West Point, PA
 West Point Feed House

West Point was named after Henry Moyer and E. K. Freed's "West Point Feed House".
The West Point Feed House was built in 1873. Where was it located?? There is no mention of it in any historical texts. Instead, what we find are many references to Heebner and Kriebel’s feed mill and Mattern and Knerr’s hay press.

We know that Heebner’s Feed Mill was on the corner of Jones and Main, across from the present day West Point Post Office. The building still stands there today. It was built in 1877, about four years after the West Point Feed House was established. Therefore there is no connection between this building and the West Point Feed House.
We also know that Mattern and Knerr sold feed and coal in addition to dealing in hay, which means there were two feed houses in West Point in the 1870s. Could there be a connection between Moyer and Freed’s West Point feed house and Mattern and Knerr’s hay press?

Once again we can use some historical documents and an old map to help us figure things out.
Henry Weishey Moyer (1841-1904)

Here are the historical facts:
In 1868 Henry W. Moyer and George Schlotterer operated a grist (flour) mill on Main Street in North Wales, Pennsylvania.  In 1870, Mr. Schlotterer sold his interest in the mill to Elias K. Freed, and the firm E. K. Freed was created, with Moyer as the junior partner. Sometime around 1873 Moyer and Freed built the West Point Feed House. It was about a mile west of the mill, and named accordingly.

In 1881 Moyer sold his interest in the mill to Elias K. Freed but kept the West Point Feed House as part of the deal. Moyer's first wife had died in 1873 and In 1878 he married again to Miss Adelaide Mattern. Moyer's brother in law, Lesher Mattern, began working for Moyer in 1883. After ten years Mattern bought a share of the company and the name was changed to Moyer & Mattern.

About 1905 Lesher Mattern bought out Henry Moyer and became the sole owner of the business, and for 13 years business was conducted under the name of L.W. Mattern. He built the business into one of the largest hay pressing operations in Montgomery county. 150 carloads of hay, each weighing 10 tons, were shipped out yearly as far as Philadelphia, Connecticut and New York. In addition, he sold flour, feed, coal, cement and lime. Mattern owned several houses in West Point, some of which he rented out.

On September 4, 1918 Lesher Mattern sold the business to his cousin Edwin Mattern, who took on as a senior partner Robert J. Knerr. Edwin had worked for a brickyard in Allentown, while Knerr, also of Allentown, had worked for 16 years at the Portland Cement Company. Robert Knerr bought the property at the corner of Garfield and Main (now West Point Pike). He began making renovations and building an addition, then in March of 1919 he moved his family to West Point from Allentown.

The company was now known as Knerr & Mattern.

Now we have proven a direct connection between the E. K. Freed & Co. West Point Feed House and Knerr and Mattern’s feed house and hay press. It was the same building.

To recap, the ownership of the feed house went like this:
Henry Moyer and Elias Freed - Feed House built approx 1873
Henry Moyer - 1881
Henry Moyer and Lesher W. Mattern - 1893
Lesher W. Mattern - 1904
Robert Knerr and Edwin Mattern 1918

But where was the feed house located? Let’s look at an old map, from 1934.

 There it is, on Cottage avenue! Knerr and Mattern's feed store and hay press, in plain sight of the train station!
West Point PA aerial view
An aerial view from 1942. See the entire view here.

Let's zoom into the map and compare it with a modern Google map.
Note: A square or rectangle designates a brick or stone building.
The rectangles with the hash marks designate a wooden structure.
We also see a railroad siding leading to the Feed House and hay press.


There is a building at the site designated "Knerr & Mattern" in the previous picture.
It is now the site of Allied Concrete. We can't tell what it is, so let's walk down to cottage Avenue.
    Here is an old brick building. It had large arched windows that have been sealed up. It's in bad shape and the bricks need pointing. It's too old to have been built for Allied Concrete. What is this place?
  An abandoned railroad siding leads to the property.
     This was built by Knerr and Mattern in October of 1919. We're  on the right track!

This doesn't look like a feed house. It's too industrial looking.
According to Montgomery County property records, it was built in 1900. It's not old enough.
If we look to the left we see this.
If we look to the left and travel back in time, we see this! On the left is Lesher Mattern's hay press. The building in the middle is the West Point Feed House. West point got its name from this building!
Lesher Mattern on the left. (Click for larger image).
So what is this old brick building? According to historian Dick Shearer of the Lansdale Historical
Society, it was the power house for the trolley cars of the Montgomery Traction Company.
These pictures were taken in 2012 and 2013. Allied Concrete had vacated the property at this time.

The building shown above no longer exists and the area is now a housing development.

On December 21, 2015 the Upper Gwynedd Township commissioners voted unanimously to approve a change in zoning, converting two parcels from limited industrial to residential zoning, ahead of possible plans to build homes on both.

In 2016 both parcels were razed and the entire area was reduced to rubble.