MARY VAN LEER
GENERATION 8.8 – EIGHTH CHILD OF BERHARDHUS VAN LEER
Mary Van Leer married Moses Moore Dec. 4, 1783 at the 2nd Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA. She inherited the Blue Ball Tavern from her father Dr. Bernardhus Van Leer. The building is on Russell Road, immediately behind the parking lot of the Daylesford Station of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Daylesford is the station just east of Paoli, PA.
The Inn was passed onto her daughter Priscilla. (The “Vanleer Papers” at Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA give Harper’s Magazine 1888 as a reference that includes photos and history of the Blue Bell Tavern and other revolutionary period inns.)
The “Vanleer Papers” at Chester County Historical Society lists three children of Mary and Moses Moore–our Generation 9. The 3 children were:
9. Rebecca Moore, who married James Sloan.
9. Priscilla Moore, “Prissy,” who owned the Blue Ball Tavern. “Prissy” is still notorious in Tredyffrin Township. Their website [www.tredyffrin.org] reports that when rail travel began disrupting her tavern business, she fought back by greasing the rails with pig fat to stop trains from making the incline to Paoli.
Prissy married several times: first, Edward Robison; second, John Cahill; third, John Fisher.
According to local legends reported in the Tredyffrin Easttown History Club Quarterly October 1979, the building is now inhabited by ghosts. At least six skeletons have been found buried in a back room of the tavern. Three of them may be Prissy’s three husbands–all of whom mysteriously disappeared.
Residents have reported hearing the sounds of the opening and closing of bureau drawers on the upper floors as Prissy roams through the house looking for clean nightclothes in replace of her bloodstained ones.
Prissy is buried in the cemetery of the Great Valley Presbyterian Church. She lived to be 100 years old–born March 12, 1777 and died September 3, 1877.
9. Mary Moore, who married Abel Rees of the Reessville family.