Spring-Gail Swimming Pool, Edgewood Lake, Fenimore’s Dam, Walton Pond, Wayne Post Office, St. Davids Toll Gate in 1912

01_image01In the December 7 and 14 issues of this column reproductions of old postcard pictures were used as illustrations. These postcards were from a collection salvaged by Dr. Norman Wack from the cellar of his drugstore several weeks ago.

The first picture in today’s column is from that same collection of old postcards. According to the caption it is the “Spring-Gail Swimming Pool, Edgewood Lake, St. Davids.” Back in the 1880’s it was called Fenimore’s Dam, from the well-known Fenimore family, which owned much acreage in that part of St. Davids. Although it is now part of the property of Eastern Baptist College, it is still the Walton pond to many residents who have spent pleasant hours in summer swimming in its water, and in Winter skating on its frozen surface. Before the big mansion home and its surrounding acreage was sold to the college it was the property of the Charles S. Walton estate.

In this picture, the small building in the center shows a pumping station of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which was located at this pond, manned by “Billy Pump,” whom many remember as general custodian of the Walton pond for many years.

01_image02For this picture of St. Davids toll gate the writer is indebted to DeBourg Tees, of East Lancaster avenue, St. Davids. It was taken by him in 1912, not long before the toll house was demolished. Standing near the western boundary of what is now the Main Line Golf Club, this was the last of the local toll gates to be in operation on the Old Lancaster pike. Among the present residents of this section there are still those who can remember paying toll from a horse-drawn vehicle. And some, perhaps, who were small fry then, can remember circuitous routes they took on their bicycles to avoid the payment of a few pennies toll.

The residence just to the left of the toll house is now the home of Mr and Mrs. H. Raymond Dahm. In the background are some of the first houses to be built in St. Davids Court.

01_image03It might be difficult to convince a newcomer to Wayne that the entrance to one of Wayne’s smartest dress shops once looked like this! Nevertheless the picture above shows the original appearance of the steps and doorway leading to the present Natalie Collett shop, on the northeast corner of Lancaster avenue and North Wayne avenue.

When originally built in the early 1870’s on ground donated by Henry Askin, one of Wayne’s early residents, this building was known as the Lyceum. It was then used for lectures and debates. Later it was called the Wayne Opera House, where many concerts and amateur theatrical performances were held.

When this picture was taken the entire western end of the first floor of the building was occupied by the Wayne Postoffice. In 1914 much of the interior of the old Opera House, including the Postoffice, was burned out in one of Wayne’s most disastrous fires. However, all parts of it were quickly restored. In its present state the Colonial Building, as it is now called, is the result of a complete renovation plan of Main Line Investments Company, Inc., in 1950-51.

Although this postcard picture is not dated, it must have been taken before the fire, probably in the early 1900’s. The man at the left has been identified by several old timers as A.A.H. Canizares, and the man at the right, may be Postmaster Brown.

(Those with old pictures suitable for use in this column are invited to send them to Mrs. T. M. Patterson, Windermere Court.)