Germantown Avenue at Rittenhouse St.

HSP: Campbell Collection (Compiled by Jane Campbell, circa 1900-1910), vol. 33:

The Germantown and Perkiomen turnpike was finished in 1801. Until the time the city took over the road in the early 1870's, a toll booth stood on Germantown road opposite Rittenhouse Street. From this location the last toll keeper, Enos Springer, not only collected tolls, but also sold everything from sleds and ladders to chickens and pigeons. The toll booth stood in front of a pharmacy in Potter Row. In 1809 the property belonged to the estate of Henry Beck; his son Baltus made leather breeches here. The old Potter-Beck home had a half-door and pent roof, but nineteenth-century additions to the front altered the original building into stores.

Across the street, on the southeast corner of Germantown and Rittenhouse stood blacksmith John Smith's three-story house. This house was built on the site of an older house owned and occupied during the Revolution by John Smith's father, Pennsylvania German Peter Smith. By the end of the nineteenth century, this house was owned by Keyser and the meadow to the rear had been built up solidly with houses facing West Rittenhouse Street.

All buildings since demolished.

Additional Sources:

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