Then and Now
West Point Residence

Private Residence, 1908. Actual address is 645 Jones Avenue.
2008. 100 years later.
At the base of one of the chimneys, on the outside of the house, was this cleanout.
The other chimney has been partially demolished. Photo taken in 2017.
From the back, January 2018. 110 years after the top photo was taken, the house is abandoned.
The tin roof has begun to peel away.
Front view.
Behind the house is a large garage, also abandoned.
Built in 1920, it is presently zoned "Light Manufacturing Commercial."
To the right is what remains of Cherry Street, an undedicated street that was cut in half by Merck.
Photo taken at 2nd and Cherry. (See "Meet me at 2nd and Cherry" in the "Odds n Ends" section.)
This thermometer now hangs in a kitchen on Garfield Avenue. What does it have to do with the house?
Earl C. Ludwig was a butcher in West Point.
He once lived in the house shown above and the "garage" was once the butcher shop!

What can we find out about Earl C. Ludwig? I dialed 7155 but nothing happened, perhaps because the phone didn't actually have a dial.

Fortunately, the Ambler Gazette has a few newsworthy articles concerning him. For instance, the house caught fire in March of 1927. The butcher shop was closed for two weeks while Ludwig dealt with the aftermath.

In 1928 Linford Shepherd, a painter and wall paper hanger who lived on the same street, papered and painted the rooms in the house. The chimney was rebuilt in April of 1931 but the Gazette doesn't mention if the fire had anything to do with it. You can see the different chimneys in the photographs above.

Earl was married to Mary Elizabeth, who was born in Cedars, PA. Their children were Sheridan, Grace, Charles, Emma and Earl Jr.

It would seem that the family was often ill and this fact was reported in the newspaper. This is not as unusual as it may appear. Every time anyone in West point was sick it made it into the newspaper.

In May of 1928 the children had whooping cough.

In January of 1929 Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig, as well as the children, were sick with the grip. (Today we call this the flu, or influenza.)

In May of 1929 Sheridan was in an automobile accident. At this time he was the delivery man for his father's butcher shop. In February of 1932 Sheridan became an automobile salesman. Theodore Gaerth took over as the delivery man for the butcher shop.

In the 1930s Ludwig was treasurer of the West Point Volunteer Fire Company. In February 1930 either he or Earl Jr. had tonsillitis.

In January of 1932 Earl was elected Secretary of the West Point Fire Company. In May the house was quarantined because of the mumps. (This must not have been good for business.) In October it was reported that Earl had been ill for some time but was much improved. In December, he was elected president of the Upper Gwynedd School Board.

Also in 1932 Sheridan moved down the street to a property on Main street (West Point Pike) near Jones Avenue.

In March of 1933 it is mentioned that the children are ill. On December 5th of that year Earl's wife, Mary Elizabeth, died of a heart attack. She was 50 years old. In late December her estate was settled, valued at $9000. Earl was the beneficiary. Her will was written on July 23, 1932.

In February of 1934 the children were confined to the house with severe colds.

E. C. Ludwig was elected Fire Chief of the West Point Fire Company in December of 1935.

The Ambler Gazette stopped reporting the news from West Point around 1940 but we know from a long time resident of West Point that the butcher shop was still there in the 1940s.

We also know that sometime in the 1980s the house caught fire again. The house was purchased by Thomas Ryan in 2001, who lived there with his family till abandoning it in 2017.

Note: Earl had a brother named Sheridan C. Ludwig who lived in Belfry, and who was also butcher. Sheridan died on August 30, 1935 at the age of 41.