21 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by rebows

Jacobs House Was Home to Prominent Pastor

It's not easy to spot, at the end of a long driveway off North Bacton Hill Road, but it does still stand.

Jacobs House Was Home to Prominent Pastor Jacobs House Was Home to Prominent Pastor Jacobs House Was Home to Prominent Pastor

Last week's historical photo challenge was a tough one. None of the commenters had the right answer. (Note for future reference—we've already featured the house at Route 352 and Route 30.)

The house featured last week is still standing at 75 North Bacton Hill Road near the western tip of East Whiteland Township. It's set back quite a bit from the road, but it can be seen from the road, as shown in the modern photos above. 

The East Whiteland Historical Commission supplied some of the history of the property:

The Jacobs family owned the property during the late 1700's and early 1800's.  Benjamin Jacobs - who signed paper currency that carried on the Revolutionary War -- owned it until his death in 1807.  It passed to his two sons, John P. and Samuel H., as tenants-in-common.  East Whiteland triennial tax records show that they constructed several buildings including an English Colonial stone house, springhouse, and stone barn by 1800.  Tax records also indicate that the Jacobs Brothers used the farm as an agricultural entrepreneurial enterprise with George Fetters and Rev. John Gemmil as tenant farmers.  A prominent member of the community, Rev. Gemmil was pastor of the United Great Valley and Charlestown Presbyterian churches.
After 1814, Samuel H. Jacobs released the property, in fee simple, to John P Jacobs.  John P dies in 1837.  Jonathan Jones is appointed as trustee by Orphan's court.  Land is then sold in 1838 to Thomas Norris.

As recently as 1979, when the photo was taken, there was a stable right next to the road to the left of the driveway as you look at it where the driveway to that big warehouse now is.

It's also worth noting that we called it Jacobs House for the purpose of the headline, not because it was described as such in any documentation provided for this article.

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