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Douglassville in Berks County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

George Douglass Home

1765

 

— Preserved by The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County —

 
George Douglass Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
1. George Douglass Home Marker
Inscription.  
A Country Manor
George Douglass (1726-1799) was from a prosperous Chester County farm family. After working as a saddler and innkeeper in Reading, he moved to Morlatton by 1762 with his wife, Mary Piersol Douglass (1731-1798). Douglas soon became a prominent member of the community and in 1764 was appointed Justice of the Peace for Amity and vicinity. On July 2, 1776, he became Captain of an Amity region militia company of the "Flying Camp" division of the Revolutionary troops under George Washington's command. A member of the Church of England, Douglass also served on the vestry of nearby St. Gabriel's Church from 1763 to 1768, and was buried in its churchyard in 1799.

In 1762 Douglass acquired the White Horse Inn and leased it to a succession of innkeepers while he operated a successful country store. The Douglass (or "Amity") store played a key role in the region's economy for many years. Douglass and his son, George Douglass II (1767-1833) sold imported and locally hand-crafted goods, including tobacco, rum, Bibles, spices, chocolate, construction materials, needlework supplies, bolts of fabric, and an abundance
George Douglass Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
2. George Douglass Home Marker
of "sundries." Store ledgers record cash and barter transactions with local residents, including Michael Fulp, descendants of Mouns Jones, Boone family members, and ironmasters from the Potts, Rutter and Bird families. The Douglasses also traded in commodities including agricultural produce and bar iron transported to Philadelphia by wagon or boat. The Amity store ceased operation after 1834.

AFter the acquisition of most of the land and buildings in the village by George Douglass II and establishment of a Post Office in the Douglass/Amity store in 1829, the community became known as "Douglassville."

The Douglass House and its additions were built in several stages. The 1765 house consists of five bays delineated by window and door openings. A provincial mid-century example of a Georgian mansion, the house features a center hallway and our corner rooms on each floor. The exterior of the house is distinguished by fine detail such as squared, coursed and dressed sandstone blocks and keystone "flat" arches on the façde, and a plaster cove cornice under the caves. The two-story addition, with its loft door to accommodate the store operation, was probably built between 1790 and 1800. The one-story addition, which includes a smokehouse over a barrel-vaulted root cellar, was probably completed in the early 19th century. Only traces of an early fireplace and massive
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stone chimney remain at the addition's gable end.

The George Douglass House and its additions remained in the family estate until 1944. In the first half of the 20th century the buildings housed tenant Wilmer Miller's barber shop, a corner grocery, and a butcher shop. In 1988 the house was acquired by the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County, which has stabilized the structures and is engaged in a long-term restoration program.
 
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureColonial EraIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 40° 15.245′ N, 75° 43.568′ W. Marker is in Douglassville, Pennsylvania, in Berks County. Marker is on Old Philadelphia Pike 0.1 miles north of Britton Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19 Old Philadelphia Pike, Douglassville PA 19518, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morlatton Vilage (a few steps from this marker); Morlatton Village Trailhead (a few steps from this marker); Old Swedes House (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Morlatton Village
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(within shouting distance of this marker); White Horse Inn (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Feuding Railroads (about 400 feet away); Mouns Jones House (about 600 feet away); Michael Fulp House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Douglassville.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 21, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Nov. 24, 2020