1861 Taylor Watercolor of J. Clement Stodor's Country Seat. Federal Street near 18th Street.

House supported by timbers while digging o...

This structure was located in an area of the County of Philadelphia that was primarily rural at the time that Taylor painted the watercolors. The text of the watercolor incorrectly identifies the structure as belonging to a J Clement Stodor, however the parcel in fact belonged to a John Clement Stocker. The term "country seat" referred to estates located outside of the city proper belonging to those of wealth. The 1860 Smedley Map indicates that there were only four, at great length from each other, in the area of the Stocker house. The date that the "seat" was erected is unknown.

When the land was first divided, it was located partly in the townships of Passyunk and Moyamensing. The land was subdivided as rural farmland or country estates, rather than city blocks, which might explain why this parcel is partitioned along diagonals rather than on a grid. The original Stocker land was bounded by the former Irish Tract Lane to the East, Penrose Ferry Road to the West, Ellsworth Street to the North, and Federal Street to the South. After incorporation, the plot became part of the 26th Ward in the City of Philadelphia. After Stocker's death, his widow and heirs subdivided the land into many smaller parcels and eventually sold all of the land by 1870.

Philadelphia as it appeared while it was the Capital of the United States, 1796 (Stocker property outlined in red box)

from Philadelphia in the Early Eighteen Hundreds by James H. Penniman. 1923.

1860 Smedley Map 26th Ward