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Horses in Frankford

In 1900 there were 51,000 horses in Philadelphia.  I have always wondered where they lived.  I’ve been passing this building for a long time and it just reminds me what a livery stable would have looked like in Frankford.  Anybody know anything about it?

It’s on Paul Street but this view is from Kinsey Street.


7 thoughts on “Horses in Frankford

  1. I doubt that’s a stable. It had a door up top with a post for a pulley, by which barrels and such could be hauled up easily for storage. That’s something I associate with small workshops or warehouses, not stables. But could be. What’s the actual address?

  2. Its kind of tacked on the back of a building on Paul opposite the entrance to the post office close to Kinsey. But you have to go around back to see what it looks like.

  3. Try using the interactive map viewer of the Greater Philadelphia Geohistory site at and choose the 1895 Bromley Philadelphia Atlas overlay but don’t choose any of the other overlays except for the current streets overlay. Navigate and zoom in on Paul and Kinsley. That map shows buildings of brick frame in red, wood frame in yellow and stables and sheds are also identified with a X. This may help identify what purpose the building was used for.

  4. It’s at the back of 4443 Paul Street, and fronts on a nameless alley that once separated the residences from the factory complex at the corner of Hedge and Oxford (now Kinsey), which in 1876 was the Quaker City Chandelier Company, in 1887 was owned by W.L. Dubois, and in 1910 and 1920 was the Alva Carpet and Rug Company. The building itself is not explained (“brick stable or shed” explains the key), but appears to have been built between 1900 and 1910, since those are the last atlas it does not appear in and the first atlas that it does, respectively.

    The fact that it was built at the back of a residence does suggest that it might have served as a stable.

  5. Overington mansion had a large barn on the property.

  6. […] in Frankford and thanks to Mike Finn, I can prove it.  As he suggested in a comment on a previous post, I went to and overlaid the 1895 Bromly atlas with the […]

  7. This was a nice read & fun.

    Not so long ago, there were several hose stables in Frankford, Bridesburg & Kensington.

    I noticed that they began to disappear in the 1960’s. I only noticed because I was a child in the 1950’s, then living with my grandparents on Tacony Street.

    By the 1970’s, there may have been only one or two Old Timers still left in our area – pulling a wagon by horse power. (You would rarely ever see two horses side by side – they were mostly single horse & wagon).

    There are still some stables up in Holmesburg – but I do not believe they were ever used for wagon horses; but were rental horses, for riding through Pennypack Park.

    Back in my past days (the 1950-1960’s), there were several die-hard old timers who drove the streets with their horse & wagon as hucksters of fruits & vegetables; as Milk Men, & sometimes even for for beer distribution.

    I kind of remember that beer delivery by horse was the first to disappear, horse drawn milk delivery was next to go. (They delivered beer to the original Cannon-Ball Tavern at the corner of Kennedy St. & Tacony St. I was not called the cannon-ball then. It had a Polish name).

    I still remember the horse & wagon of the Fish Monger. We would pet the horse and they would tell us to “watch out – she kicks.”

    And I remember all the flys buzzing around the smelly fish or biting the horse or that other type of fly, just waiting for a pile of – well you know.

    I don’t know why, but as kids, we always cracked up laughing when looking at all those fish eyes – and also really laughing hard when the horse let a big load go. One of us would push the other – to make them step into the pile.

    To me the smell of the fresh fish on ice was stronger than the smell of the manure left behind.

    I remember the ice delivery man (horse & wagon) delivering to Wally’s Tavern on the corner of Bridge & Jackson.

    By the way – Wally’s had livery stables behind the bar. Several of these places were converted to garages.

    If I take my camera – within one hour I will have several pictures of what were once horse stables in the Frankford or Bridesburg area.

    They are not that hard to identify.


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