“Alone by the Schuylkill, a wanderer, I strayed.”

I’m away from work this week. This is an abbreviated post regarding ancillary material associated with Mount Pleasant.

Mount Pleasant, c. 1905. “Colonial Architecture for Those About To Build”, Wise and Beidleman, J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and London, 1913

Less than a year after the city of Philadelphia took possession of Mount Pleasant, the first directive from the Committee on Police and Superintendence, on November 29, 1870, authorized Park Keeper O’Donnell to move into one of the buildings at the site. Throughout the 1870’s entrepreneurs petitioned the city for access to Mount Pleasant to establish various commercial activities that could profit the large number of visitors to the newly established section of East Fairmount Park. In June 1878, George Dallas Dixon was granted a license to establish a “Dairy” at Mount Pleasant. Under various owners, the “Dairy” would continue to provide refreshments until 1920.

The Dairy at Mount Pleasant, c. 1908. The standing seam metal roof was installed in 1907 and the postcard is dated July, 1910. Without these postcard images we would not know the Dairy was located in the South Pavilion. Author’s collection.

Dixon’s success inspired others to capitalize on the large number of visitors to the Park in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Jacob Jones was granted a “license to operate a photographic Pavilion at Mt. Pleasant” on June 15, 1883.

Tintype, Jacob Jones, Dairy, East Fairmount Park, 1883-1899. Collection of the author.

Jones continued to apply for and was annually granted a license for his photographic endeavor over the next sixteen years. Photography as a business at Mount Pleasant came to an end on May 24, 1900 when the minutes of the Fairmount Park Committee report that Jacob Jones died after his application had been submitted but before it had been approved. While we could assume that Jones would have been producing tintypes for his customers at Mount Pleasant, the survival of at least one of his images confirms it. The stamp on the reverse of the decorative sleeve protecting the thin iron sheet also gives an alternative address for Jones in West Philadelphia. With the information contained in the Minutes of the FPC we can confidently date the image 1883-1899.

Reverse of the tintype sleeve

4 thoughts on ““Alone by the Schuylkill, a wanderer, I strayed.”

  1. I have 7 tintypes from the Jacob Jones Dairy. two images are still in their paper frames with the cover sheet stamped by Jones. it also lists 3315 Woodland Ave, Bel, Chestnut, W. Phila in the stamping.

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