The Colonial Roots of Bridge Street Farm
Bridge Street Farm is the Jacob Ott Homestead. The first record of the Ott family in Springfield Township is found in “The Direct Tax of 1798” by Harry C. Adam. Jacob Ott, born on March 2, 1776, was 22 years old at the time of the Direct Tax Record.
As you may notice, Jacob Ott is listed as an “owner” with a 26′ x 20′ log home in Springfield Township, Bucks County in 1798.
Unfortunately, the “Direct Tax of 1798” doesn’t specify the exact location of Jacob Ott’s Homestead.
Bridge Street Farm traces its connection to Jacob Ott through a set of concrete slabs which lists him as the 1828 builder of the stone house on Bridge Street Farm.
In 1901, Dr. John Jacob Ott, Jacob Ott’s grandson, added concrete slabs dating the owners and builders of the Ott stone home. He also added a frame addition and car port.
In 2016, metal detectors unearthed a large iron square nail and a door/window hinge commonly used in colonial log homes. This colonial iron building hardware found beside the 1901 carport addition near the original Ott stone house may pinpoint the location of the original log home of Jacob Ott as listed in the 1798 Direct Tax Book.
Additional Structures on Jacob Ott Homestead
The 1798 Direct Tax outbuilding listing for Jacob Ott, includes a 36′ x 20′ log barn. Since no current log barns remain, the circa 1820-1830 English Lake District Style Stone Barn measuring 50′ x 29′ may be a replacement for the original log barn.
Ott Stone Barn
The 1798 Direct Tax listing of a 18′ x 12′ log smith shop, may also be an earlier version of the stone building ruins shown below.
Pennsylvania Historical Recovery Services recovered many iron tools and artifacts used in a colonial smith shop near these ruins.
This find may point to the original location of the log smith shop as evidenced by iron tools/artifacts found.
Jacob Ott’s son, Charles B. Ott, established “Pleasant Valley Fruit Farm and Nurseries” and advertised it as a “Summer and Fall Boarding House” around 1879.
A handbill advertising “Pleasant Valley Fruit Farm and Nurseries” circa 1878.
The ad states that visitors to the Farm stayed in the main house.