Skippack Historical Society

The Shoemaker House


Shoemaker was a name of one of the owners during the 1800's. Evansburg State Park refers to this house as the "Hetherington House" after the last owner. Locals know this house as the "Palmer house", after the family that was there for most of the 1900's before it was purchased by the State Park.

According to James Heckler the following people owned the farm from 1706 through 1896: Dirk & Willam Renberg, George Merckle (Markley), Catharine Merckle, John Clemens, Edward Ubdegrame, Jacob Clemens, Jacob Godshalk, Godshalk Godshalk, David Allebach, Henry Allebach, Frederick Zendt, Jesse Freeman.

The house is Located in Evansburg State Park along Old Forty Foot Road. It is located on land originaly purchased from Van Bebber by Dirk and William Renberg in 1706. They each bought 150 acres. The adjoined parcels were somewhat like 2 rectangles extending eastward from Old Forty Foot Road, and on both sides of what is today Skippack Pike (Route 73). The brothers were German Reformed as was Gerhard IndenHofen their nearest neighbor across the Skippack Road.

This house was probably built after 1721 and played a role in the Revolutionary War. Artifacts found by Mary Gehman's father (Mr. Palmer) on the property point to revolutionary soldiers camping on the farm during the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign of Washington's Continental Army. Officers may have stayed in the house. In the manuscript division of the Library of Congress, a report is given that on October 2, 1777, Joseph Smith received 2 pounds and 15 shillings "for the use of his house and the trouble caused." An additional payment, also on October 2nd, for 11 pounds, 19 shillings and 6 pence for sundries. Old maps indicate that Joseph Smith, who had three sons in the war, did own the land adjacent to these premises in the 1770's. The Joseph Smith house and barn located across the Skippack Creek was torn down by the State in the mid 1970's.

There later was a mill associated with the property and it appears to be Jacob Gotschalk, the same person involved in the Kaiser Mill near Germantown Pike.

It appears that the house was built similar to Indenhofen's, with an addition being added almost doubling its size. A date stone on the house gives the initials D. and H.A. According to Heckler David & Helena Allebach owned the farm from 1798 to 1836. They probably built the addition to the house with this date stone (D & H.A.)

According to the State Park this house was closed because it had a malfunctioning septic systems. They have no future plans for the house.

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