GERMANS-TO-PHILA-L ArchivesArchiver > GERMANS-TO-PHILA > 2006-05 > 1148875644
From: "Eugene Stackhouse" <>
Subject: Market Square, Germantown
Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 00:07:24 -0400
"Germantown Crier", Vol. 28, No. 4, Fall 1976:
In 1701, Francis D. Pastorius, on behalf of the inhabitants of Germantown, petitioned William Penn for permission to operate a public market every sixth day of the week. There being no objection, James Logan, Penn's secretary, promptly granted permission under the Seal of Pennsylvania, specifying that the township could choose its own site.
A half-acre of land was purchased from James De LaPlaine, between School House Lane and Church Lane, on Germantown Road. Court records at the time state the land was to be used for a market place and a prison house.
Apparently the need for a prison and stocks was more pressing than the need for a market place. A contract for the prison was let immediately. A market house was not erected until 1741.
The site of the proposed market place was at first called "The Green." But after the market house was built it gradually came to be known as "Market Square."
The prison-made of stout logs-was built near the southeast corner of the square. The market house stood at the northwest corner.
Between market days, the market house served as a storage place for the ladders and other apparatus of the Middle Ward Fire Co., whose engine house adjoined the market shed.
In 1764, a series of Indian outbreaks in the vicinity of Lancaster aroused great hostility toward all Indians. A group of firey-tempered settlers from Paxton Township, in Lancaster County, set out to liquidate every Indian in the country.
A group of peaceful Indians, accompanied by a Moravian pastor, fled to Philadelphia for protection. Several hundred "Paxton Boys" almost caught up with them in Germantown.
However, a delegation of citizens led by Benjamin Franklin confronted the irate settlers and persuaded them to return home. As a last gesture of defiance the "Paxton Boys" took parting pot-shots at the gamecock surmounting the weathervane on the church in Market Square.
President Washington often strolled on the Square and up and down Main st. while he resided at Morris House during the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1793 and 1794.
The Washington's also attended Sunday services at the German Reformed Church across the square from the Morris House.
From "Profiles in History"
By courtesy of J. Malcolm Henderson
"Beer: The perfect food."
|Market Square, Germantown by "Eugene Stackhouse" <>|