While we know relatively little about Banezet’s connections to Stephensburg, we do know more about the next owner of the Stone House, Peter Upp. Mr. Upp was a tavern keeper of German extraction and apparently used the Stone House for a while as the main building of his hospitality business. As we have already discussed, in Upp’s time taverns were not just for drinking alcoholic beverages and eating meals. They also offered sleeping accommodations for travelers as well as stable stalls, pasture and fodder for their horses.
In May of 1775 a young Princeton-trained Presbyterian preacher named Philip Vickers Fithian came to Stephensburg for the first time. He was visiting the area on a tour of the backcountry to find a post for himself as a minister. In his journal Fithian described Stephensburg as “A small Village—Well situated” with four taverns. As it appears from our research, Peter Upp ran the Stone House as one of these taverns. On 27 May 1775 Fithian recorded paying “at Peter Up’s” the amount of 4 shillings, 8 pence “for Oats &c” to feed his horse. It is possible that Upp kept Fithian’s horse in a corral behind the Stone House, on Lot 47 next door, or on one of the two five acre out lots he had purchased from Banezet. Unfortunately, none of the eighteenth-century outbuildings that once stood behind the Stone House, or behind the neighboring structure on Lot 47 survives. We hope that future archeology will reveal more of the remains of these outbuildings.
Structural evidence uncovered during our investigations of the Stone House and the dendrochronology study we conducted in 2013 revealed that the log addition to the north of the original stone structure was added in during the period that Peter Upp owned and operated it as a tavern. The felling dates for the logs of the first floor of the log side of the structure, and half way up the second floor were from the winter of 1785 through the spring of 1786.
In 1778 Upp purchased Lot 46 at the northeast corner of Main and Green Street where an old service station now stands. Thus, by 1782 he owned three lots in a row, and it is possible the members of his household were spread out in the other structures Upp owned on lots 47 and 46. Peter Upp began selling off his properties on Main Street in 1792. He sold the Stone House in October of 1793 to Niomi Hulford, who would own it until 1802.