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We Took A Tour

It’s July 11, 2018 and the Plymouth Meeting Historical Society took a tour of 15 E. Germantown Pk. and the basement of 5 E. Germantown Pk., formerly The Country Store (run by Alice Ambler) and the Post Office. The Country Store and PO building is now owned by Ashford Wealth Advisors and Frank B.Weisz & Assoc. Rosie Soto, Attorney at Law, met us in the lobby of the Country Store/PO. In attendance were a few PMHS members: Diane, Mike and Adrien Boyle, Celine Childs, and Ellen Miramontes. Also attending was Barry Rauhauser, Exec. Dir. of the Historical Society of Montgomery County. PMHS gave Rosie a thank you gift of a wine glass with the PMHS logo on it, and a pack of beautiful pen and ink drawings on notecards, by artist Suzi Marinell from the PMHS.

The photos you will see were taken with a cell phone camera by Adrien Boyle. Adrien is a high school sophomore at Plymouth Whitemarsh HS.

Rosie took us to the basement of the Country Store/PO first. We entered through the only doorway, out back. She had heard that the underground RR had an entrance in the basement. We were eager to find some kind of evidence of this, but we did not. We did find what appeared to be a well in the ground, very nicely lined with flat stones, and in the ceiling above the well was a square hole to the first floor. We thought perhaps the well had a bucket from the upstairs for convenience sake. The basement had flooded out with recent storms and the water not only filled the well, but the entire basement up to the entrance. It looked like a typical basement from the 1700’s. The basement literally flooded to the entrance, even still, in these modern days. Whitemarsh was named for its very wet marshy land that looked white.

Next we went to 15 E. Germantown Pk. It is also currently owned by the same people as the Store/PO. Original owners were the Luckens family, late the Killmer family and then more recently by Jim and Elaine Weiler. They are waiting for the architects and engineers to complete their part of the rehab/renovation work on paper, to begin fixing up the property. From the street, looking at the house, on the left there is a formal door. To the right about 15 feet, is another less formal front door. We entered through the less formal front door. There was a living room with a fireplace on the right wall and another room to the left with what may be a closed up fireplace. There is an addition on the back of the house where the kitchen was. Next to the first fireplace is a closet where the rounded staircase to the basement was boarded up. Next to the closet is the continuation of the rounded staircase going upstairs. Upstairs there are 2 rooms and a bathroom with a ball and claw tub and old sink and toilet. Then the stairs go up to a third floor with 2 bedrooms. The layout of this house is either exactly the same or nearly the same as 21 E. Germantown Pk., as the Boyle family recently had a tour of that location. The addition on the back of the house closed in a couple of windows, which the then owners, made cabinets out of.The exterior slanted basement door was now enclosed and the kitchen cabinetry and sink/stove were placed next to. The slanted exterior door, now gone and flat flooring covered it, with a rope to pull the doors out of the floor. The formal door on the outside was actually the front of what seemed to once be an office. There are shadows on the wall marking where the heaters had been. It’s about an 8’ wide room, the whole length of the house. In the back were curtain rod holders and pipes indicating where a sink had been. The ceiling had what we would call skylights today, but were regular windows. About 6 or 8 windows in the ceiling let in the best light. We thought perhaps it was a doctor’s office or a tailor’s office where good lighting was needed. In the future, the “office” and kitchen will be removed, as they were not part of the original home. Although it would be nice to keep the “office” as a storage place.

It was a wonderful chance to see the building and be allowed to visit before it is altered! We are grateful to Rosie for letting us take our own tour of 15 E. Germantown. Pk. and letting us tour the basement of the The Country Store and Post Office today!


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