Trail Marker

Haverford Heritage Trail
Site H1: Pont Reading

Directions from Previous Site: (Haverford College Option) From Mary Ott Kelly House (Site 11), continue on Cherry Lane, make right onto Merwood Lane, cross busway and turn right onto West Hathaway Lane. Proceed under railway overpass and continue to corner at Haverford Road. Pont Reading is across Haverford Road, just to the left.
Physical Address: 2713 Haverford Road, Ardmore PA
GPS Coordinates: 39.99709 -75.30309
Parking: No
Ownership: Private
Arcadia Book Page: 95


Description and History: Welsh Quaker Daniel Humphrey sailed to Penn’s new colony in 1682 and settled in Haverford Township. He preceded his widowed mother and his siblings, who came in 1683. He and his descendants became prominent residents, and over time owned large tracts of land in eastern Haverford Township and neighboring sections of Lower Merion and Radnor. Bryn Mawr was originally called Humphreyville. One of Daniel’s sons was Charles Humphrey, a member of the First and Second Continental Congress. One of Daniel's grandsons, Joshua, was apprenticed to a Philadelphia shipbuilder. When the shipbuilder suddenly died a few years later, young Joshua found himself running the shipyard. President Washington later appointed him the nation’s first naval constructor. As such, he designed and oversaw construction of six large wooden frigates for the early national navy, including the USS Constitution. These ships saw duty against the sea-ruling British fleet in the War of 1812, where the Constitution earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” for its strength against cannon fire. Humphrey’s ships held their own against British ships and helped establish the United States as a player on the world stage. Today the U.S. Navy proudly maintains “Old Ironsides” and officially designates it as its oldest ship in active service, based in Boston for training of officers. A grandson of Joshua, Andrew A. Humphreys, served as a general in the U.S. Army, including the Civil War. Their homestead was this house, named Pont Reading after the family home back in Wales. It started in 1683 as a log cabin, which was replaced by the present rear section (at right in side view below). The middle section was added in about 1730, and Joshua (who lived here from 1803 to 1838 and is buried at Old Haverford Friends Burial Ground) added the stately Federal-style front section in 1813. Pont Reading is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission cast monument sign is situated across the street.

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