Our Home's History:

Our house is located approximately 1 mile south of Phoenixville, in Charlestown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. It's really in the heart of an old and historic area of Chester County (about 7 miles west of Valley Forge National Park). The original name for the area was Aldham. Aldham was the name of the station stop on the Phoenixville & West Chester Railroad. The area had previously been known as Rees or Rees Mills.

Our house was built in 1855 by John Rees. In 1866 the home was purchased by George Jacobs, who turned it into the Jacobs General Store. George's son, Joseph Jacobs took over the home and general store in 1886. At that time there was a post office in Charlestown Village (~ 1/2 mile away), known as the Pickering Post Office. This post office was moved into the store of Joseph Jacobs (our house). He was appointed post master on December 11, 1886. The move was made because the nearby railroad access made mail coming in and going out more easily handled.

The 1888 presidential elections put Benjamin Harrison into office, and the post office was moved back to the Pickering P.O. in Charlestown Village. Harry G. Howard was made post master and the post office was moved into the Howard General Store. Folks in Aldham had gotten used to having such a nearby and convenient post office, so they petitioned to have the post office moved back to Aldham. Their petition was granted, and the office was moved back to Joseph Jacob's General Store (our home) on January 30, 1890. Joseph was again appointed post master. He continued in that capacity until his death in 1898 (or 1899).

Upon Joseph's death, his daughter Jennie Jacobs inherited the store and post office. She became post master on January 31, 1899. She remained the post master, and our house was used as the post office until rural deliver was introduced out of Phoenixville on Feburary 28, 1903.

Jennie had since married a Frank Young and she continued to live in the house until her death in 1936. It is unclear as to the date that the general store closed down. The home was kept in the Young family and rented out to various tennants for several years. In 1949, the youngest of Jennie's children, Frank (who was then married to Alice), returned to his family home. Frank and Alice remained in the home for about 38 or 39 years. In the late 1980's, they sold the home to a Dowd family. In 1997 we bought the home and plan on living here for a long time.


This is the front view of our house (date unknown - circa 1890). Note the two seperate front door entrances. The one on the right is for the general store. The one on the left is for the residence. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the people are in the picture. I assume it is members of the Young family. I do believe the photo was taken by a wandering photographer who came through the area.
Same view today. Now there's only one entrance door in the front of the house. Also the entire front of the house has changed dramatically over the years.
This is the north side of the house (view facing to the south). This was taken circa 1930.
Same view today. Items to note: enclosed front porch is gone, side entrance (to our kitchen), pine tree growth (front of house), as well as all of the foliage growth. Also, the hot tub was added in 2001.
This is the southwest corner of the house, again circa 1930. The two portions of structure in the foreground are a mud room/kitchen and back porch.
Same view today. In 1950 a major rennovation occurred where the kitchen was modernized, and the porch was replaced with a family room (inside) and patio (outside). Also, the ash tree in the foreground of the "then" photo has long since been cut down and removed.
The west side of the house (view facing towards the east), again circa 1930. Take note of the foliage again, especially the very top of the pine tree peeking over the top right part of the house.
Same view today. The structure in the back houses our kitchen (left portion) and family room (right portion). Note: how much the trees have all grown. This also gives a slightly better view of our back patio (picnic table).
The south side of the house (view facing towards the north), again circa 1930. Take note of the tiny pine tree in the foreground.
Same view today. The tree growth has all but obscured the view of the house. And the tiny pine tree has grown very large.
View from the house looking north towards the garage/barn (circa early 1950's). I'd love to have that car back in the driveway.
Same view today. The garage/barn has been closed in. The brick sidewalk to the garage was installed in 1999.
Two boys (date & names not known - estimate is early 1900's) with sleds on the road in front of our house. You are looking north on the road. The front of our house is to the left. On the right is an old blacksmith shop and shed.
Same view of the road (Rt. 29 or State Road) today. The front of our house can be seen on the left. Notice that the blacksmith buildings are gone. Also, if these kids tried a stunt like this today, they'd be a couple of grease spots on the road.