Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Port Kennedy - or how building a bypass helped end a town

  • Port Kennedy Village was named after Alexander Kennedy and was built around the limestone quarried from the nearby Valley Forge Hills.
  • Port Kennedy expanded under the guidance of Alexander's son, John, who established an extensive Lime production, employing up to 70 men.
  • During Port Kennedy's prime,  the village included a hotel, furnace and workshops, and starting in 1849, a Reading Railroad station.
  • In the 1960s the Pottstown Expressway (US Route 422) was constructed, effectively cutting through the town.
  • Today only the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion (1852) and the First Presbterian Church of Port Kennedy (1845) remain.
Photo by Jack E. Boucher
  • Visit the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion located in Valley Forge National Historical Park and originally known as Kenhurst. You can lease it!
  • Check out the National Historic Registry for more information about the Mansion and it's interesting past.

  • Know how the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion got its name? In 1911 J. Henderson Supplee purchased the mansion and lived there until his death in 1936.
  • Know who J. Henderson Supplee was? In 1936 he was one of the last Civil War Veterans of Montgomery County. He had fought in Antietam, Stony River, Chattanooga, and Gettysburg.

 "I eventually had to go down to the cellar..."
"That's the display department."
"...with a torch."
"The lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"Well, you found the notice, didn't you?"
"Yes. The plans were on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard."
Douglas Adams' A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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