ITEM DESCRIPTION: A BEER COLLECTORS DREAM ITEM; OWN AN ORIGINAL PIECE OF PHILA PA BREWING HISTORY; CARRIAGE STEP STONE FROM THE LATE 1800’S; THESE STONES WERE USED AS A STEP TO GET OFF OF A HORSE-DRIVEN CARRIAGE ; THIS STONE WAS AT THE ORIGINAL BREWERY AT CONRAD STREET AND INDIAN QUEEN LANE IN PHILA PA; THEN IN THE EARLY 1950’S IT WAS MOVED TO THE HOHEN ADLE HOUSE ON INDIAN QUEEN LANE; THE STONE IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION; A RARE RARE ITEM AT A GREAT PRICE.
Our first thought when we saw the listing was, “Ew is this a grave stone?” but then some quick research revealed that “carriage blocks” were indeed commonplace in the days before autos: they served as stepping stones at the entrance of shops, homes, etc. for passengers climbing up and disembarking from horses, wagons and carriages.
Property owners would often inscribe a name on them, to help identify businesses and noteworthy residences the way mailboxes often do today. We’re inclined to believe the seller’s story that this particular “Hohen Adel” stone was originally at the old brewery, rather than the mansion — the commercial spelling gives it away. Makes sense, too, that the stone would’ve been relocated in the 50’s because that’s when the brewery closed, and neat pieces like this stone were salvaged or auctioned.
Funny, this isn’t the first we’ve heard of the Hohenadel carriage stone. When we initially began researching Hohenadel House in April 2014, we wrote to East Falls Historical Society Founder/former President (and lifetime local) Ellen Sheehan for her own memories and impressions about the mansion’s past.
Ellen emailed us, “After the Sharkis brothers sold it in the 50’s, a family who owned a pig farm in NJ lived in the house and when they moved, they took the original marble carriage step from the front curb with them.”
As soon as we saw the eBay listing, we sent her photos — Is this the step you remember?
Ellen’s reply couldn’t have come back any quicker:
“Yes! This looks just like the carriage stone I remember from in front of the house at the curb. What a wonderful find. Imagine bringing it back to East Falls!“
Oh, we’re imagining!
Of course we’ve contacted the seller, in case they’re as motivated as we are to see this piece of history brought home where it belongs.
Or perhaps they’d like to make an offer on a rusted iron “H” gate from the same era, found buried under vines in Hohenadel House’s overgrown backyard?
A matched set might be worth more, just sayin’.