Located at the corner of Butler Pike and Norristown Road, the village of Three Tuns in Upper Dublin township derives its name from a tavern built at that intersection. The tavern, built in the mid-eighteenth century by Jacob Timanus, had three wine casks (also called “tuns”) on its sign. In 1803, John Collom began operating the Three Tuns Inn at the same location.
The inn was the center of public life in the village for many decades. Various meetings, including the first meeting of the Association for the Recovery of Stolen Horses, Detention of Horse Thieves, and Obtaining Other Stolen Property, were held there, as were the earliest court sessions in the township. The inn burned down in 1948.
Clement Jones built his store in 1834 across the street from the Three Tuns Inn,. It also served as the village’s post office, and it was the first home of the Union Library of Upper Dublin until the library moved into Ambler in 1888. This building was demolished in 1907 when Wilmer Atkinson bought the property for his new mansion. Atkinson was the publisher of the Farm Journal.
A humorous pair of portraits of Wilmer Atkinson from a booklet celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Farm Journal
Atkinson had been raised in Three Tuns and returned to the area after the success of the Farm Journal. He allowed the public free access to his large property and built a new post office for the community. He also bought the gained control of the corporation that owned and ran Butler Pike, and, according to Edward Hocker, was known to hand out boxes of strawberries at the toll gate. He died in 1920.