Historical Photo Location Revealed: John Phillips Store
Read below about the time the store, later known as the Valley Store, was nearly burglarized in 1826.
Last week's photo challenge was one that only a longtime resident could answer—the building pictured is no longer around.
A historical narrative—which, like the old photo, was supplied by the East Whiteland Historical Commission—discusses the building's history. The store was opened around 1796, and federal glass tax records peg the size at 30-feet-by-18-feet in 1798. It changed ownership and grew over the years, before being torn down in the 1980s.
The narrative, which is attached to this article, also tells the tale of two "genteel-looking gentlemen" who attempted to burglarize the store late one night in 1826. They consequently felt the sting of a double-barreled shotgun wielded by a young employee:
They bored through the window shutter with a 1 1/2" auger, and drew the key out of the bolt, upon which one of them entered, the other staying on the outside.
Jesse B. Jones, a young man engaged as an assistant in the store, and who slept in the house adjoining, hearing them, went out the back way with a well charged double barrelled gun, as he turne the corner of the store, the man on the outside heard him, and whistled to apprize his companion that they were discovered, upon which Jones fired at him, but it is not certain whether he hit him or not; he however escaped.
The other hearing his companion whistle, and the discharge of the gun, immediately came out of the storeand begged of Jones not to shoot, at the same time retreating as fast as possible, he was fired on, and it is supposed, wounded.
But there being no person at hand to assist, and having been in the store too short a time to obtain any thing, Jones thought it most prudent not to follow them. The gun was heavily charged with large shot, and for the jumping and hallooing of the one last fired at, it is pretty certain that it had taken effect.
The store was closed later that year.
All three commenters had the correct answer—John Phillips Store, aka Valley Store, located at the northeast corner of Swedesford Road and Route 29. The site is currently occupied by a Lukoil gas station and mini mart.
Hats off to Diana Genn, who pegged the location first, Paula K, who chimed in with the name of the place, and Regina DiLabbio Klugh King who supplied the local color, as we have come to expect from her.