John Trower was a wealthy businessman alive during the turn of the century. After settling in Germantown, he made his fortune through catering for the elite, his restaurant in Germantown, and real estate. At the time of his death, he was purported to be worth more than one million dollars and one of the wealthiest African Americans in the country and was the wealthiest African American in Pennsylvania. His philanthropy included establishing a trade school for African Americans as well as contributing to religious and charitable causes.
The property at 5706 Germantown Ave., currently occupied by the Crab House, served as Trower’s business headquarters from 1877 until his death in 1911. On Sunday, October 3rd, his 172nd birthday, there will be a marker dedication and a celebration for the addition of the building to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. After the dedication, there will be food and music sponsored by The Black Writers Museum of Vernon Park.
Header Photo Courtesy of ebenezermaxwellmansion.org