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

Mouns Jones House

1716

 

— Preserved by The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County —

 
Mouns Jones House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
1. Mouns Jones House Marker
Inscription.  
Oldest Documented House in Berks County
Mans Jonasson (1663-1727) was descended from Swedes who settled in present day Philadelphia, along with the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, in 1638. Later known as Mouns Jones he was the first European settler in what would eventually become Berks County. In 1701 William Penn granted tracts of land along the Schuylkill River to seventeen Swedes in what is now Amity Township. Mouns Jones was the only one of those seventeen grantees to actually settle on one of the tracts, establishing his "plantation" by around 1704. The Delaware Valley's early Swedish settlers were a nautical people who depended on the region's rivers for travel and livelihood. Each of the Swedes' tracts had river frontage, and it was typical that Mouns and his wife, Ingeborg, established their home on the river bank. Their tract, though narrow, extended several miles inland.

The area where Mouns and Ingeborg Jones settled with their six children eventually became known as Morlatton. Their first home was probably a log house. This stone house was constructed in 1716, a date permanently recorded by a remarkable
Mouns Jones House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
2. Mouns Jones House Marker
date-stone on the riverside wall of the house. Swedish settlers had been gradually adopting a more English way of life, and the house reflects that transition. It is laid out on a hall-parlor plan and constructed in a style reminiscent of Pennsylvania's English Quaker settlers, with corner fireplace and a floor plan of two rooms. A cooking fireplace was constructed at the northwest gable end of the house and included a bee hive oven. Although the house may seem modest by modern eyes, it was a substantial mansion by 1716 standards.

Mouns Jones and his extended family became important members of the fledgling community. Prosperous farmers, they collaborated with other local leaders such as the Boone family. A former fur trader, Mouns Jones entertained delegations of Native Americans and arranged conferences, held at his farmstead, between provincial officials and Native American leaders.

The family of Mouns Jones owned the homestead until 1745, when his son Andrew sold it. The property changed hands several more times until 1965 when the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County acquired the house through a gift of the Roy Schurr family, with the stipulation that it be restored. On January 21, 1974 the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Trust continues in its mission to authentically restore the house and preserve it in its historic
Dedication plaque on the house image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
3. Dedication plaque on the house
form.
 
Erected by The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureColonial EraNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 40° 15.226′ N, 75° 43.687′ W. Marker is in Amity Township, Pennsylvania, in Berks County. Marker can be reached from Old Philadelphia Pike 0.1 miles north of Britton Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31 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. Michael Fulp House (within shouting distance of this marker); Riverside Settlement and the Covered Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Swedes House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Morlatton Village Trailhead (about 500 feet away); Morlatton Vilage (about 500 feet away); Swedish Pioneers (about 600 feet away); Feuding Railroads (about 600 feet away); George Douglass Home (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amity Township.
 
Another dedication plaque on the house image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
4. Another dedication plaque on the house
Yet another dedication plaque on the house image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 20, 2020
5. Yet another dedication plaque on the house
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 21, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Jan. 16, 2021