More on the Parsonage

By Bob Josuweit
History Committee

In the book, Swedish Annals, Rev. Jehu Curtis Clay, writes that Dr. Collin said the “parsonage on Passyunk was bought by or from Andrew Bengtson, containing eighty acres of land, whereof seventy are situated near the minister’s house, and ten on Ponskon-hook. It cost in all sixty pounds in 1698.”

Earlier the Rev. Andrew Rudman said “the minister’s garden and mansion- house are at
a distance of four English miles from Philadelphia, a clever town built by Quakers.” The glebe-house was in turn the residence of Rev. Andrew Rudman, Rev. Andrew Sandel, Rev. Jonas Lidman, and J. Eneberg in the early 1700s.

Thompson Westcott in his book on historic buildings in Philadelphia says “This ground was eighty acres in extent, situate at Point Breeze, exactly where the lower road running from the road to Penrose Ferry strikes the Schuylkill, proceeding up the bank past Port Gibson to the Gas-Works. The glebe was afterward enlarged by a purchase of sixteen acres more, and the whole tract of ninety-six acres cost seventy pounds. The parsonage house was accidently burnt down in 1717, and was immediately rebuilt. Clay says there are records of who furnished the timber, who cut it, who hauled it, who built the walls, who cut the rafters, who carried them to the ground, who put them up, who bought the shingles, who shaved them, etc. At the time Clay said anyone that is “curious in such matters, may see all the particulars on application to the rector of the church.” About 1727 the glebe was abandoned as a place of residence for the clergyman, a nearer and more eligible site having been procured at Wicaco, adjoining the church. In 1731 the parsonage was leased to Peter Cock and Mouns Cock for four pounds yearly. By 1737 the rent to Andrew Rambo increased to five pounds.

Churchyard Work

By Bob Josuweit
History Committee

Each year the Church sponsors one or more Church clean up days. The help is appreciated by all involved. Did you know there was a period of time when yard work was required?

During the early years of the Church a pastor would spend all of his money to travel from Sweden to the New World and find nothing there. Pastor Andreas Sandal found that to be the case in 1702. Many members of the congregation pledged ewes, wheat, rye, hens, roosters, corn, calves, colts, plates, pots, bowls, and spoons to name a few. Yet the Congregation, Church Council, and Sandal agreed that each and every family should contribute work on certain days for three years on a few acres of cleared land.

The first year every family promised 3 days of work, the second year 2 days, and the third year 1 day. This cultivable land which was owned by church was known as the glebe. The glebe wasn’t next to the Church, but about four miles below the Church at Passayungh, now Point Breeze, on the Schuykill. In fact it was one of the sites that the congregation considered building the Church.

Much of that year was spent cultivating the land, however there was still more to be done. The next year a horse stable and barn were built. Sandal hired four people from the congregation to build them. The congregation paid for the workers. Promises continued to come in for wheat and oats. Sandal indicated that some of them came in and some didn’t.

In 1717 the parsonage burned down. According to various accounts “a moderate house was erected afterward.” Gloria Dei Church was still renting some ground at Point Breeze. If the Church still owned the land that was once in their hands they would be very rich, as the city now covers the property.