Pont Reading House

The Home of Joshua Humphreys.

A beautiful example of an early American home, standing as it has stood since 1813 (although the original building was built possibly as early as 1683,) surrounded by large trees of the original estate, housing memories of the “Father of the American Navy,” “Pont Reading House” is Haverford Township’s most famous landmark. It is located on the east side of Haverford Road, north of the Ardmore Junction Trolley Station.

The original log cabin was built far back from the road, and later rebuilt. The middle section with its pillared porch was created in the years 1730-1760, and the front sections added in 1813. In the pantry which adjoins the dining room can be seen part of the original log wall.

“Pont Reading” was named by Daniel Humphreys for his old family seat in Wales. His grandson, Joshua, Humphreys lived here from 1803 until his death in 1838.

Joshua Humphreys had a shipyard in Philadelphia. During the revolutionary War he designed the frigate “Randolph”. (And for such activities he was disowned by the Quakers and “read out of the meeting.”) In 1794 by Act of Congress he was appointed first naval Constructor on the United States. His greatest contribution was the designing of the famous frigates ‘Constitution” (Old lronsides), “United States”, “Constellation”, “Chesapeake” and “President”. It is quite likely that he planned these ships in his library at Pont Reading and that George Washington when President came here to consult with him.