The Oldest House in Ambler?

At first when I first found out about how old this house was, I didn't believe it because I wa thinking, "How could this house be THAT old when Ambler was established in 1888?" It turns out this house REALLY existed before Ambler was established as a town. 1732 to be exact.


Unfortunately, there's no evidence that this house was really the OLDEST, but people were saying it was the oldest house in the borough. There's no mention about this house in Dr. Mary P. H. Hough's Early history of Ambler. Is this a sales tactic for people to buy this house? Who knows!


But it's interesting to analyze this house. In terms of who owned this house, it seems that this house didn't exist in the historic maps of Ambler. It first appeared in the 1916, owned by Thomas Rose. In 1949, this house was owned by John J. Radcliffe. So if this house was built in 1732, who exactly lived in that house?


It's interesting whoever captioned these two pictures above captioned it as it was from 1800. How could these two pictures be from 1800 when photography existed later in the 19th century? Weird.


Based on the photos I found online, it might be Folk Victorian based on how the porch was placed and how it looks. On the east facade of the house, it has a certain parapet gable shape, possibly Gothic Revival. And also the gabled dormers that is mostly from the 19th century. When looking through the house photos, the south facade has a coupe of window headers with keystones on them. The house itself looks updated and renovated/restored. The interior is stunning, I would say! Based on my analysis, this house is probably built in the 19th century, even though there is a window header with keystones on them, indicating it may be from the 18th century.


It's hard to say how old exactly this house was. As I said in the previous blogs, I wouldn't trust real estate websites telling you when the house was built. I got fooled once, and it won't happen again!


This person who posted the photographs didn't even cite where she got the old photographs from. At least I found them.

Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher
Montgomery County 1949 Vol D, Plate 015 - Ambler Borough; Franklin Survey Company, Publisher

I actually have visited the house at least twice. While in high school, I was part of a summer orchestra group and performed in the backyard of the owner at the time: Joseph A. Schneider (1939-2015). The summer orchestra had been playing at his house for many years until his untimely death. I hadn't felt the same feeling as everyone else who had been part of the orchestra for a long time. If I did, I would feel that it was an honor to play at the house.


I never knew all this time this house was special in a way.

Google Satellite Plan View: 330 Mattison Ave, Ambler, PA 19002
Google Birdseye View: Looking South

Bibliography:


"Distance Calculator." DaftLogic. Accessed July 1, 2020. https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.


Franklin Survey Company. Montgomery County 1949 Vol D, Plate 15, 1949.


McAlester, Virginia Savage. A Field Guilde to American Houses. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017): 268, 397.


Mueller, A. H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 26, 1916.


Wolf, Allison. "330 Mattison Avenue." The Ambler Rambler... September 28, 2015. https://montcoresource.com/2015/09/28/330-mattison-avenue/#sthash.1zbKtTSW.dpbs.


#pahistory #historicpreservation #architecture #ambler #mattisonavenue #northstreet #mystery #gothicrevival #folkvictorian

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