Peter and Hannah Kintner
Peter Kintner was born to Michael and Catherine Lamb Kintner in 1776 in Pennsylvania. He lived forty-three years in Pittsburgh, where he and his wife Hannah reared seven children. They moved their family to Corydon in 1819. They resided in a stone house on the south side of West Chestnut Street at the intersection of Oak, where the Indiana Utilities building stands today. Peter's brother, Jacob Kintner built "Cedar Glade", a fine brick residence on his plantation of several thousand acres on Big Indian Creek at the north edge of Corydon.
Peter was a dealer of leather - a saddle and harness maker - he also opened his two-story limestone home to travelers as the "Kintner House Tavern", later adding a red brick wing to the structure. Peter and Hannah also built a house next door around 1830, which each of their children used to set up housekeeping as they were married. That house stands directly behind the current Kintner House Inn and, along with the Inn, was renovated in 1986 by Kintner House, Inc.
The "Kintner House" which Peter and Hannah operated was quite successful. It was among the most popular establishments in Corydon at the time. Before their deaths, Peter and Hannah turned over management of the Kintner House to their son Jacob.
Jacob and Pamela Kintner
Jacob W. Kintner was the oldest child of Peter and Hannah Kintner, and nephew to Jacob Kintner of Cedar Glade. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1802 and came to Corydon with his parents in 1819. In October of 1831, he married Pamela Howard. He operated the successful Kintner House Tavern for his parents, which proved so popular, in 1841, he built a larger, more fashionable hotel in a more desirable location, across from the town square on the northwest corner of Capital Avenue and Beaver Streets.
The Kintner family was known for their hospitality and excellent fare. The new Kintner House was popular with travelers, and during the times when the Harrison County Court was in session, it was crowded to overflowing. Members of the bar from Louisville, New Albany, and other more distant places attended the court and lodged in the Kintner House.
It was in this Inn that General Morgan made his headquarters following the Battle of Corydon on July 9, 1863, and first learned of the Confederate's defeat at Gettysburg from Jacob's twenty-year old daughter, Sallie, a staunch Northerner. The hotel was also occupied occasionally by Josiah Lincoln, the uncle of Abraham Lincoln, who made his home in Harrison County, and is buried in Blue River Township.
In 1871, the Kintner House was destroyed by a fire which devastated the entire block from Cherry to Beaver Streets, including the county jail.
Jacob Kintner, who had become a widower upon Pamela's death in 1869, rebuilt the Kintner House in a new location, the site where it stands today at Capitol Avenue and Chestnut Street. He designed the new building to be made of brick, in a larger, more pretentious construction than the previous hotels. The three story building contained thirty-four rooms of which twenty-six were bedrooms on the second and third floors. The first floor was occupied by a parlor, dining room, kitchen, office, and storeroom. It took over a year to build, and Jacob opened the doors to the public in July, 1873. He operated the fashionable inn, which was regarded as the leading hotel in Harrison County, until his death in 1880. He left the Kintner House to his only surviving daughter, Miss Sallie Kintner.
Miss Sallie Kintner Jones
"Miss Sallie" as she was commonly known, had helped her parents in the operation of the Kintner House for many years, when she inherited the hotel upon her father's death. She was married in 1881 to Major William T. Jones, a prominent Corydon attorney, however, he died only eleven months after their marriage, and she remained a widow for the rest of her life. Her brother, Colonel William W. Kintner, managed the hotel for her until his death in 1896, though primarily in name. "Miss Sallie" managed the dining room and the hired help, and did so in a gracious and businesslike manner. She never tired in her efforts to make comfortable the guests of the hotel.
Miss Sallie continued to operate the hotel until her failing health would no longer allow her to do so. Efforts were made to entrust the management of the hotel to others, but they failed to operate it in the traditional manner of the Kintner family, and the hotel was closed to the public. Miss Sallie continued to live in an apartment on the second floor of the Kintner House until her death on August 23, 1922.
Kintner House Sold
In June, 1923, the Kintner House and adjoining lots were sold by the executor of Miss Sallie's will to Dr. G.B. Crowe, for the sum of $10,000. For the next sixty years, the building housed a wide variety of businesses. In addition to the doctor's office, there were sleeping rooms, a utility office, a watchmaking school, a beauty shop and an attorney's office.
The Inn Restored
The present-day owners, under the name of "Kintner House, Inc." bought the inn and in 1986 it was restored. All interior and exterior work was done according to federal standards, and the property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The restoration was a monumental task. A concrete addition was removed, the old front porch was replaced, and the old brick tuckpointed where necessary. Wherever possible, the orginal floors were restored, showing the original square-headed nails which were handmade by blacksmiths. After removing several layers of floor covering on the first and second floors, the original floors were found to be patterned with alternating boards of light chestnut and dark walnut woods. The balusters supporting the handrail of the sweeping staircase reveal the same pattern of intricately carved light and dark woods. The mantle in the parlor is original to the Kintner House.
All of the rooms were decorated and furnished with antiques and restorations, some even using pieces from the original hotel(s). The first and second floors give an overall impression of Victorian elegance, with carved walnut buffets and chairs, massive armoires, marble washstands, velvet and satin dressing stools, ornately carved bed frames, and bold patterned wallpaper. The third floor has a more rustic county theme, with handmade quilts covering brass, iron and wooden beds from the early 1800's. Throughout the Inn, the wooden floors gleam where not covered by subtlely shaded wool carpet or delicately patterned area rugs. Each of the 15 guest rooms is named after significant persons and events from Corydon and Harrison County's past, and a history is posted for each room.
The Kintner House Inn reopened its doors to the public on December 27, 1986 as a bed and breakfast and is operated today in the same traditions established by the Kintner family. Mary Jane Bridgwater, for whom the Innkeeper's room is named, served as Innkeeper from the time of the reopening until her recent retirement, and provided warmth and gracious hospitality to all. Dee Windell has replaced her as Innkeeper, followed by Dana Pool Pirtle, and they have continued in the same manner.