Days of Yore
.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 


Pottery Street
Potter Street was once a quiet village lane, then known as the "new" Long-a-Coming Road. It was a continuation of the old Long-a coming that passed through Berlin on its route from the shore points. Here in Haddonfield was the last long-a-coming stopping point, suitable for food and refreshments for the horse-drawn wagons laden with seafood on their way to Philadelphia.

When the pottery was built by John Thompson, the name changed to Potter Street. This was one of the earliest industries in town. There were many operators of the pottery at 50 Potter Street during the years. The last was Charles Wingender and Brother, who leased it until they erected their own on Lake Street in 1904.

The heavily traveled artery through Haddonfield that Potter Street is today still has managed to retain its old fashioned look. It is difficult to believe that in an earlier era it was the center of business activity. The southwest corner of Potter and Main Street was a store in 1828. It sold feed and general supplies to the wagonmasters passing through town, and when it was later owned by the Clement family it became a first class drygoods and grocery store, and was the leading store in town in 1850.

Prior to this the Post Office had been there. When it was abandoned, the lumber was used to erect the small houses that once stood on the hill at the foot of Ellis Street. Across on the opposite corner where the Kingsway Apartments are now, was a row of open sheds. The two-horse white Egg Harbor wagons with their loads of oysters, clams and fish coming from the shore via Berlin stopped in the sheds to be fed and rested. Then they continued on to Camden and Philadelphia. On their return trip Potter Street was the stopping place for horsefeed, pork, flour and possibly whiskey. The Glassware Wagons from Waterford and other points, drawn by six or eight mules and the charcoal wagons from Berlin also were patrons of the sheds.

At 19 Potter Street was the village undertaker, William C. Githens, and in the adjoining shop his sons made the coffin that usually was required for the month. At 24 Potter Street, Samuel Thackara resided around 1856, operating a blacksmith shop where the Fortnightly is now. 25 Potter Street was the first residence in town of Mr. James L. Pennypacker.

At the corner of Main and Potter Streets, where the Haddon House building still stands, was the home of the grandparents of Haddonfield's first Mayor Morris Roberts.

It is readily seen that Potter Street once teemed with much activity for a quiet town.

Data was secured from the book, "This is Haddonfield," published by the Historical Society.

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