Historical Photo Location Revealed: Long Pull Farm

The farm, located off Swedesford Road in East Whiteland, has a rich history.

Last week's historical photo challenge might have left some befuddled—and for good reason. We goofed.

Congratulations to Joe, who was the first to chime in with the correct answer. The building pictured is, indeed, Long Pull Farm at 309 Swedesford Road.

But special commendations go to Kristin, who agreed with Joe, but whose research indicated the house was built 1729, not 1807 like we wrote last week. 

Asked about the date discrepancy, Tim Caban of the East Whiteland Historical Commission, who graciously supplies our historical photos, said Kristin had a point:

I think her issue is correct about the date.  I told you a date of 1807 but the core of the house is in fact built in 1729. [...]  

The "core" of the building that was built in 1729 is actually the little section on the right of the picture that is indented from the stucco of the main building with one window upstairs and one window downstairs.

Caban asked that we relay his apologies and congratulations on catching the error. 

Attached to this article is a historical narrative of the house. It is perhaps the longest and most brusque featured in this series to date, mentioning a slave counted in the census in the same breath as teaspoons tallied for the silver tax. Later, it describes "quarrelsome" Hungarians who fought with and stole from each other.

The narrative touches on thousands-of-acres land swaps that helped form the towns we know today, and the role that Long Pull Farm, aka William Latta House, played throughout the years. 

One section discusses the dawn of the lime industry in East Whiteland, and the dangers it posed even for a boss like Andrew Carty, who purchased the farm with a business partner in 1870:

Work at the quarries and kilns was, however, dangerous and Andrew Carty was to feel the impact three times. In 1884, his 26 year old son, Charles, who was to be married on Christmas Day and thereafter take over the family interest in the company, was fatally burned at one of the kilns. He died a painful death three days later. In 1890, son James, lost one hand when a charge of dynamite failed to explode, and, in drilling a new hole, a spark from the drill ignited the charge. In 1894, son Peter, died in Wilkes Barre at age 27 from abscess of the stomach, an occupational hazard of the caustic lime. 

In 1874, during a rough economic period, Carty's firm, Knickerbocker Lime Company, laid off all its unmarried employees, and cut wages for the married men.  

The narrative is worth a read for anyone interested in local history.

Tim Caban November 07, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I wanted to further correct the record on this posting. Having spoken with the owner, she graciously pointed out that the oldest part of the building is behind the house on the left as you view the house from the road. My reference to the small part of the house being the oldest that is on the right of the picture is incorrect. Tim Caban East Whiteland Historical Commission


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