The Sweet Root Inn, 2002

      Family History says that Bernard O'Neal built a Hotel in Chaneyville. (See Endnote.) In 2002 cousins Kenneth O'Neal, Bev Crowe and Dorothy & I went to find the Hotel. As we approached the old hotel we noticed that there was a family living in it and they were having a yard sale. Never one to be bashful I jumped out of my truck and walked up to the lady of the house and explained to her the purpose of the convoy of vehicles that had just pulled into her driveway. I explained that we were members of the O'Neal Genealogy Association and we were on expedition and searching out the haunts of our ancestors. I told her that my Great x 3 Grandfather's Brother had built this hotel in 1850 and asked if she would mind, since we had traveled so far, if we took a couple of photos. She replied that if it was her ancestors house she would not be happy to just take a couple of pictures, that she'd want to look inside, too. And then she asked if we'd like to come inside and look around. I thanked her and I could barely contain my excitement as I rushed back to the driveway to tell the others the good news. We all began grabbing our gear up and proceeding into the cabin. None of us were prepared, however, for the treat that lay inside.

     The original "Bar Room" of the Inn was still intact with a large oak bar spanning almost the entire length of the Bar Room. The Bar Room itself was incredible. It had to be a commodious 20 x 20 ft. square. (I still haven't figured out how they got such a large room into such a small cabin.) But the real treat, what astonished us most of all were the photos. Almost every inch of wall space in the Bar Room was filled with old photos. There were photos of old Chaneyville residents, homes, maps, you name it. We found a photo of Edward O'Neal's old household. It's gone now, but the family gave us directions to the site and told us that Edward's barn was still standing. By this time the residents had to think we were crazy. We were running around, babbling with excitement like little kids in a candy store, and all the while snapping photos like there was no tomorrow.

     Below are some additional photos from the 2002 visit.

*Note: We've always thought that Bernard built the Hotel in 1850. The current residents had done research on the deed and told us that the original cabin was built in 1838 by Thomas Chaney.. Bernard O'Neal then purchased the building from him in 1850 and added the Hotel or Inn portion of the structure.

The Sweetroot Inn is no more, January, 2004

I was deeply saddened today to learn of the demise of an historic O'Neal landmark in Chaneysville, Pennsylvania last Sunday night.
Below is an article sent to us by TOGA member Glenn Nave. It's from the Bedford Gazette.............
Fire destroys old Chaneysville Hotel

Six fire companies answered the alarm Sunday evening but were unable to save what was apparently the oldest building in Chaneysville. The log hotel was built in 1837, according to current owners Roger and Leila Trail. One person was living in a part of the hotel when the fire broke out; he escaped safely.

Hotel Fire
The morning after
Thanks to cousin Regina Williams for the above photos. Here's a link to her excellent website.

Below are a few additional photos I took in August, 2004.

I am attempting to locate the owner of the photos that hung in the Hotel lobby. Will let everyone know if & when I receive them.