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#21 [url]

Apr 30 12 5:59 PM

I do remember the stones, but, I can't get no satisfaction.  I'm not sure I knew they were from a demolished mansion. (If I'm thinking about the same stones, dark grey, smooth.) I do remember a large edifice on the grounds in the area you describe. Now you have me wondering if that was a replacement for the mansion you were referencing.

John Payne

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#22 [url]

Apr 30 12 10:31 PM

Could be the home of Henry Hill (see below). I don't have time to do a lot of research now, but this might be a lead (Source: http://frankfordgazette.com/wp1/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Old-Towns-Dist._whole_shrunk.pdf, accessed 1 May 2012):

 

The hill on which the Queen Lane Reservoir and the Woman's Medical College and Hospital stand was the campground of the Continental Army in 1777, and was seriously proposed as the site for the permanent Federal capital. It is said that parties of girl "invaders" were always stopped by scouts, and only released after they had punished a bowl of "sangaree." In 1890 the top of the hill was occupied by Philadelphia Schuetzen Park, now known as the Philadelphia Rifle Club, and located at 8th and Tabor road.


The gardens of the Dobson estate, on Abbotsford avenue, the southern rim of the hill, overlooking the city, are being retained as a part of the housing

development there-a result of the reluctance of the Dobson heirs to vacate. Washington's headquarters were in the "Plantation of Roxborough," the home of Henry Hill, patriot merchant and financier, who in 1780 rebuilt the house. It was renamed 'Carlton' by Cornelius Smith in 1840, and stands between Queen lane and modern Midvale avenue.

 

The new Penn Charter School is on West School House Lane, which was named for the Germantown Academy. 

Midvale avenue runs down from Queen


Lane Manor through


what was known as


Miffllin's Hollow, for Thomas Mifflin, who became governor


in 1790. Many of the streets crossing this avenue are named for former


mayors, including Stokley, Fox, Vaux, and Henry, the last-named being


carried on a concrete viaduct across the Wissahickon to lower Roxborough.


East Falls station,



on the Norristown branch of the Reading, overlooking


Midvale avenue, is so named to distinguish it from West Falls, a former stop


on the old line to Reading, on the other side of the river.

 

Catherine Manning Muir

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#23 [url]

May 1 12 1:07 AM

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I went to this site and zoomed in to the corner of McKean St. and W. Abbotsford Road. There is a path directly opposite McKean St., leading into the park and a big house between the path and Morris St. There is another big house further along, in the park, at the top of the T junction of Morris St and W. Apsley St. Don't know how old these houses are (maybe JL is familiar with them) but there was probably a house there earlier, with the entrance from Abbotsford Rd opposite McKean St.
I think the home of Henry Hill referred to my previous post was at Queen Lane and Wissahickon Ave. A typo-rich but very interesting account is to be found at http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/harold-donaldson-eberlein/the-colonial-homes-of-philadelphia-and-its-neighborhood-hci/page-17-the-colonial-homes-of-philadelphia-and-its-neighborhood-hci.shtml If you scroll down to 'CARLTON' an interesting narrative follows, including the reference to the 3 columns of women who marched upon upon the Army camp and nearly surrounded the troops before being distracted by a bowl of 'sangaree'!
Map data ©2012 Google Imagery ©2012 , DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency - Terms of Use
Map Data
Map data ©2012 Google Imagery ©2012 , DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency
Map data ©2012 Google Imagery ©2012 , DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency
I went to this site and zoomed in to the corner of McKean St. and W. Abbotsford Road. There is a path directly opposite McKean St., leading into the park and a big house between the path and Morris St. There is another big house further along, in the park, at the top of the T junction of Morris St and W. Apsley St. Don't know how old these houses are (maybe JL is familiar with them) but there was probably a house there earlier, with the entrance from Abbotsford Rd opposite McKean St.
I think the home of Henry Hill referred to my previous post was at Queen Lane and Wissahickon Ave. A typo-rich but very interesting account is to be found at http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/harold-donaldson-eberlein/the-colonial-homes-of-philadelphia-and-its-neighborhood-hci/page-17-the-colonial-homes-of-philadelphia-and-its-neighborhood-hci.shtml If you scroll down to 'CARLTON' an interesting narrative follows, including the reference to the 3 columns of women who marched upon upon the Army camp and nearly surrounded the troops before being distracted by a bowl of 'sangaree'!
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Map 

Catherine Manning Muir

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#24 [url]

May 1 12 1:11 AM

I posted a map of the McKean St./W. Abbotsford Rd. section of Fernhill Park. Very bad cut and paste, but it's the best I could manage under the limitations of this site. Those two houses along Morris St. look too new, but the fact that there is a path directly opposite McKean St. may be a clue to what used to be there. I'll try to do some more research. JL might know about those two houses in the photo. I vaguely remember them being there but don't know anything about them, other than someone connected with the park lived there.

Click on http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/harold-donaldson-eberlein/the-colonial-homes-of-philadelphia-and-its-neighborhood-hci/page-17-the-colonial-homes-of-philadelphia-and-its-neighborhood-hci.shtml and scroll down to 'CARLTON' for a very interesting narrative about Henry Hill's house at Indian Queen Lane and Wissahickon Ave.

Catherine Manning Muir

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#25 [url]

May 1 12 5:47 AM

No, not Henry Hill's house. Fern Hill was inside what is now Fernhill Park, with the entrance opposite where McKean Ave meets Abbotsford Ave. Different estate, different owners. See my later posts.

Catherine Manning Muir

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#26 [url]

May 1 12 1:35 PM


Yes John, sounds like they are the stones in Fern Hill Park I remember. 



 



Yes Catherine, I have a copy of “Germanopolis” printed in 1908 for the 225th Anniversary of the settlement of Germantown in which there is a photograph of “FERNHILL, Residence of Mrs. Thomas McKean, McKean Avenue.”  This house featured a large, tall square tower on its southeast side that would have overlooked the Delaware Valley.  Must have been a great view from up there.  It looks like the house stood where the tennis or basket ball (can’t remember which) courts are today with the old drive in front of the house remaining.  I’ll try to scan it for posting sometime.



 



This book has lots of great photographs, including the residence of Henry M. Steel on the 5000 block of McKean Avenue.  Demolished before we were kids the empty lot is what we called “The Old Lot”.  The Kern Dodge House when empty and demolished became, “The New Lot.”  When these were developed, the Smith House on Wissahickon became, “The New Old Lot.”



 



The carriage house of the Steel house stood in a hollow behind it close to the Kern Dodge House was still up when I was young. The “L” shaped hollow that led to the carriage house became the basement for the Hampshire House apartments that were built there.  The Steel house was next to the Mary Mapes Dodge house, still standing on the corner of Caliper and McKean.  In the photo of the Steel house you see the half circular drive, parts of which can still be seen near the sidewalk even today, and in 1908, a small pine tree in the middle of the half circle created by the drive.  I remember as a kid the entire drive was still there, and sometimes hiding under that pine tree in the 1950’s, which then had its lowest branches touching the ground. 



 



The Germannopolis also has a picture of Bill Tilden’s house he called “Overleigh”.  You can see where some decorative cornice work has been removed at some point.  I used to mow the lawn at that house which was also part of my first Bulletin route.



 



Catherine, funny you should mention Henry Hill’s estate Carlton.  I live in Henry Hill’s house in Society Hill as site manager.  Henry is a cousin, and his city house, only one of three free standing Federal Mansions built in town that is still standing, was later the home of my great, great, great grandfather Dr. Philip Syng Physick.



 



Where the reservoir on Queen Lane is today, was the site of Henry’s private racecourse.  He was known for his racing on what would later be named Race Street.  In the book I mentioned above is a photograph of Henry Hill’s house Carlton, then listed as “The residence of Robert S. Smith, Midvale Avenue”.  Found the picture on the web: http://lcpdams.librarycompany.org:8881/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=43386&local_base=GEN01



 



I am not sure about the Midvale Avenue address.  I seem to remember it as a kid and my father pointing to it as Henry Hill’s house, Carlton.  I remember it standing on the east side of Queen Lane between Fox and Wissahickon Avenue rather than Midvale.  The house I remember, which looks like the photo, was torn down in the late fifties to become the single story Gift Shop and warehouse that initially was used by the Episcopal Church for their storage needs. I must say though that the topography of the house in the photograph of 1908 does look more like it would have been of Midvale Avenue rather in the spot I remember which is a bit below the grade of Queen Lane.  I’ll have to look into this a bit more.



 



The 1908 book also has a great photo of the Richard Bennis House at Chew and Price Street.  It still stands today as a health center.  In the photograph, it is the only house in sight with woods that stretch back to Awbury Arboretum.  Lots of other great house in this book some of which still stand others I remember as a kid before they were demolished.



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#28 [url]

May 2 12 8:47 AM

Del, I envy you, living in such a wonderful, historic home. The house I would love to live in is Loudon Mansion in Logan Park. I used to play jacks on the steps when I was in primary school. It was built by Thomas Armat but suffered a fire in the 1990s, I think. While the exterior has been restored, I imagine the interior and the original furnishings must be a mess. So sad.

Catherine Manning Muir

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#30 [url]

May 20 12 5:28 AM


I see that Germantown has a number of events scheduled to celebrate Memorial Day this year, but no parade. I remember the Memorial Day parade down Germantown Ave being the event of the day back then. My grandfather lived on the corner of High and Baynton Streets. We would go there early in the day and watch the drum and bugle corps and other units from the VFW posts march up Baynton to the staging area (Washington Lane or Tulpehochen?). Then it was down to the Avenue to get a good seat to watch the actual parade. Anytime the flag went by the men took off their hats (and every man wore a hat in those days) and placed them over their hearts. We youngsters used our hands. You don’t see that very often nowadays.  

John Krause, St Vincent's '54; NE Catholic '58

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#31 [url]

May 20 12 3:43 PM

It was a great parade back in the day. I watched it across from Market Square. When the parade as we knew it dwindled out of existence, it continued for awhile in another form, with quick-stepping black bands instead of white. Same patriotic sentiment, but to a quicker beat.

Catherine Manning Muir

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#32 [url]

May 21 12 12:27 PM

Where was I? I do not remember any parades in G'town, ever. To me, parades were a downtown event, e.g., Christmas, Mummers; but I cannot recall ever seeing a parade in G'town. zzzzzzzzz

John Payne

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#34 [url]

May 21 12 4:44 PM

The first parade that I remember in Germantown was in the summer of 1950, I don’t know if it was on Memorial Day or the 4th of July. Some of the local kids were taken there by Judy Hollis’s mother (they lived in the Pio’s house before they moved to Glenside). Anyway I think Jim Howard and July Freeman were with us, we stood on the corner of Germantown Ave. in front of the Germantown Saving Bank and watched them march up from Chelten Ave. Seeing the marchers made such an impression and feeling in my whole soul that I remember it to this day.

Jack McHugh

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#35 [url]

May 21 12 8:57 PM

Every neighborhood had a Memorial Day parade, including Germantown. Today there is only two that I know of and that's in Bridesburg and Roxbrough. Let us all remember what Memorial Day is all about, the Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. God Bless them all who are buried here and overseas, say a prayer for them. Germantown Veteran

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#37 [url]

May 31 12 1:04 AM

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