Lower Merion Historical Society

The Lower Merion Historical Society

« The Roberts Family Collection

Roberts Family Collection

Author: “P.L.A.” (Perry L. Anderson)
Title: An Outline of a Brief History of Lower Merion Township – – 1888
Place of Publication/Source: Original document
Date: 1888
Extent of Work/Condition: Merionethshire County, Wales, Wm. Penn tract of land – 40,000 acres – mostly in Lower Merion Township, Surveyor Holme (Thomas Holme), Wm. Sharlow & Wm. Wood, Oldmixor, immigrant of approx. 1703, Society of Friends, Benj. Humphrey, David Humphrey, commissioned as Justice of Peace, Nov. 22, 1738, Bryn Mawr, Roberts family, John Roberts of Llyn, County Carnarven, Balla (Bala) in Merionethshire, Pencoyd, Gainor Roberts, wife of John, daughter of Robert Pugh of Llyndedwy, near Bala, George B. Roberts, Hugh Roberts, preacher, Merion Meeting burial grounds, Robert Jones (a first purchaser, 1682, 500 acres, Edward Jones, Jonathan Jones of Wynnewood, Robert Owen, Griffith Llewellen, Morris and David Llewelen, Merion Meeting House built, 1695, on property previously owned by Joseph Ezra, list of 52 land owners in 1734, description of Lower Merion topography, Merion Square, Mill Creek, Balm Tavern, Rock Hollow Creek, William Kirk and Thomas Magee, Ashland Paper Mills, formerly Anthony Levering’s Mills, Cobbs Creek, Mrs. Martha G. Anderson, Haverford College Station, Fourteen first purchasers and acreage, First assess book found, 1785, John Roberts, Assessor, Benjamin Brook and Richard Tunis, assistant assessors, List of property owners of 1785 with acreage, List of L.M. residents owning property outside the Township, List of different professions or ‘callings’. Number of Industrial establishments, Number of horses and cows, Number of property owners in 1850, Number of negro slaves owned in 1785, only pleasure vehicle, a chair, owned by Wm. Stadelmen, ‘chair’ described on separate paper included, Assessment for 1887, Establisment of first roads, Haverford Road, Middle Ferry, Phila., Ford Road, Stone Bridge at Falls of the River Schuylkill, Friends from Gwynedd, Old Gulf Road, Tilly and Harriet ?, McClenachan Hill, Hugh Burgess, Roberts’ Grist Mill, Scheetz Paper Mill , Harriton Estate, Mrs. Naomi Morris, Charles Thomson, Valley Forge, King of Prussia, Phoenixville, Baptist Church, Thomas Simpson’s Estate, Milestones with 3 carved balls representing the 3 counties the old road traverssed( Philadelphia,Chester and Lancaster, Lewis Roberts, Young’s Hollow, Rees ap Edwards Ferry, Young’s Ford, Righter’s Ferry, Pencoyd Iron Works, Wisconsin Hotel (corner of Highland Ave. and Bala Ave.) , Ashland Paper Mill, Manayunk Bridge, 1767: Anthony Levering petitioned for road, Algernon Roberts, John Jones, Jacob Engle, Jacob Morris, Jacob Knor, Jacob Meyers, Wm. Miller, The first turnpnike: Lancaster, 1772 Asssembly members: Elliston Perbt (sp?), Henry Drinker, Jr., Owen Jones, Jr., Israel Whelan and Cadwallader Evans, Edward Hand, Paul Zantzinger, Mattias Shugh, Abraham Witmer, description of construction costs, tolls, etc., Philadelphia and Columbia Rail Road, 1823, first locomotive, Black Hawk, Pennsylvania Rail Road, White Hall, Market Street, Reading Rail Road, Belmont, Flat Rock Tunnel, Dec. 1839, Pres. (R.R.) Elisha Chauncey, Managers (of R.R.),Coleman Fisher, Wm. H. Keating,M.S. Richards, John A. Brown, Wm. T Essillin, Chas. P. Fox, Engineers: M. & W. Robinson, Schuylkill Navigation Company incorporated March 8, 1815, Pottsville, description of coal shipped by water to Reading, 1780 HOTELS: Three Tons (Green Tree) kept by David Briggs, Wm. Stadelman’s The Black Horse and Streeper’s General Wayne,Friends Meeting, Prince of Wales (tavern), Dr. Jos. W. Anderson, Thos. Vaughan, Charles Halberstadt, The Flag (tavern), St. Charles Barromeo, Mr. Torbert, Philip Erickbaum, Reece Harry, Geo. McClenachan, The Wm. Penn (tavern), N.P. Shortridge, The Seven Stars (tavern), Chas. Keyler, A.L. Snowden, The Red Lion (tavern), The Balm (tavern), Henderson’s Store, Righter’s The D(?)rove, Gulf Hill, D. Stachen, Mathias Walker, Merion Square (tavern), The Ashland House (homestead of Anthony Levering), James Bradley, Saml Metzler, S.H. Rudolph, White Hall, Jacob Castner, Chas. Ausher, Tow Path Bridge, Pencoyd, Aaron Wirth, The Continental (tavern), Fritz Mirble, The Penwyd tun, Michael W. Monaghan, The Iron Works, Michael Murphy, The Wisconsin Centennial State building, Mr. Simes of Philadelphia, D.A. Titlow, The Ardmore Hotel, Reuben G. Smith, Jno. Stilwagon, Abraham Streeper, Belmont Driving Park Hotel, Wm G. Lesher of Ardmore, The Flat Rock Hotel.
Series Title/Volume:
Collection: Roberts
Notes/Abstract: FRESHETS: (Overflowing of a stream or river). First record of Schuylkill overflowing discovered by author: February 1733. Second record: Feb. 3, 1737. Another occurred in the Fall of 1839, called the Pumpkin Freshet Third: The freshet of October 1869 (carried off the Manayunk Bridge). Also, the winter of ’72 (not too destructive) ELECTION DISTRICTS: Previous to Revolution the polling place was the Inn opposite the State House in Phila. In 1778, elections held in public house of Jacob Coleman in Germantown. Act of Assembly of Sept. 17th, 1785 changed polling place to Court House in Norristown. March 31, 1866 , when L.M. Township became separate district polling polling was at Merion Square Hotel, then later, another in Bryn Mawr as population increased. Then, for Lower East district, the private house of John Winchester added. Another was added in Ardmore, making 5 districts total to handle voting population of about 1400. OLD BUILDINGS: Friends Meeting and Owen Jones’ house, both 1695. House owned by Croft (1888) at Mill Creek and dwelling on estate of Jos. Ezra, built by Griffith Llewellin, both in 1750. Part of Gen’l Wayne Hotel and Black Horse Hotel both antedate the Revolution, also, part of the house owned by Dr. Jos. W. Anderson at Ardmore and the Green Tree Hotel on Gulf Rd. (predate Rev.). Part of house occupied (1888) by S. N. Rudolph was built by A. Levering early in 17th C., house near entrance of West Hill cemetery owned by Theodor(?) Ott and farmhouse of A.S. Roberts. FERRIES: First, nearest mouth of river was Penrose Ferry established in 18??. The next was Grey’s Ferry. FORDS: Earliest ford was below Falls Bridge, next near Peter Righter’s Ferry (Pencoyd). Next was opposite Manayunk with landing place between Harding’s Paper Mill and Campbell’s Cotton Mill (known as Levering’s Ford). Another was opposite the Pulp Work and was known as Mary Water’s Ford and the next was near mouth of Mill Creek, known as Hagy’s Ford, the next was opposite Lafayette and was known as Young’s Ford. The last, at boundary of Township, was Matson’s Ford. FISHERIES: The premier fisherman of the area was Godfrey Shrank. Fish known in Schuylkill were: shad, catfish, perch, rockfish. (Episcopal minister, Rev. Dr. Smith, first provost of Penna. College, commented on fishing on the Sabbath). First fishery in L.M. Twp. was at Pencoyd, fijshermen: Tobias and Wm. Miller, next up the stream was owned by Benjamin and Michael Tibben, next was operated by Abraham Levering Bickings, Hagys Fishery at Flat Rock Dam was next, Robert’s was last in Twp. (Discussion of zig zag breastworks in river to aid fishermen and the ensuing problems.) Those in charge of clearing the stream: David Rittenhouse, Lindsey Cruts (?), Anthony Levering and John Jones. Marius Hulings tells of running aground, Jonas Jones, also. Discussion of construction of canoes for transporting goods. Mention of letter from Wm. Penn to Wm. Savell in England telling of canoe made of poplar log. Mention of railways cutting into business of hauling goods. STORES: Store kept by Jacob Castner(?) in the house where Edw’d Harvey died on Old Lancaster Road. (House torn down by Wm. S ?. Godfrey now living on the property. In house occupied by Jos. A. Hollands family John L ? and Joh S. kept a store. Store now (1888) kept by Isaac Corman (?) was store early in 17th C. CEMETERIES: The 2nd oldest is the Lutheran Church Cemetery in Ardmore. List of grave stones, names and dates. Also, mention of a Max Hugo Hoehne, born Aug. 5, 1852 who came to America to improve his condition and was murdered near Elm Station P.R.R. on Oct. 16th 1876.
Call Number: R0101