The Meredith House

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Watercolor Christmas card painted by Bill White in 2011.
 
A similar scene.
 
The view from the back, showing two additions. The laundry room is on the left; an office is on the right.

After all the work we did on the porch, I have to confess we never use the front doors. We go in through the back.

 
The house has been extensively renovated over the centuries. There is little left that is "old" visible.
 
This ancient light fixture next to the stone house door still works. It has a single pane of glass left in it.
 
Old paint encrusted hook in the door jamb.
A spike in the wall under the porch roof that predates the stucco.
 
Except for some old shutter hinge pins, that's about it. Everything else is covered in stucco. Let's go down the basement!
 
In the basement is found the "summer kitchen." This fireplace opening is over six feet wide.
The stack of cinder blocks is the flue to an old boiler that used to heat the house.
 
Inside the fireplace is an oven, now sealed with stone and brick.

Andrea excavated this staircase, which had been buried. To the right is some of the loot she uncovered while removing the dirt.
The staircase no longer opens to the first floor. Speaking of floor, the basement floor is dirt.
 
Old shelf covered with shards of glass and pottery that were found during the excavation.
I can't help but wonder if Owen Evans or his family ever handled any of this stuff.

We have some details about Owen and his family, thanks to Howard Jenkins and James A. Quinn, historian for Gwynedd Meeting.

Owen and his son Samuel (who inherited the house) both listed themselves as "store-keeper" by occupation. Jenkins says the store was actually in the house. In the History of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, a sentence describing the general area reads, "A store was kept here by Owen Evans before 1765."

Owen was also elected Justice of the County Court in 1726, and Samuel became a school teacher in North Wales, PA.

Owen Evans (1687 - 1757) married Ruth Miles (1693 - 1736) on January 3, 1715 (or 1716). They were married at the Radnor Meeting in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Ruth's sister was married to Evan Evans, Owens cousin. Presumably, this is how Owen met Ruth.

Children of Owen and Ruth: (we may surmise that Owen, Ruth and the children all lived in the "Meredith House")
Ann 06/09/1717
Owen 07/18/1719
Amos 06/25/1721
Samuel 05/29/1729

After Ruth died, Owen married Mary Nicholas, a preacher at Gwynedd Meeting.

Children of Owen and Mary:
Margaret 1737
Rebecca 1745. Born during the diphtheria epidemic of that year. Died July 18.

Owen Evans' will, made in 1757, mentions only Samuel, Amos and Margaret.


Home of historian Howard M. Jenkins. Built at the top of a hill, the ground slopes away for miles in three directions.
From here, he could see the Gwynedd Friends Meeting House from his front door and the Meredith house from his back door.
 
Gwynedd Friends Meeting House. December 2014.

This building, built in 1823, replaced an earlier stone and log structure that was built in 1712, which replaced an even earlier log structure that was built in 1700. To build the first 1700 meeting house, 62 Friends contributed financially. Owen gave 4 pounds, 8 shillings.

The first two ministers of the Meeting House were Robert and Cadwallader Evans, Owen's uncles. They were Episcopalians who became Friends after Cadwallader stopped at the Meetinghouse on the way to Robert's house "to see how the Quakers do."

Owen Evans, Mary Nicholas Evans, Rebecca Evans, Dr. Joseph Meredith and his family are all buried in the Gwynedd Meeting burial grounds. The locations of the Evans graves are not known. Only 10 to 20 percent of the older graves are marked.

Howard Jenkins is buried at Upper Dublin Friends Meeting burial ground.


 
Gwynedd Friends burial ground.
 
 

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