Among the distinguished members who have dined and conversed at the Inn were S. Weir Mitchell, the famed physician (who included Edith Wharton among his patients) and author of the best-selling Hugh Wynne: Free Quaker; Horace Howard Furness, the eminent 19th century Shakespearean scholar and brother of Frank Furness, architect; Owen Wister, author of the popular novel The Virginian, credited as the first “American western;” and John Luther Long, who created the beloved character “Madame Butterfly,” the basis for the play by David Belasco and Puccini’s famous opera.
More recent members have included Robert Montgomery Scott, president of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Academy of Music, the sociologist E. Digby Baltzell, and the novelist Barbara Rex. N.C. Wyeth, R. Tait McKenzie, Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover, George Gibbs, Wyncie King, Joe Greenberg, Joseph Brown, Thornton Oakley, A.B. Frost and Alfred Bendiner, among others, have represented the visual arts.
Guests lunching at the Inn today might find themselves sitting amidst a small, convivial group of poets, writers, scholars, journalists, editors and publishers. Or one might be sharing conversation with collectors and dealers in rare books, artists, sculptors, musicians, gardeners, curators and directors of some of the city’s museums, galleries, libraries and research institutes, medical and scientific professionals, literary-minded lawyers accomplished in literature, architects, and always a bon vivant or two. Several members are fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences or of the American Philosophical Society.
Active resident members who have been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1990 include Peter Binzen (journalist), William B. Carey (pediatrician, author), George Ross Fisher (surgeon, author, publisher), Theodore Friend (scholar of Islam, former president of Swarthmore College), Gregory Harvey (attorney, conservationist), Daniel Hoffman (poet, former Poet Laureate of the U.S.), Charlotte Phelps (economist), Nathan Sivin (author, editor, publisher), Seymour Toll (attorney, author), and Emily Mitchell Wallace (author, editor).