Upland Farm Jacob Beerbower House

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Wise Preservation Planning LLC
      1480 Hilltop Road
      Chester Springs PA 19425
      Phone (484) 202-8187
 

Wise Preservation Planning LLC is a full-service historic preservation planning firm. We research, document, analyze and ultimately help protect historic resources and our cultural landscape. Our firm serves a variety of clients, including municipalities, engineers, architects, historical societies, and owners of historic resources.

The firm was founded in 1997 by Robert J. Wise Jr., who has 20 years of experience in the historic preservation field. He is assisted by Seth Hinshaw, Senior Planner, who has been with the firm since 2001. Both planners have M.S. degrees in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and exceed the 36 CFR 61 Professional Qualification Standards established by the National Park Service for architectural historians.

Overview

Upland Farm is located north of Eagle in Upper Uwchlan Township. While the southern end of the property was going through subdivision and land development, the developer agreed to donate the historic farmhouse to the Township. Wise completed a pre-rehabilitation report that outlined the history of the building and provided guidance for its future use. The Township's Historical Commission is using the information, including recommendations for reuse and interpretation, as a major element in developing a master plan for the property, whereby the Beerbower House will be the centerpiece. The building will serve both administrative and house museum functions for the citizens of Upper Uwchlan Township.
 
The farmhouse was originally constructed c. 1734. The initial owner was John Elliman, who purchased a narrow rectangle of land on either side of the road that later became Pottstown Pike. He constructed the initial house on the property. The following images show a copy of his original survey map and a speculative image of the appearance of his original house.
 
The house was enlarged by Robert Beatty later in the 1700s. He built a 2-story wing off the north end of the c. 1734 section. The section was originally frame (possibly log) with a large stone kitchen fireplace on the north end. The section had the form of a "stone ender," a house with three frame or log walls and one stone end wall incorporating the kitchen fireplace. A root cellar was built alongside the original basement circa 1800 (see photo to right). Thomas Dolby rebuilt the 1734 section in 1814, widening it to the west and re-orienting it to the barn. The following images show the likely appearance of the house following these two building campaigns.

Speculative appearance of Beatty house (1750)

Speculative appearance of Dolby house (1814)

Jacob Beerbower purchased the house in 1857. Beerbower made substantial changes to the Thomas Dolby House, establishing its current Gothic-inspired appearance. On the interior, Beerbower raised the floor level in the c. 1750 section and renovated the interior. The rear section was probably reconfigured at that time, as the earlier access to the basement was sealed by the renovations.