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Castle of the Schuylkill Fishing Company

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1812. Biddle's Ln., Andalusia grounds

Adjacent to Andalusia ( BU2) is the odd Gothic-windowed, clapboarded frame clubhouse of a fishing club that was founded by twentyseven gentlemen, including Penn's colonial secretary James Logan and West Philadelphia landowner William Warner, and carries the abstruse claim whose subtlety could only have been framed by Philadelphia lawyers of being the oldest “formally organized” sporting club in the English-speaking world. Merged with the St. David's Fishing Company in 1781, it was renamed the “State in Schuylkill” at the time of the Revolution. The present frame building was constructed on the site of the original building along the Schuylkill River near the west approach of the present Girard Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia. With the construction of the Fairmount dam in 1822 that halted the migratory runs of shad, the building was floated downriver to a site opposite Bartram's Garden, and when that site became too industrial, it was dismantled and reconstructed at Andalusia in 1887. The club's members were the gentlemen of the city and are credited with initiating a regional delicacy, Fish House punch, a lethal mixture of rum, citrus, and sugar that still appears at parties. These men were the antecedents to the Philadelphia Gentlemen of E. Digby Baltzell's celebrated analysis of the same name on Philadelphia culture.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Castle of the Schuylkill Fishing Company", [Bensalem, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-BU3.

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