On the elevation in the valley above Topton, Pennsylvania, a small creek, formerly called Frog Creek, flows along the side of the mountain, through Mertztown, through Butz’s Valley below Ludwig’s Mill and finally empties into the “Little Lehigh”. In the stretch of land the this tiny creek traverses, is a small piece of meadowland that the Indians called the Loungue Swope, which early settlers of shortened to Longswamp.
Some of those early settlers came to the area between 1734 and 1735. Most were on their way from Oley and Goshenhoppen to find new land in the Lehigh Mountains, but several decided to stay in the fertile and ore rich area of Frog Creek. Even though the area was settled as early at 1734, it wasn’t until February of 1761 that a petition was presented to the Berks County Court asking “that the place called Longswamp be erected into a township”. The petition was subscribed to by twenty-six names, all in German script. A survey of the district was made of February 2, 1761 and was bounded an described as follows:
Beginning at the corner of Maxatawny township, in the Northampton County Line; thence along said township S.W. 1268 ps.; Thence along Rockland township, S. 34 E. 955 ps. and East 1262 ps.; thence along Hereford township, N.E. 610 ps.; thence along said county line N.W. 1840 ps. to the beginning; containing 13,935 acres.” It was in May of 1761 that the Court gave its consent and the township as erected.
Shortly after the township was established a man named John Keifer built several saw and grist mills in the area. In order to provide dwellings for his laborers and to provide a place to stay for the suppliers of his mills, Keifer also built a number of dwellings and an Inn in that part of the township that is now called Maple Grove.
The Inn, built ca. 1783, has had a long and vicarious history. For one thing, it is said that when Thomas Edison was conducting some of his experiments here in the East Penn Valley, he made his headquarters at “The Maple Grove.” On the other hand, an Indian was supposed to have been hung in the “common room” and another “guest” was supposed to have been murdered in a second floor closet. In any case, the ghosts of these two unfortunates still are repute to be haunting the Inn. We would like to welcome you to the Inn at Maple Grove and introduce you to a special friend of ours “Charlie”. Charlie, our resident ghost, is a friend to all who stop at the Inn and would like to guide you, and your guests, through an enjoyable and unforgettable evening filled with fine spirits and culinary delights.