The Colonial Roots of Bridge Street Farm-Jacob Ott

Ott home in snow
Circa 1828 Stone Home built by Jacob Ott

The Colonial Roots of Bridge Street Farm

The Direct Tax of 1798 Book

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.  

Jacob Ott listed in Direct Tax of 1798

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.

1700's square nail and window hardware
Circa 1700’s large square nail and window hardware

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.

stone barn in summer

Ott Stone Barn

stone barn with stone building ruins

 

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.

This stone structure may have had many uses since colonial times, most recently as servant’s quarters for the Ott Farm.

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.

rusted horse shoes

rusty iron colonial tools

lamp and carriage hardware parts

 

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.

flyer by Charles Ott

A handbill advertising “Pleasant Valley Fruit Farm and Nurseries” circa 1878.

The ad states that visitors to the Farm stayed in the main house.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Springfield Township

<img src=“road sign.jpg” alt=“road sign with springfield township on it”
Welcome to Springfield Township

Where it is?

Finding Bucks County’s Springfield Township may prove difficult to one unfamiliar with Southeastern Pennsylvania. You see, similarly named townships  exist in Montgomery and Delaware Counties, too.

Do you see Springfield Township? It is at the border with Northampton and Lehigh Counties, in the northwest portion of Bucks County.

<img src=“map.jpg” alt=“map of bucks county showing townships”
Townships of the County of Bucks

The Lenni Lenape tribe lived in this area generations before the white man arrived from Europe. And while William Penn, the proprietor of Pennsylvania, treated the native populations with respect, his sons did not. The Infamous Walking Purchase of 1737, swindled 1,200 square miles from the Delaware tribes. Afterwards, some of this land became Springfield Township.

Video about Springfield Township located on Bucks County History Channel on YouTube: