Monday Evening, July 6, 1936
of Distinguished Family
Lives in Ancient Stone House
the Middleburg road, about two miles from Greencastle, stands an old stone
house in which the Misses Ebbert now resides (1936), which was the former
home of James Allison, the last member of a distinguished family intimately
connected with the history of Greencastle.
William Allison, the ancestor of this family in this country, came from the
north of Ireland to Lancaster County in the early part of the 18th century.
He bought a large tract of land in what is now Antrim Township from John
Smith in 1763, and conveyed by deed three hundred acres of this land to his
eldest son, Colonial John Allison. Col. Allison served with distinction in
the Revolutionary war and at its close returned to Antrim township and laid
out the town of Greencastle in 1782, naming it after Greencastle, a large
fishing station in the County of Donegal, Province of Ulster, Ireland, near
which his father had lived.
Colonel Allison divided his town plot into two hundred and fifty‑six lots of
equal size and numbered them from one to two hundred and fifty‑six, putting
the price of each of at three pounds, a little less than $15. He then made
a lottery and every person who purchased a ticket was entitled to a lot,
there being no blanks, the only chance being in whether the lot should be on
the public square or on a back street. The deed of these lots was given by
Col. Allison but subject to an annual quit rent of ten shillings specie.
second brother, Patrick Allison, graduated from the University of
Pennsylvania in 1760 and studied for the ministry of thee Presbyterian
church. Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith, then resident of Princeton College,
described him "as the ablest statesman in the General assembly of the
third son, Willliam Allison, lived and died on the maternal farm and took
great pride in the old home.
William Allison, Sr., was among those who met at Edward Shippen's house in
Shippensburg to confer with regard to the erection of five forts in the
county as a protection against the Indians, and Fort Allison was soon
afterwards erected west of the present town of Greencastle.
Ebbert home is of stone and was the first house in the locality to have
"fire" or double walls, these walls being almost three feet thick and built
for all time in contrast with the flimsy walls of modern construction one
brick thick with a coating of plaster board.
The entrance hall is at least fifteen feet wide, with lofty double parlors
opening out on it. The rooms upstairs and down are of fine proportions, with
the usual carved wooden mantels, cupboards and chairboards. One of the
charms of the old place is the beautiful spring with a stream of water
flowing from it. In the early days a stockade was built over portion of this
spring where the family could retreat incase of sudden attack by the indians,
provisions and ammunition being stored here and water being at hand in case
of a siege.