Since the mid-18th century an establishment for public hospitality has existed here. The first building, of wood construction, was known as St. Patrick's Inn. Famous visitors included surveyors Mason and Dixon. The property was purchased by James S. Martin in 1847, and the core of the present structure was erected by him circa 1851. The new building was named The Deer Park Hotel.
The coming of the railroad to Newark resulted in an increased demand for hotel and tavern accommodations. In the last quarter of the 19th century the building was expanded and otherwise improved. During its colorful past the Deer Park has provided the community with an array of social spaces. In addition to offering refreshments and lodging, the Deer Park has been used at various times as a public meeting place, ballroom, polling place, barber shop, and women's seminary. It continues to serve as a popular gathering place for college students, faculty, and other townspeople. In 1982 the Deer Park Hotel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.