennsylvania I’d be glad to meet you in Colorado Springs, Denver, or Pueblo, maybe even Fort Collins, for a meal or just a short break from your driving.

    Wendy Dillenschneider

    • Wendy,
      this is my personal opinion…plain and simple! When someone purchases land where there is a private cemetery, there should be easement rights and access for the family members. If that is too much for the new owners to deal with, then buy property elsewhere or include the relocation of the remains in the price of the transaction. From what I understand the Indians have sacred burial rights for their people during that era and so should we…LaRaine

  13. I’m sort of blown away here with all this new Levan information surfacing, The only variations I’ve ever seen for the Levan name is the use of the small or capital V. Any way this is major discovery if it can documented, very exciting! I would certainly love to know more. Even Rev. Coon & Morton Montgomery mentioned nothing in their writings on variants in the spelling of LeVan or Beau.
    My Maiden Creek connection is through Great grandmother, Fanny Amanda Levan, nee Reeser, born in Maiden Creek, married to Daniel M. Levan.
    Daniel M. Levan comes down the line from Jacob Jr., son of the pioneer, Jacob Sr. from Eagle Point, and his wife, first cousin, Catherine, daughter of Daniel Levan, builder of the Inn at Kutztown, aka, Kemp’s Hotel. The brother, Abraham Levan of Oley had daughters Elizabeth and Maria, who both married Reeser’s. From what I have found Marie moved to Albany Twp. And Elisabeth in Maiden Creek. I’ve been trying to connect Elizabeth Reeser (Levan) To Fanny Amanda Levan (Reeser) forever, with no luck. If I can it would give me three fifth generation great-grandfathers that were brothers. How weird is that.
    I’d love to see that photo of Isaac’s House

    • Clark,
      I will be arriving in Pennsylvania sometime this next week…we are driving out from California to Boston, MA. where my husband’s relatives live. I have emailed Ann Wagner and plan on calling her when I arrive. I absolutely WILL share with you my sources and I would also like to leave you a folder showing some of the documents I copied. I want ANY Descendant to have all the information I find because I feel that someone has a clue in old paperwork as to where the LeVan-LeBeau’s were in Germany without even realizing it. I also want my information challenged in order to keep it accurate.
      As for Abraham who was the first-born child of Daniel and Marie…he obviously was married before he got on the William and Sarah because he already had two daughters. If you look up their DOB you’ll notice that the one was extremely young when they boarded and considering the conditions, I wonder if Abraham’s wife survived the trip or died and was buried at sea.
      I don’t think I mentioned it to Wendy (above), but there was a naming process and where Sebastian LeVan was concerned it involved was seems to be his mother’s father or brother, both named (Se)Bastian Graff (Greaff?). Sebastian Graff was also on board the ship the William and Sarah and listed as 4 freights…the LeVan’s had 8 freights. This seems to be a large party considering children under a certain age were not included in the ‘freight’ count.
      Anyway, that’s where Sebastian Graff’s name also went through an “adjustment.” On the records of the passenger list in the comments is the word “creef” which obviously was this poor German trying to say his name….it turned into Graff. The name LeVant became LeVan because the French pronunciation has a silent “t”. If you look into the marriage records at the Berks County Historical Society site, you will find the record for Elizabeth marrying Sebastian Zimmerman and her last name is spelled LeVandt. From what I have researched that is the German influence on the LeVan name (dt). Also…on the LeBeau name, it needs the “Le” the same as the LeVan name from what I understand. On Daniel Jr’s wife’s last name, Wagner, the German’s put “in” just like the French put “ette” for the female. Did I confuse you yet? Anyway, maybe I can leave your folder with Ann Wagner or at the Berks County Historical Society with your name on it…LaRaine

  14. My Levans moved from Exeter (St. Lawrence) in Berks county to Roaring Creek, Columbia county. I am connected through my ggrandmother, Fayetta Levan < Joseph Levan + Maria Kaiser < Daniel Levan + Elizabeth Houck, who are buried in Numidia, Columbia county < Daniel Levan, born in Exeter and married a Bieber from Roaring Creek < Jacob Levan + Susannah Ludwig < Isaac Levan + Mary Margaret Ketsten. Does anyone else have Roaring Creek connections? I'm trying to find Daniel Levan's wife, —– Bieber.
    Clark, I'll post that picture as soon as I get it off the camera! Sorry, I got Maiden Creek and Roaring Creek mixed up. I'll keep my eye out for your Reeser connections.

  15. Good evening everyone.

    I am shocked and sickened at the demolition of the Zimmerman house which is less than 2 miles from the Seasons Grille/Kemp building. I just came back from a few days out of town and cannot believe what happened in just a matter of days with no public notice (if there was any it was a pittance).

    I’ve had some ideas about how to save the nearby Kemp building and now am very motivated to do something based on what I saw this evening. Clark Frederic of Maxatawny if you are still waging a war to save the Kemp building, please contact me through this blog site. My name is Holly & my ancestors lived in Maxatawny in the 1700’s and I’m ready to help save a building today.

    PS – Does anyone know if there is a watch list of historic homes and barns in our community? A centralized place in which one can go to post or learn about the status of a building so as to know if it is in jeopardy of being torn down?

    • Hi Holly. My name is Brandi Woodard and I recently signed an agreement of sale to purchase the Kemp Hotel property. I plan on restoring it to it’s former glory and would appreciate any and all help in accomplishing this project. As you know, it needs a tremendous amount of work and money to do so. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I also would love to collect as much history and pictures about the history to have displayed in the Main Hall. It was tragic what happened to the Zimmerman House and I can assure you nothing like that will happen to the Kemp Hotel.

      • Congratulations Brandi. I’m so happy to hear that the hotel will be going to someone with intentions of restoration. Please keep us posted on your progress. Will you be opening a restaurant or inn eventually? I have a facebook page dedicated to the hotel if you want to share information. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/SaveKempHotelLevanHouse. What kind of help are you looking for?

  16. Hello,
    It seems the loss of the Historic Zimmerman Plantation Home has stirred up interest in preserving what’s left of Maxatawny Townships historical sites, which gives me a glimmer of hope for Kemp’s. The hotel was sold at sheriff’s sale this past June & its future is not known at this time. The hotel is on the National Historical sites List, as a place of historical events; however that doesn’t restrict the owner from demolishing it. I have received some interest for an attempt to save the Hotel, but that has faded in time. It takes effort and dedication to accomplish something like this, & that’s hard to find.
    As I mentioned, the recent demolition of the Zimmerman Home did stir the nest, and one of the results I enclose for everyone’s information:

    UPDATE August 7, 2012: Cory Kegerise, the Eastern Pennsylvania Community Preservation Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, has been placed on the agenda of the September 5, 2012 Maxatawny Township Supervisors meeting to discuss the township’s proposed historic preservation ordinance, to which the Kutztown Area Historical Society has also pledged assistance. The Board of Supervisors may opt to discuss further and/or take action at its September 12 meeting.

    If you are interested in local preservation issues, please make every effort to attend these meetings, 7:30 p.m. at the Maxatawny Township municipal building, 127 Quarry Road, Kutztown (behind Burger King along Rt. 222 just west of the Long Lane intersection).

    If you are unable to attend, please help this effort by letting friends and family know about these meetings. If you are a resident of Maxatawny Township, you may also want to contact one of your Supervisors – Allen L. Leiby (Chair), David R. Hoffman (Vice-Chair), and Mel Fishburn – to voice your opinions and concerns.

    Best regards,

    Brendan Strasser
    Kutztown Area Historical Society

  17. Hello, LaRaine – How nice to hear from you – and, yes, I would love it if we could meet the next time you are in Vegas. I haven’t been to the San Diego area in years, but if I ever do again, I would surely want to visit you there. You can contact me at song4me2@embarqmail.com, or call (702) 236-6536.
    Hope your trip goes well – I saw that there is a statue (bust) of our ancestor, Sebastien LeVan in Kutztown – maybe you can find it while there.

    Be safe

  18. Hi LaRaine,
    Sounds very exciting, I’d just love to see what you’ve found, seems you’ve done a lot of research. I feel the same way as you do, I share everything I find with as many people I can. My Ancestry Web site has 5,880 names from my different family lines and is available to the public. I look forward to input, to my research, whether it be confirmation or corrections, This genealogy thing is basically finding bits and pieces than trying to figure out what fits together. I’ve found a lot of Information that conflicts with one another, I just set it aside, but I never discard it. You just never know. As for the spelling of names goes, on the Kutztown cemeteries Graeff, Greaff, Groff, & Schwoyer, Schweyer, Sweyer and the list goes on. I’ve took into consideration the naming practices also, but different families followed different rules. It seems the Levans were very fond of Jacob, Daniel, John and Abraham which can be found in almost every generation, however Sebastian not so much; where that came from I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing what you have found. Very exciting! Have a safe and enjoyable trip across the country.
    P.S. I don’t know where that name came from either!

  19. I just found this site and article about the Kemp Hotel. I wasn’t born in this area and not related to the family but am very interested in historic preservation. After the Zimmerman House tragedy, I would like to help any way I can with saving other Berks historic sites. I live in Greenwich township. What happened at the meeting at the township building on Sep. 5? I’m sorry I didn’t discover this article until today or I would have been there. You can reach me at pink_cadillac@verizon.net . I don’t want to see anymore properties ruthlessly torn down without regard like the Zimmerman house. I have to drive by that corner almost ever day and am saddened by that empty lot looking back.


  20. I am in the process of creating a facebook page for the Kemp Hotel (Levan House) to try to create more interest in saving the house and a provide a place to go for people concerned about preserving the historical properties of Maxatawny and the surrounding areas. Is it okay if I borrow some of your wonderful pictures of the house?

  21. Sebastian Zimmerman is my 6th grandfather he married Anna Elizabeth LeVan. They property they owned was in part the land on the corner of Long Lane and Rt. 222 in Maxatawny. Recently the home of Isaac and Mary Zimmerman (built in 1816) was demolished. Sebastian and Anna were married on 13 Dec. 1782. Sebastian passed away in 1834 Sebastian died in 1776. Their farm was known as the Plantation.

  22. The Maxatawny Township Supervisors are doing what they can to preserve some of the areas ancient buildings. They have formed the frame work for a Historical preservation commission in an advisory position to the board. Any resident of Maxatawny Township can volunteer to be a member by contacting the Township.

  23. I’m so happy to hear that something is getting started – not much I can do from so far away – and at 84 years I don’t travel much anymore. Ordred a co0y of the LeVan book, and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.. My Dad had a copy – I grew up on it. I believe that my Grandpop’s sister, Annie, had a lot to do with financing it. Would love to see Kemp’s preserved – my Dad took me there when I was very little – I have a very clear memory of the springhouse. Appreciate any contact with my “family”.

  24. Hello Brandi Woodard,
    I read your correspondence about the Levan/Kemp Inn and would attempt to do whatever I can, to assist you. I have some fairly accurate history of the Inn and an idea that may prove helpful. Would you contact me at reno392001@yahoo.com
    Clark Frederic

  25. Hello Brandi,
    I just recieved an article from my mother in Topton about you purchasing the old Kemp’s Hotel to restore it. I was really happy to see this. It is sad that the Hotel had to be let go like it was. Born myself in Allentown, PA., I was named after the late Luther Kemp in 1953. Living in CA. most of my life the old Hotel still holds many good memories. It would always be our place to eat when we would visit. Verna made the best Crab Cakes in the territory along with Steamed Clams & Lobster, served with lightly browned butter. We always left happy campers. I hope to get back there again sometime soon & see the old place full of life again.
    Luther (Butch) George

  26. I just found out that I am a direct descendant of Daniel Levan – my great grandmother was Emma Levan and from what i can tell, I am the first in all those generations to be born outside of Berks County, though I lived there for some years. It will be interesting to follow the restoration of that building.

  27. Jacob Levan and Susanna Ludwig were my 4th great-grandparents through their daughter Margaret Levan. After I spent this morning typing up a transcript of a genealogy trip my sister and I took to Berks County in 1996, I was interested to see what the status was of the old Levan Tavern/Kemp Hotel. I found this website about the Levan Tavern by doing a Google search. We were so happy in 1996 to find it open as a restaurant and had dinner there (then called Whispering Springs Inn). This definitely is a place that needs to be preserved. I will be checking in to see what I can do to participate.
    Margaret Dries

  28. My wife and recently relocated from Texas to Maryland. One of the first places we visited was the Kemp/Levan House. It was a great afternoon.

    Thanks for posting the pics and providing a status update.

  29. Wow! Thank you for posting this! It was great to read about the Kemp/Levan House. I am related to two of the Levan Brothers who came from Holland, Daniel and Issac. It’s great to know this place is being preserved!

  30. I’m a Kutztown Grad and descendant of Sebastian Levan – I just found out I once applied for a part time job at my ancestors Tavern! Thank you so much for this information!

  31. I have a copy of the book mentioned here. This is the first time I have seen a picture of the tavern. I hope the new owners can restore the building. I would love to visit it sometime.

  32. I’m another Levan descendant (somewhere in the family!) thrilled to find so much information about this place with so much historical and family significance! It saddens me to see it on the market. I hope someone has the means and opportunity to save such a wonderful piece of American history.

  33. I am a direct descendant of Daniel LeVan. Very interested in any directions to the home. Also I understand there is a private cemetery near by that I would like to visit.

  34. My grandfather was Robert Henry Levan. His father was Aaron and his mom was Lillian. Aaron’s parents were George William and Fianna. Lillian Eleanor Kline’s parents were Henry and Angelline Kline. Jacob Levan ans Anna Maria Graff were my may greats. Jacob Jr. and Susanna(Schweyer), along with Anna Kutz, and Anna Elizabeth Kempf, and John Kuts are my grandparents as well. I have done so much research and my Uncle has given me some pictures of the Levans and Klines. I love learning baout my ancestry and so does my son.

    • My 4th G, Grandfather was also Jacob Jr. of which I have done much research; however my records indicate Jacob Jr., son of the pioneer Jacob, was married to Catharine Levan, his first cousin, the daughter of Daniel Levan. Their son John was married to Susanna (Schweyer) I live 6 miles from Daniel Levan’s aka, Kemp’s hotel which is still in very nice shape. I’d like very much hearing from you; we may be able to verify records.
      Clark Frederic reno392001@yahoo.com

  35. I am also a descended of Daniel LeVan. He is my 6th great grandfather. Came from Amsterdam to Pennsylvania on September 18, 1727. My mother has more extensive genealogy research kept by the family for generations.
    Thanks for the photos & information

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