Included in the newspaper clippings are text, a woodcut and a photograph. On p. 125 are two newsclippings with a woodcut (click here for a larger image) of the old toll house in front of the Potter house and row of stores (see also the Perkins Collection, volume 61D). And on p. 213 is an old photograph (from the collection of John Fanning Watson courtesy of Dr. Naaman H. Keyser; click here for a larger image) of the south west corner of this intersection, showing several 3 story houses as well as the tollgate hung from a post.
"Another row of old-time store buildings that is undergoing reconstruction is on the east side of Germantown avenue, opposite West Rittenhouse street. The father of the late Willim F. Potter built this row, in the sixties of the last century.
"The Potter family lived in a stone house south of the present Young Men's Christian Association building, and they owned the land almost ti East Rittenhouse street, then called Centre street.
"Next to the Potter house was a drug store, and in front of this store was the toll gate."
"As has been told in The Independent Gazette from week to week lately, numerous large building projects are under way in Germantown and the value of the new buildings to be erected this year will run into millions of dollars. In this connection it may be interesting to review what were considered unusual building projects in by-gone years.
"Philip R. Freas, in an editorial written in 1861, said that when he founded his paper here, in 1830, a new house had not beeen built in Germantown for fifteen years.
"In 1848 there was great building activity. One carpenter built thirty dwellings. In all, 228 houses were built in Germantown that year.
"The number of dwellings built during ensuing years was as follows: 1849, 173; 1850, 151; 1851, 123; 1852, 90; 1853, 175; 1855, 67."
"The Germantown and Perkiomen turnpike was finished in 1801, one of the toll gates was placed midway in the town, and the toll house was opposite West Rittenhouse Street. The last keeper was Enos Springer, who died in 1871, leaving considerable property. Springer Street was named after him. The gate was hung from a post on the southwest corner of Main and Rittenhouse Streets and this print is from a collection of John Fanning Watson, the Annalist. The house shown was built by John Smith on the site of an old house which was owned and occupied during the Revolution by his father, Peter Smith."
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