The next time you drive through Kentucky Fried Chicken on Belair Road, try to imagine yourself in a stagecoach instead.
Nearly 200 years ago, that same piece of property was a bustling roadside hotel known as Bishop's Inn. The two-story, stone and stucco covered house was built by William Bishop in 1813. At the time, Belair Road was a busy thoroughfare that connected Baltimore City with Jerusalem Mill in Kingsville.
The inn was sold at public auction in 1845, most likely to a man named Joseph Brooks. In 1876, Dr. Abraham S. Baldwin purchased the house. That same year, a tollgate opened up on the nearby Baltimore and Jerusalem Turnpike, thus adding to the number of travellers who accepted the inn's hospitality. In 1908, both the inn and the tollhouse were purchased by the Goettner family.
In 1985, owner Howard S. Harple decided to sell the property to the KFC corporation. In spite of the Perry Hall Improvement Association's efforts to preserve the structure, the historic inn was demolished and the fast food franchise was soon built in its place.
Today the restaurant displays a painting of the inn and a commemorative plaque donated by the PHIA.
Information on the building's history was drawn from the book, Crossroads, The History of Perry Hall, Maryland, written by David Marks and published in 2001 by the Perry Hall Improvement Association.
Historic photos were provided by Loretta Kahl Rutkowski, a historian with the PHIA.