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HISTORY LIVES: Clemens Farm

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Clemens Farm. The Clemens tract, more than 100 acres in size, dates back to the Revolutionary era; and the first owners were Christian and Mary Clemens. For multiple generations it was a successful working farm south of Doylestown where John, grandson of Christian, erected a fountain in 1873 at the northern corner of the property (today’s Green and South Main streets). The fountain’s water was for travelers to the county seat, as well as for their horses.

As early as May 1910, development of Clemens’ farm was being considered; but the borough council was not in favor of annexing the land “at this time.” A Mr. E.A. Perry met the objection by saying that he would BUILD ENOUGH HOUSES THERE TO OVERCOME ALL OPPOSITION to the concern of sharing the town’s water, light, and improved streets. (By April 1911, approximately one half of Clemens farm was annexed by the borough; but the other half remained in Doylestown Township.)

On Sept. 26, 1936, The Doylestown Intelligencer announced, CLEMENS FARM TRACT IS TO BE DEVELOPED, and a plot plan showed the proposed subdivision. Alden Clemens promised a beautiful new “annex” for Doylestown.

He stated, “In our development we are going to avoid small lots and protect against undesirable building operations...which will be an asset to the appearance of the town.”

In November 1956 The Intelligencer again reported CLEMENS TRACT SOLD TO DEVELOPER. “Doylestown is to have a new home development with the erection of 98 homes all in the $25,000 bracket.” The tract, containing about 80 acres, not including frontage on Route 611, had been sold by the owner, Charles Clemens to Clemens Farm, Inc., headed by Richard Koelle. “Each home will have all utilities, including borough water and sewer, with modern finished streets. No lot will have less than a half-acre. Actual building of the first two homes will get under way within a week.”

The Clemens Farm development grew very slowly. In October 1958, a large newspaper ad urged future home buyers to consider more than just quality construction in the purchase of a new home i.e. street layout, terrain, sewers, water, paved streets and curbs, easy accessibility, and convenience to schools and shops.

At that time, there were 101 building lots designated, 41 lots purchased, and 11 houses either under construction or completed. Today, www.livingplaces.com lists Clemens Farms as “a residential neighborhood of detached, single family homes built primarily in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Lot sizes range from less than one-quarter to approximately two-thirds of an acre fronting on Bennett Drive, Clemens Road, Green Street, Homestead Drive, Meadow Lane, Scott Road, Timothy Drive, and Trellis Path.”

Doylestownhistorical.org


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