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Goatskin Indenture, Displays Featured at Founders Day

The Lansdale Historical Society will show off one of the earliest documents related to Lansdale's history Saturday at Founders Day

One of the earliest documents related to Lansdale’s history will be on display at the as part of the town’s Founders Day celebration Saturday, Aug. 25.

A goatskin indenture dated 1749 affirms the sale of 20 acres of land in Montgomery Township to John Jenkins for the sum of 40 pounds. Jenkins, only age 30 at the time, was adding to the original 250-acre Jenkins Homestead given to him by his father, Jenkin Jenkins in 1745.

According to the indenture – an agreement between two parties – the tract in question was bordered what are now East Main, North Line and East Third Streets, and Lansdale Avenue. It is the only land ever owned by the Jenkins family in Montgomery Township. Jenkins purchased it from Benjamin and Mary Williams.

Because of its fragile condition, the indenture will only be on display for one day as part of the Lansdale Historical Society’s contribution to Founders Day. It will be part of a preview showing of a new room, John Jenkins’ assessors’ office, in the homestead located at 137 Jenkins Ave. The hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Three generations of the John Jenkins family lived in the homestead between its construction in 1770 and when it was sold at a public auction in 1871. John I, who purchased the Montgomery Township tract, was Gwynedd Township assessor in 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. His grandson, John III, was also assessor during the 1800s.   

Also at the Jenkins complex on Founders Day:

  • Displays of antique model trains and trolleys in the adjacent research center museum.

  • An operating N-gauge model train layout in the keeping room.

  • A special one-day-only clearance sale of in-stock DVDs recorded at the society’s community programs over the past six years. Regular price, $18; Founders Day only, $12 at the research center. A complete list of the DVDs is available at www.lansdalehistory.org.

  • A sale of duplicate Lansdale and North Penn high school years dating back to the 1920s.

  • A 16-page booklet on the history of the North Penn Railroad by Dick Shearer will be on sale the Jenkins complex and the Lansdale railroad station.

Also, orders may also be placed at both locations for giclee prints of two recent paintings by Lansdale artist Judith Boyles.  The prints feature early views of the train station and the Lansdale Theatre.  

An abbreviated version of the society’s video program, "A Town Is Born," the story of the railroad’s arrival in Lansdale, will be shown on a continuous basis at Lansdale Borough Hall beginning at 11 a.m.

More information is available at the society’s website, www.lansdalehistory.org, or by calling (215) 855-1872. 

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