Germantown Neighborhoods

Dec 18 2015

DOGTOWN, SMEARSBURG & BRICKYARD: These were all sections of Germantown and, according to one early 20th-century history book, “fights between the bullies of Dogtown and Smearsburg would take place every Sunday afternoon” on a certain empty lot on Germantown Avenue.

Dogtown is upper Germantown around Johnson and Upsal streets, and the folks up there were said to be proud dog owners, according to Lizabeth M. Holloway, librarian of the Germantown Historical Society.

No one knows for sure how Smearsburg in lower Germantown – south and east of Penn Street – received its nickname. Holloway says it might come from the German-style cottage cheese called smearcase.

The Brickyard, around Wister Street and Germantown Avenue, got its name from Samuel Collum’s busy brick-making operation next to the Reading Railroad tracks. The Brickyard and Dogtown gangs were once white toughs. Blacks adopted the same gang names, and continued to battle into the late 1960s.”

Brickyard is still going strong that’s for sure. Don’t fuck around in the yard if you like to live. Every once in a while you’ll see a Brickyard t-shirt for sale, I’ve never gotten one. The guy at Manheim and Wayne has them sometimes, and this silkscreening spot on Germantown Ave will sometimes display them in the window. If you ever see one can you grab it for me?

I found this one online-

But its not the one I’m looking for. The proper one has a hand drawn brick wall with a graffiti-ish logo. It’s one color.

***This blurb is lacking in mention of Happy Hollow/Fern Hill, where the Landlords reside. We don’t have any gangs. These twelve year olds were spray painting ABP (All Bout Paper) around our park and all these old ladies got in a tizzy.

Here’s a video:

Start at 30 seconds.