Pennsylvania Tea Rooms

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Pennsylvania State Tea Room Gallery, in alphabetical order by name of city or town.

Contents

East Stroudsburg

Mt. Tom Tea Room on Route 209, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, postcard front, hand-tinted, circa 1920s. The Mt. Tom Tea Room, with its carefully lettered sign and rural setting, is a lovely example of the "roadside" tea rooms of the American Northeast that were built as add-ons to old farmhouses and offered luncheon service to adventurous motorists. In this photo you can clearly see the original farmhouse, the gabled addition where tea and meals would have been served in winter, and a second add-on, the screened summer porch tea room. The fresh paint, tidy barn, tool shed, and firewood pile show that this was in some measure a working farm as well as a tea room. I get a strong impression that a craftsmanlike husband built this showplace tea room for his wife.

Gettysburg

Blue Parrot Tea Room Foyer, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, postcard front, linen era
Blue Parrot Tea Room Foyer, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, postcard back, linen era
Blue Parrot Tea Room, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, interior, postcard front, linen era
Blue Parrot Tea Room, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, postcard front, exterior, linen era
Blue- Parrot Tea Room, James Gettys Hotel, and Blocher's Jewelry Store, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, postcard front, exterior, linen era
Blue Parrot Tea Room, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, postcard back, linen era. The same back is found on all of the Blue Parrot postcards.

Philadelphia

Wanamaker's Great Crystal Tea Room, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, interior, postcard front. This is one of the two large eateries with a claim to having been the first American department store tea room; the other is Marshall Field's in Chicago, Illinois. Neither of them are tea rooms in the traditional British or early American sense of the term, as they served thousands of customers at a time. In "The Stranger in the Cup," we learn that "Wanamaker’s Department Store in Philadelphia, which had opened in 1876, claimed that its Crystal Tea Room was the first [department store tea room], and well it may have been. Located on the 9th floor of the store, it was the largest dining room in Philadelphia, providing breakfast, luncheon, and afternoon tea for up to 1,400 people at a sitting. John Wanamaker was a devout Christian who supported the Temperance cause, so alcohol was not served there."
Wanamaker's Great Crystal Tea Room, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, interior, postcard back.
The Venture Tea Room and Art Shop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, RPPC postcard front, circa 1919. Blanche L. James was the proprietor of the Venture Tea Room and Art Shop at 255 South Camac Street from 1919 to 1925. That year, joined by two new partners, Corinne Meyers and Rose Kessler, she opened the Venture Bookshop, Gardens, and Tea Room one block north of this location, at 201 South Camac Street. For those who are curious, the drawing to the left of the beautiful lettering represents a group of lotus or water lily pods.

catherine yronwode
curator, historian, and docent
The Mystic Tea Room

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