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Fort Loudon Inn was home to Buchanan

January 27, 2009

FORT LOUDON, Pa. -- More than two centuries of local history went up in flames Tuesday morning with the fire at the Fort Loudon Inn, a fire in which a 19-month-old child died.

The main stone house was built in the 1790s and was used as an inn by cattle drovers, according to the inn's Web site. Through the years it has been known as Mansion House, Laurel Hotel and Vance's Inn, for Rosie Vance, who ran the inn from 1900 to 1946.

The inn was home in 1840 to James Buchanan, who was born in Cove Gap near Mercersburg, Pa., and was elected 15th president of the United States, the Web site stated.

The inn was a station along the Underground Railroad, according to the Web site. A group of slaves killed three men who found them hiding there, then escaped, leaving behind a dead infant, the Web site states.

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That incident gave rise to rumors that the hotel was haunted, according to the site.

Operated as a summer resort for many years, the rooms were converted to efficiency apartments in the 1960s.

The inn was purchased by Dick and Dawn Gogin in 2006, according to the site. The couple did extensive renovations to the building since the purchase, Dawn Gogin said.

-- Don Aines

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