The year was 1832. America was still a young country, but it was already growing, with 24 states in the Union, and lots more to come. In the meantime, the nation’s commerce was in full swing, and the old town of Yardley was a stopping point for the farmers carrying their rich bounty down the Delaware River to Philadelphia’s Front Street Market. It was here, a stone’s throw from a covered bridge on Afton Avenue, that The White Swan Inn was built to accommodate overnight travelers. You didn’t have to disembark to enjoy what the inn had to offer; some of the boaters would simply sound a whistle, prompting the innkeeper to lower baskets of rum onto their barges! The White Swan was a popular spot for eating, drinking, and lodging until 1882, when Temperance reformers rescinded the tavern’s license. It survived as a cycler’s road house until a man named John J. Fitzgerald revitalized the inn, which remained successful through the first half of the twentieth century. Then, disaster struck with the flood of 1955, which killed 99 people in Bucks County, destroyed the covered bridge, and left nearly $1 billion (in today’s money) worth of damage in its wake. The White Swan never fully recovered, and finally closed in 1958. The dying swan came back to life as the Yardley Inn in 1979 and it is still going strong.