Bridge St Residences between Third and Fourth Streets
Address: 307 Bridge St
Name: Samuel Glace
Year built: 1847-1850
Built by: Henry Breisch
This lot is located on what was the Breisch farm, one of the original four German farms that made up what is today Catasauqua. Breisch was a farmer and a stonemason. Lehigh County deed records show this property was owned by Abraham and Eliza Ziegler from 1818 to 1847, before the lands were purchased by Henry and Susannah (Faust) Breisch, who is believed to have built the residence on the lot, making it possibly the oldest home on the street. David Thomas purchased the property from Breisch two years later in 1849 and resold it in 1853 to Rev. Charles and Caroline Becker. Becker sold the home to Samuel Grace in 1855 for $2000. The home remained in the Glace family for over 100 years.
Samuel Glace was superintendent of the Lehigh Canal from Laury’s Station to the Allentown Dam for 10 years. He moved from Maugh Chunk to Biery’s Port in 1830. He later became a mining agent for Crane Iron co. Most significantly, Glace was the first person to produce hydraulic cement in the Lehigh Valley, which he used to repair the canal. Glace resided in Biery’s Port from 1830 until moving to Bridge St. Samual Glace is the grandson of John Jacob Mickley who transported the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown during the Revolutionary War to prevent its being captured, melted down and remade into cannons by the British.*
Samuel Glace’s son William inherited the house and practiced law in the small building next to the house. William was born in 1839 on the Christian Swartz plantation located in the Irish Settlement along Dry Run: the Swartzes were his maternal grandparents. William wrote the book Early History and Reminiscences of Catasauqua in Pennsylvania which tells much of the early history of the town up to the civil war, which he learned from his parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
William died in 1929, and his second wife, Anna Marie, continued to reside here until her death in 1945. Reed Glace inherited the property and held it until 1964, at which point he sold to Jack and Dorothy Kern, and later Dale & Carolyn Kern Koller. The home was purchased by the Burkhardts in 1981, who did considerable alterations. Roberta Burkhardt served as president of the Historic Catasauqua Preservation Association for a time and was coauther of the” Blue Book”, published in 1992. The next owner was Martha Capwell-Fox, local historian and author.
Architectural Notes:The living room features a black soapstone fireplace with gold Intaglio design. The dining room was probably the original kitchen as there is a fireplace foundation under the room. Random width floor boards from the attic were used to create today’s dining room floor. The current owners commissioned an historic Catasauqua-themed mural, painted by Rosemary Gessek, on the east wall along the staircase.
*After Washington’s defeat at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia was defenseless, and the city prepared for what was seen as an inevitable British attack on the city. The Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ordered that eleven bells, including the State House bell and the bells from Christ Church and St. Peter’s Church, be taken down and removed from the city to prevent the British, who might melt the bells down to cast into cannons, from taking possession of them. A train of over 700 wagons guarded by 200 cavalry from North Carolina and Virginia and under the command of Colonel Thomas Polk of the 4th Regiment North Carolina Continental Line, left Philadelphia for Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley. Hidden in the manure and hay were the bells, and hidden in the wagon of Northampton County militia Private John Jacob Mickley was the State House bell. On September 18, the entourage and armed escort arrived in Richland Township (present-day Quakertown, Pennsylvania). On September 23, the bishop of the Moravian Church in Bethlehem reported that the wagons had arrived, and all bells except the State House bell had been moved to Northampton-Towne (present-day Allentown, Pennsylvania). The following day, the State House bell was transferred to the wagon of Frederick Leaser and taken to the historic Zion’s Reformed Church in center city Allentown, where it was stored (along with the other bells), under the floorboards. On September 26, British forces marched into Philadelphia, unopposed, and occupied the city. The bell was restored to Philadelphia in June 1778, after the end of the British occupation.
Address: 309-311 Bridge St
Name: Dr. Fredrick W. Quig
Year built: 1850
Built by: Quig or McAllister
Quig and his wife Ann Elizabeth Leslie (of Mauch Chunk) came here to Catasauqua c. 1847-9. He worked in the furnaces until it was discovered, in conjunction with an accident at the plant, that he had been educated at the University of Scotland as a physician. He subsequently opened an office in the McAllister Home and practiced medicine for the rest of his life. An obituary for his daughter Margaret in 1918 reported that her father purchased this lot from David Jones in the 1850s at a time when the Breisch farmhouse still stood across the street. They lived in 311 and had several children. One son followed him into the medical profession, practicing in Juniata County. Margaret lived at home, taking care of her father, mother, and brother George (moulder), who all preceeded her in death. A daughter, Mrs Harbison, continued to live here after Margaret died. Her daughter, Harriet HIll Harbison (teacher), was married here in 1913. Dr. Quig proved himself a hero during the black cholera epidemic in town.
The 1930 CBD lists 311 Bridge as the home of Fred J. Steitz, inspector, and his wife Helen. Fred was the son of Christian H and Rebecca Laubach Steitz of 618 Race St, Catasauqua. Christian was a moulder (later supervisor) at Davies and Thomas.
The 1890 directory lists 309 Bridge – the small home on the right in this buiding, as the home of Charles Clugston, a butcher with a shop at 2nd and Peach. The house number before 1896 was 210 (normally the odd numbered side of the street).
In 1898, 309 Bridge his was the home of Maria Biery Laux (at the time of her death) and her daughter Kate. Maria was the oldest daughter of Jonas Biery. Her husband, Peter Laux, who died in 1885, was one of the early settlers after the Crane was built and was considered the first veterinary surgeon of Catasauqua. Their daughter Kate was a seamstress and active in the Easton YWCA. Their sons Charles and James B Laux ended up in NYC. James B. co-authored the 1914 History of the Public Schools of Catasauqua and was an historian of the Hugenot and German Palatine immigrations.
In 1900 Milton and Cora Koons, who ran a laundry on Front St, lived here.
The 1908 directory has the following listing for this home: Griffith, Joseph, machinist, res 309 Bridge. Elsie.
The 1929-30 directory: Hausman Charles R, horseshoe worker, res 309 Bridge. Elizabeth A .
Other Occupants: Martha Capwell FoxWriter, editor, researcher, and historian, she authored several Arcadia Publishing books: Images of Catasauqua and North Catasauqua, Whitehall and Coplay, and co-author The Cement Industry of the Lehigh Valley. Previously employed by Rodale Press, she currently works for the D&L Heritage Corridor/National Canal Museum.
Architectural Notes:At 1000 sqft, this may be the smallest residence in the Historic District. The attached dwelling is also part of the Quig residence.
Address: 302 Bridge – NW corner of Third & Bridge Sts
Name: Catasauqua Public Library
Year built: 1874
Built by: English Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity
When the elders of St Paul’s Lutheran Church voted to reduce the number of services conducted in English, a group of about twenty-five members withdrew from that church and formed a new congregation. The cornerstone for a new church was dedicated in 1873, and the church was dedicated in May 1874. In 1924, the congregation moved to a new, and larger, home at Fourth & Pine.
Sponsored by the Catasauqua Women’s Club, the library, previously at 126 Church St, was established in the basement of this church building in 1928. The library incorporated, a charter was granted, building was purchased in 1930, and this has been the home of the Public Library of Catasauqua since that time. In 1930, this was also the location of the Catasauqua Baby Clinic. In 1976, the library expanded beyond the basement confines to the second floor, and in 1983 the Friends of the Library established the History Room to house Catasauqua memorabilia.
Address: 306 Bridge St
Name: Ulrich home
Year built: 1885
Built by: Alexander N. Ulrich
Originally part of the Breisch farm lands, this was the site of the home of Col Melchior M. Horn. An early resident of the borough and of Scottish ancestry, Horn was a surveyor, accountant, and financier, who served as first Cashier of the Bank of Catasauqua from 1857-1888. During the Civil War, Horn was a major in the 5th PA Militia and colonel in the 38th PA Militia. Horn served on the school board for 18 years and was burgess of Catasauqua for one term. He helped establish the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity (next door). Born in Easton in 1822, his grandfather, of Scotch ancestry, fought in the Revolutionary War; his grandfather and father fought in the War of 1812. Two of Melchior Horn’s sons resided in the borough: Frank who succeeded him at the bank and Charles Robert who was a salesman for the Davies and Thomas Co. Melcoir and Matilda’s daughter Isabella died at the age of 21. The house was razed c.1913. It was on the east side of the property adjoining Crane Steeet (or then, Church Alley).
In 1885, Alexander N. Ulrich built this home/office here (next to the Horn residence), where he practiced law. His son Charles, followed in his footsteps, and also lived here.
The Ulrich family emigrated from Alsace, France in 1708. Alexander was born in Gettysburg in 1853 and reared in Reading, Pennsylvania, completing high school there, then continued his studies in New England. He came to Catasauqua in 1871 where he began teaching. Two years later he was elected principal of the public schools, and occupied that position for six years. During this period he devoted his leisure hours to the reading of law, and in 1885 was admitted to the bar in Allentown, Pennsylvania, since which time he has practiced continually in Catasauqua building up a large law practice. He organized the borough of North Catasauqua and lived here on Bridge Street. In politics, he was a Republican and for a number of years held the office of justice of the peace; was the Republican nominee for congress from his district in 1908; and during the nineties served as Republican county chairman for many years. On July 11, 1878, Alexander Ulrich married Irene Fuller (also born 1853), a daughter of Charles D. Fuller, who lived next door above Crane St. They had one son, Charles N., born in 1885. Charles Ulrich, Esq. graduated from Lafayette, University of Pennsylvania and Dickenson College, and joined his father in practicing law here. Alexander Ulrich passed away in 1910, and his son Charles succeeded his as solicitor of North Catasauqua borough. Charles was also a solicitor for the Catasauqua School Board since 1912 and an insurance agent. He married Florence Wallworth, daughter of James and Mary (Smith) Wallworth of Chester. Pa in 1912. The 1930 directory of the borough lists a son Charles F and daughter Mary L, students also living here; twins born in 1915 (census).
In 1945, Mr and Mrs Irving R Jackson of 306 Bride St announced the wedding of their daughter, Merilyn (who went to Allentown schools). In 1946, Col and Mrs. Geo Kemp Englehart’s hyacinth flower beds at 306 Bridge were ransacked by vandals. Col Englehart was a mechanical engineer, an attorney, VP of the Fuller Co, and served on the Airport Zoning planning commission (formed in 1953). He served in both WWI and WWII, settling in Catasauqua after the war. He died in 1968 at age 72 and his wife died in 1972 after selling the home to John and Louise Valentine. They sold the home to the Petermans in 1976. Dr. Peterman, DDS, whose home and office was here, and his wife Louanne, who served on Borough Council and was chair of the Catasauqua Shade Tree Commission for many years. The current owners bought the residence from the Petermans.
Address: 317 Bridge St
Name: Dr. Carl R. Ruch – Dr. Antonio Almazan
Year built: before 1873
Built by: A. Read Boyd
In 1869, A. Read Boyd purchased the lot from the “First Presbyterian Church of Catasauqua” who had built a one story frame church here with a cemetery circa 1852. Alexander R. Boyd had been employed at the Crane Iron Works as a clerk for 25 years and also served for a time as Borough Treasurer. Born in Goshenhoppen in 1826, he came to Bethlehem, where he manufactured paper until the Great Flood of 1841, at which time he moved to Catasauqua. Around 1866, he left for Columbia in Lancaster Co. where he was treasurer of the Chestnut Hill Iron Co. In 1880 he moved to the Thomas Iron Works in Hellertown as an accountant. The Boyds lived in Hellertown until 1888. When Boyd died in 1889, he was a resident of Coplay. Boyd and his wife Mary had a son Horace who later became General Superintendant of the Thomas Iron Co; Mrs. Horace Boyd was listed as VP of the Ladies Aid Society of the Hokendauqua Presbyterian Church in 1911. Their daughter Ellen married Edwin Thomas, grandson of David Thomas, in 1878: the wedding reception was held here, so the Boyds may have continued to reside here, though Mr. Boyd worked in Lancaster. Boyd died in 1889 and the property passed on to his wife Mary Boyd. Mary sold the property to Wm. R. Thomas in 1891.
William R and his wife Martha Mayhew Thomas, lived here during the 1890s, until Mrs. Thomas passed away in August of 1898. Son of Hopkin Thomas of the Crane Iron, William Richard Thomas was born in Glamorganshire, Wales in 1829. He entered the employ of the Crane Iron Company as master mechanic, remaining with them until 1868. He married Martha Mayhew in 1858 and they had 9 children. Thomas left the Crane to become a partner in the McKee, Fuller & Company Car Wheel and Axle Works in Fullerton, where he was Superintendent for two years. He sold his interest in that business and became connected with the Coleraine Iron Works at Reddington (near Freemanburg) in the building of furnaces, managing the workshop until 1875. That year he went South to Georgia, where he built the Rising Fawn Iron Furnace in Dade County. From there he went to Helena, Ala., and superintended the operations of the Helena coal mine for a month. At the expiration of that time he returned home and accepted the superintendency of the Coleraine Iron Company for one year, after which he went to Hokendauqua to fill the same position for the Thomas Iron Company. After being seven years in their employ he was, in March, 1887, made Superintendent of the Crane Iron Company, and continued in this position until 1891, when, in company with A. and C. H. Fuller, he started the Globe Metal Works. With this he was connected a year, when he sold out, and, coming again to this town, became sup’t of Davies & Thomas’ Foundry and Machine Works. The 1898 directory lists Marv, John, James, Helen and Fritz here, in addition to William and Martha Thomas. Wm R. Thomas was an amazing engineer: his name was also on the patents for the tunnel ring segments and the vertical engines produced by Davies & Thomas. This Thomas line produced 5 generations of engineers!
During the period of William R. Thomas’ ownership, Robert S. VanHorn and family lived here at least during 1890: he was an asst supr, possibly employed by Thomas who was then superintendent of the Crane Iron Works and working on re-establishing the Globe Metal Works in Catasauqua (north of Race St between the canal and the Lehigh River) with Abbott and Clinton Fuller (the company had previously operated in Fullerton).
Mary Boyd retook ownership of the home in 1898, and then sold it to Dr. Daniel & Amanda Yoder in 1908, who lived across the street (did not likely reside here). After the Yoder ownership, it was the residence of Alexander Leisenring, Sr & Edith Brodhead, and later Alexander L., Jr. and Julie Brodhead from 1936-1952. Alexander, Sr. was a mining engineer for the Crane Iron Works.
The residence served as the home office of two doctors in the late 1900s. Dr. Ruch started his practice in 1951 at 138 Second St before moving his practice here in 1952. Dr. Almazan practiced here in his family home from 1962 until his death in 2004.
Other Site History:
Prior to 1852, the Scotch Irish Presbyterians held services at peoples’ homes, in “the woods” on the Kurtz farm, or at the Irish Settlement to the east. In ~1850, this group was a partner with the Lutherans in what was called the “Union Church” on the west side of Howertown at Church, then shortly thereafter, the Scotch Irish built their own church here in 1852 on Bridge St. The land was initially part of the John Peter & the Breisch farms and was purchased in 1849 by the trustees (half paid by Robert McIntyre and half by David Thomas) for the “New School” Presbyterian Church (to distinguish it from the “old School” Presbyterians that still held services outdoors on the Kurtz farm). Crane St, next to the house, used to be called Church Alley and was laid out at the time the church lot was defined. David Thomas donated some of the land for a cemetery, with the provision for a burial plot for his family. Note that another church, the Bridge St Presbyterian Church, was later built just a few hundred feet up Bridge St. This church was a one-story building that was razed by Boyd when he built his home here.
Address: 325 Bridge St – no longer standing
Name: John Williams
Year built: 1870
Built by: John Williams
John Williams was one of four children of David and Gwenny Williams who immigrated to America from Wales in 1833 and settled in Catasauqua in 1840. John was born in 1824 and began work at Crane in 1845, weighing limestone and ore for furnaces. He was promoted to the office in 1849 and became head Cashier in 1856 upon the death of Owen Rice. He remained there for the rest of his life. He also helped organize the Catasauqua Manufacturing Co in 1863 and was secretary of the firm from 1867-1892. He was a passenger agent for C&F RR and a director and later president of the Catasauqua Gas Co. At the time of his death, he was VP of the National Bank of Catasauqua and President of the Fairview Cemetery Association. He served as Burgess for numerous terms, elder of the Presbyterian Church and supervisor of its Sunday school. Brother of Oliver W, (2nd and Pine) David W, Jr.(Bridge nd 2nd) and others of Catasauqua note. Click here for more info on John Williams. His brother William’s family lived next door in the 1890s.
He and his wife Emma had eight children, four of whom died young and others who did, or married, well in the community. They first lived in a row house on Church, and then moved into David Thomas’s 1st house at Church and Front St before building the large home at this location. In addition to the home he built here on Bridge, he built a double at 545 Fourth St for his daughters and one for his son, John T., at 540 Fourth St next door to his sisters. In 1908, this was the home of George Williams; George was a partner in the construction of the triples built on Pine between 2nd and 3rd in 1906; he died in 1919 of heart disease. In 1930, this was the home of William S. Bell (civil engineer) and Maybelle Bell. They later moved to Allentown, where he was a contractor for projects such as reconstruction of the McKinley Elementary School in 1851 and an addition to the Queen City Textile building in 1945, .
Other Site History:The western part of the site was previously owned by the early Presbyterian congregation that built a small one story church in the 1850s on the corner of Crane and Bridge St (see 317 Bridge); Crane Street was then named Church Alley..
The extract from the 1908 Sanborn map shows the William’s house on the left, next to the Bridge St Presbyterian Church on the east. Note that the William’s had a green house SE of the house. The first church in town, which was built by the David Thomas’s on what was then Crane Iron property, was located to the rear of this property: when the Crane sold off property in the 1890s, the Williams’ added this parcel to their lot. The map also shows the Fuller home and carriage house that was on the corner of Bridge and Howertown at this time. The Fuller property was later expanded and the church, manse, and William’s house removed.
Current Homes: 323, 329, 337 Bridge St
When the Fuller’s moved out of town, they subdivided the lot, leaving their home across from St Paul’s to the church, and selling off three lots between their home and 317 Bridge. Three homes were built on the lots; retirement homes for the new owners of 323, 329, and 337 Bridge. See afticle from newspaper Sept 1949. Ada & Milton Knauss, last supt of the Crane, built 323 Bridge. He also ran the Davies & Thomas Machine Shop before they closed, and was a partner in the Catasauqua Machine Co which took over the shop afterward. After moving here, Knauss continued to work, heading up the machine shop at the Fuller Co. The Miltons died in 1966.
Residents of 329 Bridge were Hattie and Harold C Wolbach, sec of the Fuller Co. who built here first in 1949. Harold Wolbach, born in Catasauqua, worked for the Fuller Co for 44 years, from its creation in 1926 until his retirement in 1970, at which time he was Comptroller. He was active in the Rotary Club, serving as president and VP for many years. He was part of the Luther League volunteers who helped to restore the George Taylor House beginning in 1958. He was also a founding director of the Catasauqua Community Fund in 1963. His wife Hattie nee Stangl died in 1982; Harold died in 1995 at age 88.
337 Bridge was the retirement home of Fred J and Rose Yeager Walker. Before retiring, Mr Walker was a partner in the Catasauqua Machine Works (the former machine shop of the Davies and Thomas Co) and before that, was sec/treas for the Davies & Thomas Co. Walker was also associated with the Catasauqua branch of the First National Bank and St Paul’s church and the Luther League. He stayed very active in the community after retirement. He a Dr Ralph J Minner were co-chairs of the building committee at St Paul’s in 1960-3 that built the parish house at 415 Howertown Road. The Walkers died in 1976-77. See 509 Walnut St for more information on Fred J Walker’s career history. His father Henry was a founder and president of Crystal Ice Co at Peach and American Sts.
Address: 326 Bridge St
Name: H. Morley Holton/Harry & Jane Seaman
Year built: 1934
Built by: H. Morley Holten
Morley Holton, brother of George Holten (President of the Bryden Horseshoe Co) began work at the Bryden in 1899, and became Secretary of the company in 1909. Upon his brother’s death, he also became Treasurer, then General Manager. When Phoenix Manufacturing bought the company in 1928, he stayed on as Plant Manager for 10 more years. Upon retirement, he became an agent for the Equitable Life Assurance Society and remained an agent until his death.
His brother, George Holton (616 2nd St), was president of the Bryden, following the death of Oliver Williams. Born in London, 1879, Morley followed his brother to the US at age 17 and came to Catasauqua in 1899. He was president of the Catasauqua Chapter of the AM Red Cross during WWI and chaired the United Appeal Campaign in 1942 for WWII. Morley served 2 terms as Burgess, was a Director of the National Bank of Catasauqua, an original member of the Catasauqua Rotary Club, a member of Lehigh Country Club, and a member of the council of Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church.
After selling the house to Harry & Jane Seaman, he moved to Allentown in 1943, but came back to Catasauqua in 1952 and lived at 1125 5th St. Before building 326 Bridge St, Holton lived at 563 Howertown Road.
Harry J. Seaman, Jr. was sales manager for Bonney Forge (see Third & Pine). He married Jane Walters of Allentown and had two children: Charles married Jane Afferbach and Jane married Elmer Cates. The Seamans lived here from 1941-1987, when Jane Seaman passed away; Harry died in 1960. His father Henry Seaman built two homes in Catasauqua (606 5th St. and 534 Fourth St.) and was gen mgr of Atlas Cement Co.
Other Site History:
This lot on the north side of Bridge St was part of the earlier Fuller Homestead land purchase, a 50 acre tract that extended to Arch Street. The first Fuller home built in this neighborhood was built here on Bridge between Crane and Fourth St, where the 326 Bridge street home now stands. This was built by Charles Dorrence Fuller, a brother of James Wheeler Fuller probably around 1871. It can be seen to the left of 330 Bridge St in the 1904 photo and on the 1876 map section. It was razed sometime between 1901 and 1908 (it was gone in the Sanborn map of 1908).
C. D. Fuller (1823-1873) was a builder of bridges and large structures. He replaced the Crane Co Bridge after it had been swept away in the flood of 1862. He was an organizer of the Catasauqua Oil Co, which purchased land in Venango County for oil speculation. Along with William R. Thomas (oldest son of Hopkin Thomas), in 1866, they formed the Lehigh Car, wheel & Axle Co. which was acquired by McKee, Fuller and Co. His nephew James W. II eventually took over the business. C. D. Fuller served in the 38th PA Volunteer Infantry in 1863 during Lee’s invasion of northern Virginia.
CD Fuller and his wife Harriet Harris Fuller moved here from Harrisburg (she was a descendant of John Harris for whom Harrisburg was named); they had 9 children, several of which remained in Catasauqua Irene married Alexander Ulrich and was the mother of Charles N. Ulrich, Esq.; they also lived on Bridge St. Their youngest children remained in the house after their parents passed away: Marion Louise was here until her death in 1896; her mother passed away a couple months later. Chauncey O. worked at the Bryden as a bookeeper for 25 years and in 1913 helped organize the Crystal Ice Co at the SE corner of Peach and American where he served as sec-treas till his death in 1915. Chauncey did not marry, and lived in the Eagle Hotel during his last 15 years. Charles D., Jr. moved to Latrobe and worked for the Railway Steel Spring Co where he headed the chemical and furnace departments.
Before the Fuller home, the land was part of the Breisch farm.
326 Bridge was built after the C. D. Fuller home was razed. Planned just as the depression hit, the design (as per dwgs left in the attic) was modified, possibly based on the 1930 Morning Call designer showhouse (striking similarities). The firm that designed the home was that of architect T. H. Moyer, who designed the Dime Bank in Allentown and the Immigrant Bank in South Bethlehem, both on the National Historic Register. The inside of the home has a gracious floor plan and I-beam construction, but, aside from mahogany floors and some built-ins, has none of the exotic wood moldings common in the earlier homes of the Mansion District.
Name: Bridge St Presbyterian Church
Year built: 1868-1936
Above the Williams home (home pictures on the far right on the post card) on the south side of Bridge was the well documented Bridge St Presbyterian Church. This primarily Scotch Irish congregation located here in 1868 from the building on the corner of Bridge & Crane and was active until 1937, at which time it merged with the Presbyterian Church at Second & Pine and the church was razed. Also razed was the manse located just above it and the “The Academy”, a school house which sat on the corner of Howertown Road and Bridge St. These buildings also are illustrated on the 1876 map section above.