Old Haines Street
Streets Box 1 envelope 2
Germantown Historical Society

One page includes two news articles dated 1901 and 1909.

Newsclipping from the Germantown Independent, 1901:

Recollections of Families That Lived on This Old Thoroughfare Many Years Ago.
Aunt Curry s Appetite
By Mr. Mosby

Prior to 1820 the venerable John Dettweiler owned the big farm situated on Haines street below the Methodist meeting house. Tiring of Germantown he sold the farm to Joseph Shriver. Joseph Shriver and family lived on Haines street until his death in 1829. Most of the old family were interred in the Mennonite graveyard. The farm was bought by his son-in-law, Jacob Ployd. The old log house near Hancock street, was utilized by the firm of Ployd, Elliott & Company as a fur hat factory.

Only one building of the Revolutionary era west of Hancock, now Baynton street, is still standing. Here all the Ployd family were born and raised. Previous to Mr. Ployd's death he sold what was left of the farm to Richard McCann. Most of the Ployd family have passed away, and the farm is now a town.

The venerable George D. Freas was among the first to build a home on the Ployd farm. Here he conducted a good business until his death... John Smith bought the Methodist parsonage, adjoining the meeting house...

Uncle Josey Brooker and family lived there for many years [Jno. Brooker's house is found on the 1871 Germantown Atlas, four doors east of the Methodist Church and four doors west of Jacob Ployd's property]. He conducted the coopering business opposite the Methodist meeting house, and for many years was master grave digger at the graveyard. Uncle Brooker filled the position of town clerk for upwards of twenty years, and, like most of the old residents, was satisfied to drink pump water and use lard oil and candles, keep a pig and dog and get ready for heaven.

Uncle Billy Bringhurst owned the house opposite Smith's, and at the front stood two large walnut trees. The boys of old Haines street imagined that they should have their share of the nuts, and, of course, there came a clash of arms...

Aunty Curry, one of the dearest old ladies in the land, lived just below the meeting house. She was good to all us boys and girls. She was a widow and her services as a handy worker were in demand washing and ironing..."

1909 news column "The Man on the Corner" about early Haines Street:

A member of one of the families dwelling along Haines street in Civil War times recalls:
"What is now East Haines street was originally Pickus lane, and later on Methodist lane. This old Revolutionary thoroughfare extended from Germantown road to the Old York road, and was part of the original Pastorius tract...

"For many years the tract contained a few old-time houses. It was well situated and was blessed with fine farms, with orchards, creeks, hills, etc.

"What a transformation now! The old thoroughfare is built up with fine homes, with lots of business places, schools, and even a few taverns where a weary pilgrim can stop and 'get one' (or more). The street is paved, well lighted, and has all the conveniences (except a jail)....

"During my late ramble through this old-time street, I looked for the old Smith-Ployd farm, which was bounded by Haines and High streets, and ran almost back to the Reading Railway. At the death of John Smith, who opened up the tract for building purposes. Mechanic and Morton street were opened and built upon. The big hills opposite Engle street [now Osceola St.] contained much stone and sand, and were bought of Uncle Ployd by 'Joe' Ladley, Charles Weiss and the Chestnut Hill Railroad Company, each securing a rare bargain. Now that old time farm is a veritable town.

"The old time Methodist laners were strictly honest, and of course everybody kept pigs, chickens, ducks, and made his own sauer kraut. Most of the old families attended the Methodist meeting..."


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