Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day Two: Leesport to Douglassville

Today is a long one for Todd as he travels from Leesport to Morlattan Village in Douglassville. One plus is that the Spot Locator, which failed yesterday, is working today. Why did it fail? WE HAVE NO CLUE!!! Darn the technology!

Regardless, when Todd hit the locator, he was in around the Leesport Fire Department---very odd for a paddler, don't you think?  Seems he was roaming by foot, but this very probably was while trying to get a phone signal.  Check out his earlier location by clicking here. We will post these links as we receive them, and can wonder what he's up to together. 

But back to the trek.... Big thanks to Leesport Lockhouse
Truly, no words can describe the incredible show of hospitality by the Leesport Lockhouse. This historic site has a strong, core group of dedicated volunteers who share and care for their facility. The Lockhouse is open the first Saturday of every month, so please consider a visit in 2011 to support this great group of hospitable people who volunteer long hours to protect our local heritage.

So to the Leesport Lockhouse Gang:  THANK YOU VERY MUCH for taking good care of Mr. Bauman!

Tonight's Destination: Mouns Jones House
Tonight Todd will sleep at yet another historic site, the Mouns Jones House. Built in 1716 and operated by the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County, this is the oldest documented dwelling in Berks County, and (assuming my notes are correct) is the same building where Washington once slept.... how cool is that???!!! 

I know for certain that Todd will post a photo of the building, but here is a historic image I found on the Historic Trust's website:

The building was built in 1716 by Swede Mounce Jones and his family and is is a two-and-a-half story sandstone structure containing two chimneys. The chimneys are said to be Swedish influence, but not the stonework. An interesting bit of info is that Swedes were typically known for log dwellings, so this structure shows the early Anglo-English and Quaker influence on the Swedish settlers. According to the Historic Preservation Trust's website, stone construction was only adopted after the mass immigration of English and Welsh Quakers during the late 1680s.

It's also something of a miracle the building is even standing. Mouns Jones House is one of the few river properties to survive the 1850 flood of the Schuylkill River, and it suffered much flood damage throughout the 19th Century. By 1916, it was flooded regularly.

Minor improvements in the late 1930s (plaster on stone walls and the addition of slate shingle roof) no doubt helped, but in 1952, while workers were burning debris during the removal of the Douglassville Covered Bridge, the roof caught fire. In 1958, heavy snow caved the roof. By 1965 the building was in ruins when the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County began its three-year restoration project.

There is a WEALTH of information on the Historic and Preservation Trust of Berks County Website, and this post was compiled based heavily on this info, and any errors found here are the full fault of this blogger. I look forward to Todd's description of the inside and his adventures along the way.

Mary Linkevich
Mountain-to-Sea: Join the Journey!

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