500 Terry Francois Street, San Francisco, CA 94158 /
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About Ye Olde Trail Tavern and it's place in YS history
The original construction of Ye Olde Trail Tavern is of hand hewn logs in the lower rear portion of the building. Built by Elisha and son, William Mills in 1827 as a tavern, Mills Tavern. It was the only structure in Yellow Springs on route 68 at that time.
Yellow Springs, once known as Forrest Village was originally Shawnee land. Claimed after the defeat of the Shawnee in the furthest western fought battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Pickaway. The battle was fought on the lands of and surrounding what is now, Gen. George Rogers Clark Park near Springfield. After the war this part of Ohio became the Virginia Militia District under Gen. George Washington. After the war the higher ranked officers were able to buy parcels of land from the Government. Gen. Whiteman and Lewis Davis bought a large portion of land (approx. 200 acres) in the Yellow Springs area, of which the Mills family bought many acres that became the plotted and registered in 1853 'Yellow Springs' .
The area now known as Glen Helen began as a resort area, Lewis Davis built the very first tavern and was granted the first liquor licence in the area in 1805. It was added on to over the years by various owners as a hotel for visitors and then fell into the hands of William Neff of Cincinnati, a wealthy pork processor. He built the small hotel into a summer home for his guests and family eventually building it into a 200+ room palatial resort. It was outfitted with a state of the art kitchen, gas lighting, steam heat, six bowling allies, billiard tables, 125 stables with Kentucky horses, a dairy, laundry, orchards, a lake for boating and its own fire department! Visitors came from far and wide to take in the healing waters of the Yellow Spring.
In 1841 Franz Martin Hafner came to the Neff House Summer Resort via Cincinnati. He was a baker by trade, having trained in Baltimore (originally from Kell, Baden Germany). However, after Mr. Neff brought him to the resort he felt more at home being the gardener and caretaker. In 1843 Franz married Mary Ann Shrouf, a Yellow Springs native. In 1847 the Hafners bought lot number 19 with the log tavern still left on it, as well as lots 17,18, 20,21,30,31,& 32. Lots 17 & 18 are now Nipper's Corner and King's Yard. Lot 21 is now Tom's market which he sold in the 1860's to pay for a doctor's bill. Lot 20 is known as the King house that houses Asanda and Wildflower. Lots 31 & 32 are the parking lots behind the King's yard and 30 is now a private home. In 1847 after Hafner purchased the lot, he began moving the home he and Mary Ann had lived in on the Neff property. After building a limestone block cellar foundation they moved the home to meet the log tavern from the east/front of the building. After they situated the two buildings together, they cut through, which is why the odd step down to go to the back area and the odd stairs to go up to the old bathrooms.
The Hafner family raised four children in this home/establishment. Franz became a baker for the Y.S community and the Antioch College. He and his sons also became coal and brick purveyors, supplying the public school with coal for heat every winter for free. Franz was a proud and active member of the Yellow Springs community, he passed on New Year's Day in 1895.
In feburary of 1895, a restaurant moved into the building. Presumably the Hafners at this point lived in lot 20 at the brick home known as the King house; leaving only Mary Ann Hafner. The children, Frank, Charles, Mary Ellen and Clifford ( a female that has fallen out of the census records early) became prominent citizens in the area, Frank~a Doctor of dentistry, practiced in Springfield, he and his wife, Josephine lived at the victorian cottage on Dayton St. third from the corner on the north side after Walnut St. Charles, was a Doctor of Philosophy and gained quite the ornery reputation but was well known as a reliable character. Mary Ellen married