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Collection Michael Fulp House
Object Name Print, Photographic
Title West elevation detail
Description Black and white photographic print showing detail of southwest eaves wall and severely damaged roof.

Details include: random rubble masonry west eaves wall; door and window frames; top of cellar door frame; stove chimney [removed during 1970 restoration] on northwest [left] gable wall [see MFHPH22-1005.01.023, Footnote {1} for discussion of this chimney].

The names "Bridge Keeper's House" and "Covered Bridge Keeper's House" most likely originated in the 19th or 20th century because of the obvious proximity of the house to the eastern approach ramp to the covered bridge [see Image #3]. The toll house for most of the period of private ownership of the bridge [1833-1885] was the Kulp House on the Union Township [southwest] side of the Schuylkill River. The covered bridge is indicated on the Amity Township map published on page 27 of the 1876 "Atlas of Berks County," which locates the "Toll House" on the opposite river bank as of that date. The period of ownership by Berks County [1885-1952] will be the subject of further research to determine whether local residents served in any role which might be described as that of a "keeper." According to surviving neighbors, a woman named Alice Garber lived in the Fulp house and performed some of these duties in the mid-20th century.
No record has been found documenting the service of any resident of the Fulp House as a "keeper" of this covered bridge.
If the toll collector was also the 'keeper,' primarily responsible for maintaining the bridge in a passable condition for wheeled vehicles, pedestrians, and sleighs, and considering the apparent lack of documentation of the performance of this role by pre-20th century occupants of the Fulp house, it seems unlikely that the house served this function in any significant or official capacity. Nevertheless, it is plausible that one or more occupants of the Fulp house could have served in some informal or occasional capacity facilitating ingress to and egress from the bridge on the Amity Township side. See additional discussion in MFHPH16--1005.01.017, footnote {1}.
The Douglassville bridge was constructed about a quarter-century after the death of the first occupant Michael Fulp, who resided in the house from c.1783 to 1795, and again from 1806 to his death in early 1808. In the late 18th and early 19th century there were fords in the vicinity of Morlatton ["Molatten"], providing transport and communication between Amity and Union Townships. According to tradition, a ferry operated across the Schuylkill River near Morlatton at some time prior to 1833, when the first bridge was constructed. A ferry would have been required to operate as a raft or other shallow-draught vessel at this location, where the mean depths provided a good location for a ford, called the "White Horse" as early as the late 18th century .

See additional image #2 for notes written in blue pen and pencil on verso providing the date of the photo.
Photographer Unknown
Date 1964
People Fulp, Michael
Print size 7.72 x 9.66 inches
Catalog Number 1005.01.048
Archive Number MFHPH47
Frame# MF52110-12 & -12verso
Search Terms MFHPH
MFPH
Michael Fulp House
Michael Fulp House Photo
Gable-end Chimney
Elevation Photo
Gable Wall
Eaves Wall
Stove Chimney
Roof Damage
Vintage Photo
Ford
Ferry
White Horse Ford