6140-56 Germantown Avenue
Aret Klinken's buildings

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Herman Isaacs Op den Graef and Aret Klinken were the first owners of this property. On the corner stood a log cabin, supposedly the first house William Penn entered in Germantown. It is said that in 1687 William Penn attended the raising dinner when Klinken built the first two-story house in Germantown on this property.

The old log cabin was for a long time the residence of an African-American shoemaker by the name of Anderson; his was one of the few black families living in Germantown prior to 1850. Keyser also identifies an old log house, one and a half stories high, but places it at the upper corner of Tulpehocken and Walnut at 6200 Germantown Avenue, stating that it was occupied at one time by a "very intelligent colored man and his wife, by the name of John and Lucy Douglass."

The 1687 two-story house stood quite far back from the street. It is said that this building was built of brick brought from England; in later days it was yellow-color washed and thought to be made of stone. Some also said that the brick was later used to build the Water Company office, but workmen refuted this claim when that office was torn down.

The property was in the hands of Aret Klinken and his descendents in the Johnson and Fallon families until 1852. Sometime between 1791 and 1823 Anthony Johnson built the house known as 6140 Germantown Ave for his son Klinken.

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