Historic Resource Study
Slateford Farm
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A study of the slate quarrying business in Northampton County, and specifically in Upper Mount Bethel Township, is needed. A history of the quarries near Slateford would involve much research in the Northampton County deed records in an effort to trace James Madison Porter's various land transactions. Additionally, the missing nineteenth century slate industry records may surface at Lafayette College in Easton, although this is doubtful.

The John Williams quarry in Slateford Creek Gorge has a 200-300 foot tunnel around the site, which was reputed to have been used to divert the flow of the stream while quarrying operations were in progress in the bed of the creek. Since this location was probably one of the first quarrying operations in Northampton County, the diversion tunnel would add an interesting dimension to the interpretive story at Slateford Farm. The tunnel warrants further investigation.

Further research needs to be done on the activities of Amos Strettell and the Morrises on the farm before Samuel Pipher purchased it. At this time it is not known where or if a Morris farmstead stood, when buildings may have been built, or the fate of these structures before or after Pipher bought the farm. It cannot be ascertained from the 1790 deed if Pipher purchased a well-developed farm or if he purchased undeveloped farm land.

The actions of the various Samuel and Christina Pipher descendents require further scrutiny. The sons, grandsons and great grandsons and their spouses bought and sold property until after 1900 and some of this property was part of the original farm. Such deed research would further define the changes in property holdings throughout the years. This research might also provide further clues as to the history of the slate quarrying occurring on and around the farm.

Efforts were made during the research for this study to contact Alice Munsch, who is living at this writing in New York City. She is ailing and elderly, and further efforts to reach her may be successful. Munsch was an amateur photographer and she must possess early to mid-twentieth century photographs of the farmstead.

Further research can be done on the late nineteenth and early twentieth century absentee owners of the property—Morison and Reynolds. Emphasis in research was not placed on these individuals and some of the conflicting evidence provided by the Pipher descendants can be carefully weighed if more was known of both landlords and renters.

Historic maps located in Harrisburg or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania may provide a basis for a further defined historical base map for Slateford Farm. No new maps were found in the Easton repositories which provided other than very general information about the Delaware Water Gap and Slateford area.

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Last Updated: 31-Dec-2009