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Frankford’s Historic Properties

Do you know what is behind this sign?   Are you ready to take a guess?










1548 Adams Avenue

This just might be the oldest house in Philadelphia and it sits at 1548 Adams Avenue in Frankford.  See some of the history of the house below:

  • 2  story Stone rubble (Frankford Creek stone) house
  • 300 Sq perch property–1712
  • 10 Apr 1718 John Worrell, maltster and George Winter, yeoman ( Phila Deed book,V4 book F p 425)
  • House built somewhere between 1712 and 1718
  • 3 AUG 1728 owned by Paul Willmerton and his wife Catherine to Isaac Leech  (Phila. deed book 7 vol 4 pg 423)
  • 1744- Isaac Leech willed to Isaac Leech (son) and wife Sarah
  • 1785- Isaac Leech and wife Sarah to John Diehl

You can see by the sign that this property is in danger.  The Historical Society of Frankford’s newly formed Historic Property Committee has the intention to not only serve as a watch dog group for historic properties, but also to identify properties that could be nominated for the Phila. or National Register. The committee is in the process of documenting the existing properties of Frankford and taking photos. A brochure will be done with the help from Preservation Alliance (a grant) with some of the properties .

Frankford’s biggest asset is it’s intense and fascinating history!!! And we still have buildings to prove it.



6 thoughts on “Frankford’s Historic Properties

  1. Is this house for sale?

  2. This is the stuff that drew me to this neighborhood and I hope to see what’s left of this great history preserved. There are still many people who care, both young and old, about the history of Philadelphia. I plan on supporting the Historical Society, with the cooperation of Northwood and Frankford residents, in preserving these properties. There are people who have a vast knowledge of this area and enjoy talking about the history; now they get a chance to be a bigger part in allowing the next generation to appreciate it. My neighbor Debbie has told me much of what I know about this area, and it’s definitely an area of Philadelphia worth preserving. I hope Joe M will put his knowledge to work in a positive way because believe it or not a lot of people respect what he knows about this area and it’s history.

  3. I respect JM! I think he’s a gem. I like reading his works. Can’t wait to see what he has to say about the old mills in FKD.

  4. The Office of Property Assessment says it was sold for a dollar back in June of this year to Jimmy Cartagena and Hector X. Colon-Galarza, with the mailing address at the latter’s place at 3150 Weymouth Street in the 19134 zip code of Philly. (Port Richmond). They haven’t paid their taxes yet this year, but apart from that they’re current with their taxes.

    I knew it was early, but I didn’t know it was that early. I’m going to join that Committee if I can; we can really do some excellent stuff with Frankford’s amazing historical heritage, and I bet we could get an article in the Inquirer or Daily News.

  5. Many things are overlooked by people who were not local researchers.

    Why is the following advertisement important?

    April 4, 1771

    “PURSUANT to an order of Orphan Court, on Second day, the 15th of 4th month, called April, at 2 o’ in the afternoon, will be exposed to public vendue, on the premises, A certain frame messuage and lot or piece of ground, situate in Oxford township, in the county of Philadelphia; bounded by the great road leading from Philadelphia to Bristol, the road leading to Whitemarsh, commonly called Adamsroad, and lands of William Ashbridge, and the heirs of Isaac Pedrick, deceased; it is a pleasant situation for a tradesman or almost any public business. The conditions will be made known on the day and time of sale, by HANNAH PEDRICK, and WILLIAM ASHBRIDGE, Administrat.”

    BY Looking through the windows of that house one would have seen 8,000 men with fifteen pieces of artillery passing up the road.

    “Washington having heard that the British were about to evacuate Philadelphia detached Lafayette with about 2200 men and five guns on the 18th of May, 1778 on a reconnoissance, cautioning him against surprise. He marched from Valley Forge crossing at Swede’s Ford (Norristown) to Barren Hill, and took position near the church about eleven miles from Philadelphia …

    Generals Howe and Clinton learning that Lafayette was thus isolated from the main army, thought it an opportunity to wind up the Meschianza and bring Lafayette back to Philadelphia as a prisoner of war. …

    ‘So certain were they of success that they had invited a party of ladies and gentlemen to meet General Lafayette at an entertainment the next day. Admiral Lord Howe accompanied his brother as a volunteer. So the morning after the Meschianza one division of 8,000 men with fifteen pieces of artillery under General Grant moved by Frankford to White Marsh…’ ”

    “The road leading to Whitemarsh, commonly called Adamsroad” was important for other reasons; as it also leads to Fisher’s Lane which was known as “The Road to Germantown.”

    This was important to me in my research.

    David Salay writes: “The Frankford mill fell to the British when they entered Philadelphia in September 1777.”

    Angela Lakwete writes: “When the British occupied Philadelphia in September 1777, they took over the mill, and it was rumored that Eve cooperated.”

    Diane Valano writes: “On March 6, 1778, the Supreme Executive Council found Eve found guilty of treason for trading with the British, but he was allowed to leave the city when the British evacuated in Spring 1778, leaving his son Oswell Jr. in charge of the mill. However, on July 6, 1778, all his property, including the powder mills and 202 acres, were confiscated.”

    The British kept excellent records.

    8,000 men with fifteen pieces of artillery under General Grant travelled right past Oswell Eve’s and made no mention of it.

    There is no record of any Frankford Powder-Mill being occupied or destroyed by the British or by the Americans.

    All three authors have it wrong. Oswell Eve was never put on trial or found guilty of anything. The Mill disappeared just like Oswell Eve.

    Which sets the stage for a History Mystery.

    How did the Frankford Powder-Mill disappear from both the British & Americans between 1777 & 1778 and then re-appear after the British left – only to be confiscated and sold back to his son?

    But I have wandered too far – lets talk about the house.


  6. – Those signs are used when the house is used for drug dealing the police seal it – This house technically belongs to the city – The Frankford Historical group should push for ownership –

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