Haines Street

George Clarence Johnson, Pictorial Germantown Road and the Vicinity & Some of Its Inhabitants, pp. 88-90
Germantown Historical Society: Photo Scrapbook 2 (1)

Images include a photograph of the Regers' house, a woodcut of the First Methodist Church, portraits of Dorothy and Jacob Reger and of Jacob Ployd. The typewritten text includes:


"McNeill's Grocery store stood at the S.E. cor. Haines & Gtn. Rd. Next to the corner in 1867 stood an old story & a half house with a hip roof that has been a candy store nearly a century; it was in this old building that Jos. Parker first started in business and in this little building that CRICKET GOODS were first sold in this Country.
Next door below, in the building occupied by Geo. Bockius, as a feed store, there had been a blacksmith shop located here for more than 125 years. Henry Bruner's grandfather was there during the Revolutionary War.
Where the Y.M.C.A. Hall stands, (not there in 1942) was formerly the First Presbyterian Church. The property was purchased in 1811 for 800 pounds plus 100 of cabbages, to compensate Mrs. Deweiler's loss for vegetables growing in the garden. THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was dedicated in 1812. Baltus Black was just below the Y.M.C.A. building.


"At the corner of Haines St & Township Line was a delightful old farm, for many years it was the property of Abraham Kulp (still standing in 1901) Mansion quite ancient.
The Smith-Ployd Farm was the big farm opposite..known as the John Smith farm. It extended from Haines St to what became High St., thence to Pastorius's Meadow (Magnolia St.). Opposite Engle St....was quite a mountain of sand & stone. John Smith owned this grand old farm & lived at the corner of Main & Rittenhouse Sts. & at his death the corner was bought by Daniel L. Keyser. An offer of $6000 was made to the executor, Mr. Rittenhouse, for the Haines St. farm, but was refused, later it was sold at auction for $3000 to Jacob Ployd; Mrs. Ployd being a relative of Mr. Smith, little money was required.
Ployd opened up Morton & Mechanic Sts.
The venerable Jos. Shriver, who owned what was better known as Ployd farm, now Baynton St. Peter Shriver Sr. lived for many years opposite the Methodist Parsonage."

"THE OLD METHODIST CHURCH. (built on the site of Lister's Auction House)

"The venerable Robert Thomas, the walking 'encyclopedia,' has given to the world a true history of this old church. And the Rev. Dr. Frank P. Parkin has followed with a delightful sketch of the same...The old church was part of Haines St., had old lard oil lamps, etc. The little infant school building which, until recent years stood on Haines St. near Main St., was the first Methodist Church erected in Germantown; it being built in 1803...Jacob Reger donated 60 ft of his land on Haines St..
"As the church flourished it became necessary to build a larger church in 1823. Ground enough for a church and graveyard was purchased farther back on the street, and a one story stone church was erected. This church contained big galleries. This church greatly flourished & numerous alterations were made to the building. The Rev. Jas Cunningham, the pastor rolled up his sleeves & with hatchet & saw assisted in the improvements. The church was always blessed with good singers..no instrument but the tuning fork...The middle seats were set apart for the females while the side seats & the 'amen corners' were used by the males...
"The old stone building becoming too small, was torn down in 1858, during the pastorate of Rev. Wm. Combs and a brick structure was erected. This church was discontinued in 1897, having outgrown its usefulness & became the property of the City for school purposes and the congregation moved to the new building called the Cathedral at Main & High Streets."


"They were married November 12, 1799, she was a member of St. Georges in Phila.
"The Regers were noted manufacturers of Vinegar, it was the best in this part of the country. Many prominent families of Germantown & elsewhere brought their apples to them to have the Regers make their vinegar. They also had a little grocery store, a one & a half story bldg at Gtn Rd below Pickius Lane. They were noted for their honest dealings..."


"He was the son of J. David and Susan Miller Ployd, and was born near the Fishers Mills in Germantown. His father died when he was a boy. In 1826 he married Susanna Shriver. He was one of the Pioneers of the Hat Making Industry in Germantown, trading under the name of PLOYD & ELLIOTT, his place of business and residence was on East Haines Street. He was an ardent Methodist...82 years of age when he died.
"The story is told of Jacob Ployd,- he was the owner of a small house which he took in trade, and rented it to a young mechanic with a widowed mother. They lived in the cottage for a long time, but Jacob got no rent. He was too good-hearted to turn the widow out. Finally the son secured a more convenient cottage and left the landlord the 'pig,' together with a message telling him to go to the warm region. Jacob, in disgust, disposed of the property for less than the cost, saying that he was unfit to be a landlord."

"THE HAT MAKING INDUSTRY" from the Gtn. Independent, Nov. 14, 1902 article by Horace F. McCann

"When Pastorius came to 'German Town' with the original settlers, they brought here one of the best combinations of artisans that ever landed in America. They were hardy, industrious and skillful.. They were paper makers, type founders, weavers, tanners, coopers, shoemakers, hat makers and other tradesmen.
"About the year 1825 HAT MAKING was a flourishing industry in Germantown. There were at that time 4 hat shops which employed jointly about 100 hands. Jacob Green's shop was Main St. opposite what is now Collum. Jos. Green had a shop on Main St. below Armat St. John Schaeffer had a shop in the buildings now standing on Main St. opposite the Y.M.C.A. And John Bowman carried on the business on Main St. where Geo Weiss Coal Yard is located.
"Strikes were of frequent occurrence in those days between foul hatters and men who combined together for good wages. Pitched battles were frequent occurrence. At a public meeting of the journeymen hatters...Feb. 25, 1836 to form a association, Jacob Ployd was called to the Chair, & in the meeting of March 1836 Jacob Ployd was made Presidents...Owing to strikes, the introduction of labor saving machinery and 'wild cat' currency, the hat business began to decline in 1840 and with the panic of 1842, the hat business in Germantown closed to open no more; after occupying a prominent place here since 1683. The silk hat industry superseded the fur hat making in Phila., in 1843."

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