The Courtyard Inn
121-133 North Front Street, Rising Sun
A Row to Revive
The five buildings—four connected—that form the shuttered Courtyard Inn represent the earliest links to the Ohio River flatboat industry that put Rising Sun on the map. Shadrach Hathaway replaced his two-story log structure in 1827 with a brick building at the corner of Front and Fourth streets that he operated as a general store. In the 1830s, Pinckney James and Able C. Pepper constructed row houses adjacent to the mercantile, fillingout the block facing the river.
The early structures help establish the visual character of the town. For many years, the buildings operated as an inn and popular restaurant that contributed to the town’s resurgence. In the stone-walled basement, adapted as a bar and banquet room, a long-collapsed tunnel to the river served as an intriguing centerpiece. The inn closed and revitalization has stalled in Rising Sun. Most of the inn’s vacant buildings suffer accelerating deterioration.
The owner is selling all the property together. The landmarks need a preservation-minded buyer, or several. Sold separately, the structures could return to residential use, although many bemoan the loss of the restaurant and pub that was popular with locals, tourists and casino visitors alike.
Saving threatened buildings takes teamwork. You can be a part of that team. Reach out to local leaders. Let them know these buildings are important to you. And support state and local preservation groups.