Red Hen (a family Restaurant)
old photos and reviews]
[TAVRO13 web site]
formerly Swedes Inn (Restaurant, Cafe & Bar)
aka Washington Tavern, aka Old Swedes Inn, aka The Ford Hotel
1301 Kings Highway, Swedesboro
Swedes Inn, now TAVRO13 - photograph taken September 2005 by Janice
thanks to Herbert Rambo, who informed me that the Old Swedes Inn [later
TAVRO13, and in 2020 The Red Hen] history goes back further than I originally
thought. He states "It was founded as Rambo Tavern in the early
18th century on land leased from Trinity (Old Swedes) Church."
According to its web site the original Swedes Inn, a traditional colonial
style building, was built in 1771. Originally licensed as a tavern in
1771, this beautiful building has changed hands and names many times
throughout the 1800's and 1900's. For many years this Inn was known
as the Washington Tavern.
This building is refered to it as a "dry goods
store" in the fall of 1800. It was licensed as a tavern in 1806.
George T. Ford became the proprietor between 1864-1869 when he rebuilt
and refitted it--and the hotel bore his name. His son, Harry T. Ford
was born in the hotel in 1872 and carried on his father's business.
Swedesboro, established in the 1600's by Swedish settlers,
is the home of many other local landmarks including the Trinity Episcopal
Church, the Stratton House and the Hatton House.
The Old Swedes Inn (now named SWEDES) is on the County
Register of Historical Landmarks and is listed on the map of historic
sites in Gloucester County.
The original structure is hand pegged construction
and features a fieldstone exterior (visible from the front door.) Other
historic items to look for are: the 100 year old hammered tin ceiling
in the dining room, and the mahogany mirror and original ceiling fans
in the porch. An art deco block glass bar with neon back lights dates
back to 1930's.
Mark Beltz bought the Inn in June 1979 after it had been closed for
35 years. He spend nearly a year renovated this building inside and
out. This labor of love resulted in the opening of the Old Swedes Inn
and Winery in September 1979. In March 2001, Mark revamped the dining
rooms to create a more contemporary look. Each room sports warm colors,
hardwood floors and artistically crafted accents that make fine dining
a casual and friendly experience.
When you visit, watch for the ghost of the inn. If you see
her, let me know!
In 2011 the inn was closed and put up for sale.
It was purchased by Constantine Tzitzifas, a Wenonah-based businessman.
After extensive renovations, the inn has been reopened as 'Tavro13'
and includes both a new look, and
(see disclaimer at bottom of page for use of these photographs)
all taken September 2005 by Janice Brown
2007 Photographs below showing new sidewalk cafe
All of these photographs are the personal property of the webmaster, Janice
Brown. They may NOT be used for any purpose without her express WRITTEN
permission. One exception, is that the current owners of the Swedes Inn
may use the photographs for any of their specific publications.
BRIEF FAMILY HISTORY
OF THE FORD FAMILY
George T. Ford, son of Thomas and Rebecca (Paul) Ford, was for many
years engaged in farming and butchering at Paulsboro, N.J. and later at
Swedesboro. Besides owning and operating the Ford Hotel, he was one of
the leading citizens, and he served as a member of the Board of Freeholders.
He died October 29, 1893 at the age of sixty-eight years. He was married
three times, his second wife, Elizabeth Miller being the mother of his
Children of George T. & Elizabeth (Miller) Ford:
1. Harry T. Ford, b. in the Ford Hotel January 20, 1872. He attended
local public schools, later became a pupil in Miss Halsey's private school
at Swedesboro and completed his education in Dixon College at Carlisle,
PA. On his return home he became his father's assistant in the hotel,
and also attended to the business of the farm. For a short time he conducted
a livery. He married September 19, 1894 to Wilhelmina C. Rode, a daughter
of William Rode of Swedesboro. They had one child, Helen Thompson FORD,
b. July 1898 in Swedesboro NJ. Henry Ford was a Republican, and belonged
to the Heptasophs fraternity.
2. Mary M. Ford, married 17 Nov 1892 to Dr. Oliver Grimshaw of
Swedesboro. Dr. Grimshaw was born in Woodstown NJ 18 Dec 1860, son of
Hugh and Rebecca (Pierson) Grimshaw. His grandfather (also named Hugh)
was born in England and moved to Gloucester County in the beginning of
the 19th century (from Pittsgrove, Salem Co.) locating at Mullica Hill,
but soon afterwards removing to Harrisonville. When Oliver was a year
old his parents became residents of Mullica Hill, where he attended the
local schools. In 1878 he began teaching, attending Hahnemann Medical
College in Philadelphia where he graduated in 1890. Following graduation
he moved to Swedesboro NJ. Oliver and Mary T. (Ford) Grimshaw had two
children, Marion (b May 1895) and Edith (b Oct 1897) and lived in Swedesboro
NJ. Dr. Grimshaw was a Republican, and a member of the board of education
of the Swedesboro district.
U.S. Census >
1860 United States Federal Census > New Jersey > Gloucester >
Augustus Sailer 28 M School Teacher 2000 NJ
Isabella Sailer 35 F NJ
George F. Ford 35 M Butcher 700/600 NJ
U.S. Census >
1870 United States Federal Census > New Jersey > Gloucester >
Ford George T. 44 M W Inn Keeper 3000/1000 NJ
Ford, Elizabeth 29 F W Keeping House NJ
Ford, John 32 M W Justice of the Peace NJ
U.S. Census >
1880 United States Federal Census > New Jersey > Gloucester >
Swedesborough > District 103
Ford, George T. W M 54 Hotel keeper NJ NJ NJ
Ford, Rebecca W F 78 mother keepting house NJ NJ NJ
Ford, Rebecca, W F 34 sister at home NJ NJ NJ
Ford, John W M 47 brother Justice of the Peace NJ NJ NJ
Ford, Mary W F 10 dau NJ NJ NJ
Ford, Harry, W M 8 son NJ NJ NJ
Hopkins, Julia W F 30 servant Ireland Ireland Ireland
1900 United States
Federal Census > New Jersey > Gloucester > Woolwich > District
Ford, Harry Head W M Jan 1871 29 Married 6 yrs NJ NJ NJ Hotel Proprietor
Ford, Wilmenia wife W F Oct 1875 24 married 6 yrs 1 ch 1 living NJ NJ
Ford, Helen J. dau W F July 1898 1 single NJ NJ NJ
Ford, John, uncle W M Dec 1836 63 single NJ NJ NJ Justice of the Peace
Ford, Rebecca Aunt W F Apr 1848 52 single NJ NJ NJ Housekeeper
U.S. Census >
1910 United States Federal Census > New Jersey > Gloucester >
Woolwich Twp > District 142
Ford, Harry T. Head M W 38 m1x 15 yrs NJ NJ NJ Farmer
Ford, Wilelminia C wife F W 34 m1x 15 yrs 1 ch 1 living NJ NJ NJ
Ford, Helen T. dau F W 11 single NJ NJ NJ
Green Charles servant M Black 27 m1x 2 yrs VA VA VA
Green Louise servant F Mulatto 20 m1x 2 yrs VA VA VA
1920 United States
Federal Census > New Jersey > Gloucester > Swedesboro >
Ford, Harry T. Head M W 47 Married NJ NJ NJ Keeper, boarding house
Ford, Wilhelmina wife F W 44 married NJ Germany NJ, Asst keeper, boarding