The house that now comprises Springport Inn was originally built by Joseph Van Buskirk in 1877. Essentially a self made man, Van Buskirk in his life furnished an illustration of what can be accomplished by an ambitious young man in American life. Left without a father at the age of 12, thrown largely upon his own resources when a lad of tender years, he came through the hopper of life with a record that many a man with a more auspicious beginning has failed to equal. Beginning as a wagon maker's apprentice, and with little educational advantages, by native talent, untiring industry and good business sagacity he worked his way steadily forward.
He was not only a good businessman but was a public spirited citizen, and every enterprise calculated to enhance the wellfare of the town found in him a ready and liberal patron. He became interested in various business projects that added materiality to the importance and prosperity of the township and county and was prompt to recognize and give his cordial support to whatever in his judgment tended to work to the advantage of the community in which he lived and labored.

When President Lincoln called for volunteers, he was among the first to respond. In 1862 he was commissioned as an officer, but was wounded and honorably discharged with a rank of captain after his horse was shot out from under him.