William Penn Landing
Site Monument,
Chester
Delaware County is the fifth most populous county in Pennsylvania...
and the third most compact. The county was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester County, founded in 1682, and named for the Delaware River that defines its southeastern border.

Though small in size, Delaware County is large in history. The William Penn Landing Site Monument at Penn and Front Streets in Chester marks the spot of the first landing of Penn on the territory of Pennsylvania in 1682.
Old Chester Courthouse, Chester

Not far from the monument, on the Avenue of the States, sits the Courthouse. It served Chester County until 1790, when Chester and Delaware County split and the Courthouse became the Courthouse of Delaware County.

History is contained within every border of Delaware County. To the east, Swedish immigrants settled in Drexel Hill in 1640, and a Swedish-style cabin, one of the oldest buildings in Pennsylvania has been preserved and is on view as testimony to their settlement.

Lower Swedish Cabin, Drexel Hill
When visiting Delaware County…

…be sure to visit our tours of some of the places that formed our early history. This site contains some of the most popular and accessible attractions along with links for other information, directions and hours open.




The Notorious Riverfront of Marcus Hook

Plank House in Summer
NEWS FLASH: On April, 2017, The Plank House was inducted into The National Historic Register which is the official Federal list of districts, sites, building, structures and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture.  National Register properties have significance to the history of their community, state or the nation.

The Plank House is now the 87th place in Delco to have received the honor. 

In honor of this event we would like to invite the public to the Plank House, located at 221 Market Street in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania on Saturday, April 29, 2017 starting at 9am for our first dig of the year!

Dr. David Orr, (retired), of Temple University will be joined by Dr. Mitchell Rothman of Widener University for a dig in the area located behind the Plank House.  The Plank House and the Artifacts Library, in which Dr. Mitchell Rothman has been working with his undergraduate students, will be open for tours. (Click Here for a complete site listing of all of the places in Delco on the Historic Register.)


Plank House as it looks today
In early times, Marcus Hook was a major Lenape settlement that became a New Sweden trading post in the 1640s. Small ship construction and fishing were its early industries.  In fact, the only iron-hulled American merchant schooner still sailing, the Pioneer, was built in Marcus Hook in 1885. Later, Marcus Hook became a resort and amusement center. The convergence of rail, roads, a deepwater port, and the nation's growing thirst for petroleum gave rise to the refineries that became the borough's dominant industry.

221 Market Street, The oldest house in Marcus Hook,
alleged to be owned
by Margaret, Blackbeard's favorite mistress
Much of Marcus Hook’s historical significance comes from its identity as a maritime town. Marcus Hook was the first port of call for Philadelphia from its earliest days, and later would become the farthest upriver that large ships could safely navigate without knowledge of the local shoals and ties.

The Hook was also a haven for pirates in the early 18th century, when piracy plagued the lower Delaware River. The market at Marcus Hook provided sea-rovers with a place to sell plundered goods and re-supply for their next voyage while remaining a safe distance downriver from the watchful eyes of the authorities and customs officials in Philadelphia. In fact, the early maps show that what is now Second Street was originally called Discord Lane apparently because it was the location of much of the pirates’ revelry while they were in town.

Although there is currently no evidence to support it, there is a local oral tradition that the Marcus
Statue of Mickey Vernon,
two time batting champion of the Washington Senators
and a Marcus Hook native.
Hook Plank House was once the home of a mistress of the notorious pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. Blackbeard is known to have operated in the Delaware River during his piratical career and to have probably visited Marcus Hook. Ashmead’s 1884 History of Delaware County mentions Blackbeard frequenting Marcus Hook and John Watson’s 1898 volume, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, tells us of a “traditional story, that Blackbeard and his crew used to visit and revel at Marcus Hook, at the house of a Swedish woman.”

This landscape of the past began to be rediscovered when historians and archaeologists, both amateur and professional, became interested in the Marcus Hook Plank House. The Plank House itself is a one-and-a-half story,
Pirate Days is an annual event in Marcus Hook
hall-plan house featuring a finished upper level and full cellar. The house is constructed using sawn planks fitted together with dovetail joinery and caulked with oakum in a manner similar to that seen in one of the only other plank houses known in the region, the Christopher Vandergrift House in New Castle County, Delaware. Some of the original riven lath remains on the interior of the house and it is felt that the walls were finished with plaster at the time of construction or soon thereafter. A stone and brick relieving arch in the cellar supports the fireplaces and chimney stack. The upper level of the house, accessed via a winder staircase located in the northeastern corner of the structure essentially mirrors the main room below except that it has an inclined garret ceiling, which follows the peak-pinned rafters. The upper room also features a fielded panel fireplace surround which is felt to be original. Both the architecture of the house and the archaeology indicate a probable construction date of circa-1735.

The Plank House provides an ideal place to get the public involved in archaeology and train volunteers in archaeological field and laboratory methods. The stratigraphy in the excavation units consists of a series of fills deposited to fill and level the area following the demolition of the north wing of the house. These layers of fill are loaded with artifacts dating from the 17th through 20th centuries, so the thrill of discovery is a constant presence for workers at the site.

Market Square Park stretches along the Delaware Riverside and provides a gathering place and beautiful view in all seasons.

For more information, call 610-587-740, or visit www.marcushookps.org

Historic Rose Valley

Thunderbird Lodge is a building of historical and architectural significance in the utopian community of Rose Valley, Delaware County. tribIn 1904, architect Will Price converted an existing circa-1790 stone barn into studios for the artists Charles H. and Alice Barber Stephens. Appended to this, he designed a rambling fieldstone-and-stucco house, including a 3-story octagonal stair tower that joined the wings and served all five levels.
Thunderbird Lodge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Randall Vernon House (c.1700)
with modifications by Will Price in 1901,
Native Americans of the Leni Lenape tribe lived in the area when Europeans began arriving. The Great Minquas Path, passed though the site of the present borough, became a major trade route along which furs were carried by Native Americans to European traders on the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers.

The Hedgerow Theatre as it is today
with entrance by Will Price. Hedgerow
is the first resident repertory country
in the nation. It attracts over
25,000 people a year to it performances.
Soon after William Penn received his charter for the Colony of Pennsylvania, three brothers, Thomas, Robert, and Randall Vernon, received land grants from Penn to settle over 900 acres in the present borough of Rose Valley and Nether Providence Township.

Randall Vernon's house was built before 1700, and still stands along with others including the “Bishop White House,” circa 1695.

In 1901 Rose Valley was founded as an Arts and Crafts community by architect William L. Price, who bought 80 acres of land around the former Rose Valley textile mill. Price was a follower of Henry George’s economics (Georgism) which believed in a single-tax ideal. Though the system was never established, the community became part of the Arts and Crafts Movement and included many notables such as artist and furniture designer Wharton Esherick and actor and director Jasper Deeter, who went on to found the Hedgerow Theatre.

Price became the principle architect of the Rose Valley community, and modified several of its buildings including the Bishop House and the entrance to the Hedgerow Theatre. He also went on to become a nationally renowned architect who along with his brother was responsible for the design of most of the houses in North Wayne, Delaware County, many of the elegant homes of South Wayne, and the Armory in Media (now the Veteran's Museum and Trader Joe's), as well as the Marlborough-
Great House (workers’ living quarters) 1902
Blenheim Hotel in Atlantic City (demolished in 1979).

The Borough of Rose Valley and the Thunderbird Lodge are both listed on the National Historic Register.

The Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society is happy to arrange a guided walking tour for groups of 4 to 25 people.  Be aware that we are a creek valley with steep and unimproved pathways; good legs are essential. Tours would last 1-2 hours depending on enthusiasm and stamina, and cost $20/person, $15/member and $10/student with current ID.




For more information: info@rosevalleymuseum.orginfo@rosevalleymuseum.org

If you wish to contact us please write us at:
The Rose Valley Historical Society
PO Box 62
Moylan, PA 19063 USA

Brinton 1704 House

The stone walls of the Brinton 1704 House are twenty-two inches thick. The House is located a quarter-mile south of Dilworthtown on the old West Chester - Wilmington Pike.

The Brinton 1704 House is a restored Quaker home located in Delaware County near West Chester, Pennsylvania. The 1704 House is operated as an historic museum and is open for tours on Saturdays and Sundays from May 1 to October 31. We encourage you to visit the Brinton 1704 House and take a tour. Please contact us ahead of your planned tour.

The Brinton 1704 House is unique because it is one of the oldest and best restored houses in the
United States.

The interior of the House is furnished authentically and boasts many special items, including period furniture, leaded-casement windows, and an indoor bake oven. The stone walls of the House are twenty-two inches thick. The House resembles medieval English architectural style.

The House was built in 1704 by William Brinton, Jr. (1670-1751) for his growing family — his wife Jane, and their six children: four sons and two daughters. Each of William and Jane's children married and their descendants make up most of the Brinton Family in America today.

The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

Brinton 1704 House
21 Oakland Rd
West Chester, PA 19382

Tours
Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, May 1st through October 31st. Other times are available by appointment.
The House is closed on some holidays. So please call ahead at 610-399-0913.

Admission is $5.00 per adult and $3.00 per child ages 4 to 12.

The "Old" Main Line

Anthony Wayne Theatre was built in the 1920s. Though the marquee has changed, the essence of the Moroccan style facade remains beautiful.
Ardrossan Mansion as it remains today
Chanticleer Mansion and Gardens
The Main Line is an unofficial historical and socio-cultural region of suburban Philadelphia, along the former Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which runs northwest from downtown Philadelphia parallel to Lancaster Avenue (US Route 30). Radnor Township is at the northern most tip of Delaware County, extending from Strafford to the West to Bryn Mawr on the east.

Radnor was founded between 1663 and 1665 by a group of Quakers from Radnorshire Wales, seeking religious freedom. Today it is among the wealthiest communities in the United States with Villanova ranking 39th in “The Elite 100 Highest Income Neighborhoods in America.” The 1936 film “The Philadelphia Story” was based on the early life of Hope Montgomery Scott, and though much of the Montgomery property has been sold to developers, the Mansion and much of the open land remains unspoiled, testament to the grandeur of past times.

Wayne, the central village of the community, has a vibrant downtown, and is bordered by neighborhoods with wide lawns and well preserved late 19th century and early 20th century homes, many by noted architects.

Chanticleer, former home of Adolph G. Rosengarten, Sr., head of a pharmaceutical company that is now part of Merck, built his dream home and gardens on 35 acres and created a foundation to ensure that his property would be turned over to the community and made a public garden. According to Jacki Lyden of NPR, it is “quite simply, one of the most delightful gardens in the world.”

CHANTICLEER HOURS

Wednesday - Sunday - 10am - 5pm

Friday Evening - Open until 8pm.
Due to limited parking, we cannot accommodate groups on Friday evenings.

Early Openings in 2016

The garden will open at 8:00 am on June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, and October 1 during the 2016 season.

Our parking lot holds only 120 cars and can fill on weekends and Friday evenings. Please car pool and understand once we reach capacity, we will ask you to return another time.

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Radnor is also home to several private schools and colleges, including Agnes Irwin School for Girls,
Villanova, Cabrini and Eastern Universities, and Valley Forge Military Academy, the setting for the 1981 movie, Taps starring George C. Scott, timothy Hutton, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise.

Wayne Train Station
As it is located along the railroad line from Philadelphia to Lancaster, there are several train stations in Radnor which are mostly well preserved and/or restored. These include Villanova, Radnor, Wayne and Strafford (just over the border).The Finley House built in 1789 is located in North Wayne is the home to The Radnor Historical Society, which has a magnificent collection of photos, maps and memorabilia from the earliest days of the community.

For information, call 610.688.2668, or visit radnorhistory.org


Historic Newtown Square

One of the most important extant buildings in Newtown Township, due to its association with the internationally famous artist, Benjamin West, is the building known as the Square Tavern. The artist’s father, John West, was host and lived there with his family intermittently between 1744 (when Benjamin was 6 years old) and 1758.
Bartram's Bridge
Drexel Lodge Park
Newtown Township dates to 1681, when William Penn planned two inland “new towns” (the second one is Newtown, Bucks County).  The township was laid out with a straight main road, Newtown Street Road, running south to north and bisecting the Township.  An east to west road – Goshen Road – also bisected the Township  – and intersected with Newtown Street Road.

The original settlers were largely Welsh Quakers, and their livelihood was farming. With the construction of the West Chester turnpike in the 19th century, the nexus of the town moved up to the intersection of West Chester Pike and Newtown Street Road.  A hotel and general store anchored that corner for more than 150 years; and later a town hall was built as well.

Since World War II and the widening of West Chester Pike, the area has become less rural, but Newtown still has more than 100 historic houses, barns, churches, cemeteries and other noteworthy structures that are witnesses to its long history.

The Paper Mill House and Museum is an historic three story stone building along Darby Creek in Newtown Township, Delaware County,  that has an 1850’s era general store, and three levels of a local history museum containing artifacts representing the history of Newtown Township.

The Paper Mill House serves as a museum for local history, and a meeting place for local neighborhood groups. Each year, the six elementary schools in the local school district send their 5th graders to the Paper Mill House for a half day of instruction on local history and mills. The program, operated by the Historical Society, also brings together the home schooled children in the community who act as guides in period dress, perform skits, and bring to life the history lessons taught that day.





Concord Township Historical Society

The Pierce-Willits House built circa 1744 is the Society Headquarters
Concord Friends Meeting House
Concord Township Historical Society is a non-profit volunteer organization founded in 1967 to collect, preserve, and share our local history. The collections of the Society are housed in the the Society's Headquarters, the Pierce-Willits House.


Historical properties of interest include:
  • Bush Hill, owned by Concord Township, and 34 acres of space surrounding the barn, spring house and home;
  • Concord Friends Meeting House, erected in 1728;
  • Maplewood Gymnasium and Dante Orphanage, built in 1898;
  • Newlin Grist Mill and surrounding park and properties (click here for a link to the post on this site );
  • Orthodox Friends Meeting House and the Grange (which serves as the Concord Township
    St. John’s Concord
    Senior Center);
  • St. John’s Concord, a Greek Revival Church erected in 1844;
  • Polecat Road House, built prior to 1750 and restored by Concord Twp. in 1967
More information may be found by contacting the Concord Township Historical Society at 610-459-8556, or visiting their website at concordhist.org

Bush Hill Spring House

Caleb Pusey House


The Pennock log house, located opposite the
Caleb Pusey house, was built in 1790 by
Pusey's great-great-granddaughter.
The Caleb Pusey House, built in 1683, is the oldest continuously standing house in Pennsylvania open to the public. Built and occupied by Caleb Pusey, this is the only still -standing building which can claim documented association with the proprietor, William Penn, and which he is known to have visited on several occasions. This unique English vernacular house stands beside Race Street, the small road once paralleling the millrace that brought water from Chester Creek to power the mills.

“Landingford” was the name Pusey gave to the 100 acre farm adjoining the mill site deeded to him by Penn which he cultivated to raise food for his large family.

Pusey and his family came to Pennsylvania in 1682 along with Penn on the ship "Welcome", to serve as manager and agent for the Chester Mills, the first official proprietary saw and grist mill to be established by Penn in the colony.

Hours

May through October
Saturdays 1 to 4 PM
and by request to telephone or email​
   
For more information, call (610) 874-5665, or email calebpuseyhouse@comcast.net>br>

Brandywine Battlefield

General Lafayette's Headquarters at the Brandywine Battlefield near Chadds Ford
The Battle of Brandywine, also known as the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American army of General George Washington and the British army of General Sir William Howe on September 11, 1777. The British Army defeated the American Army and forced them to retreat Valley Forge. The engagement occurred near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania during Howe's campaign to take Philadelphia. More troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution. It was also the longest single-day battle of the war, with continuous fighting for 11 hours.

The Brandywine BattlefieldVisitors Center, just off Route 1 at Chadds Ford, is set amidst 50 acres of rolling park and woodlands. Inside are historical exhibits of uniforms, weapons and artifacts found on the battleground. On the park grounds, not far from the center are both Washington's headquarters (the Ring House) and Lafayette's quarters (Gideon Gilpin's farm house).
Reenactment at the Brandywine Battlefield

HOURS


May through June 13, Education Programs, Colonial Days, Group Tours only. Call with questions. Hope to open in June but call first.

June 14 through August, Open Tuesday through Saturday 9 AM through 4 PM, Sunday noon through 4 PM. Closed Monday.

September and October, Open Wednesday through Saturday 9 AM through 4 PM, Sunday noon through 4 PM. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

November, Open Thursday through Saturday 9 AM through 4 PM, Sunday noon through 4 PM. Closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

December until Christmas Eve, Open Friday and Saturday 9 AM through 4 PM, Sunday noon through 4 PM. Closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Day after Christmas through March 11, 2017, Closed but special tours and programs can be arranged by contacting the Director of Education at amoutten@gmail.com

Holidays, Closed Easter Sunday, all Monday holidays, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and day after, Christmas Eve and day.

Fees:
The park is free to walk around and use.  There are outdoor picnic areas and restrooms located in the Visitor’s Center.  No fires permitted on the grounds.  Large picnic groups (10+) must schedule ahead of time and pay a grounds use fee of $35 at the Visitor’s Center.  Weddings and wedding photography use must pay a fee of $50.

Washington’s Headquarters Tour

Washington’s HQ tours start per below and continue every hour except noon, with our last tour offered at 3 PM.

Weekdays when open thru Saturday: 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM
Sunday: 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM

House Tour, Museum, and Film Package:
-$8.00 Adults
-$7.00 Seniors, AAA, AARP, Veterans
-$5.00 Children (6-12)
-Free Children under 6, Active military with ID

Battlefield Tours

For field trips and group tours call Andrew Outten at 610-459-3342 or email him at amoutten@gmail.com
Groups fewer than eight adults: $15 per person.
Multiple passenger cars: call for pricing.
Larger groups: a flat rate of $100.

We only provide the guide for Battlefield Tours. It is the visiting group’s responsibility to provide transportation.  For up to 5 cars, the guide can lead and use a cellphone to teleconference with the others.  Please mute your phone.  The tour does a 1 to 1.5 hour, 24 mile loop of the battlefield.  Half way along the route is Northbrook Market Place where lunch may be had.  For a bus or van wanting boxed lunches, order in advance at Shoo Mama’s for delivery to the battlefield visitor’s center prior to departing.  There are picnic tables in the battlefield park near the visitor’s center.

There are stops on the main battlefield tour: Old Kennett Meetinghouse, Birmingham Friends Meetinghouse, Birmingham Hill, Sandy Hollow, and 1704 Brinton House.  They each accommodate about 20 cars.  One up to approximately 20 passenger van could park.  Meetinghouse services are Sunday mornings so no parking then, or when special events are held there.

Visitor’s Center: Open until 4 PM each day the park is open.

For more information, visit brandywinebattlefield.org

Historic Lansdowne

Lansdowne was once a vacation resort for residents of Philadelphia. People traveled by rail and horse to relax in the borough’s Victorian homes. It is home to numerous arts organizations, including the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, Celebration Theater, the Lansdowne Folk Club, and the Lansdowne Arts Festival.
Victorian homes in the Albertson Historic District
The borough has several historic buildings, including a movie theater and clubhouse, and two areas that are on the National Register of Historic Places. They are the Lansdowne Theater (in renovation), Twentieth Century Club of Lansdowne, Henry Albertson Subdivision Historic District, and Lansdowne Park Historic District. The district includes 70 contributing buildings in a residential area of Lansdowne. The subdivision consists of single and double houses, built between 1884 and about 1940, in a variety of popular architectural styles. It includes notable examples of the Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Queen Anne styles.

After the Borough acquired the building in 1979, the Club became Lansdowne’s community center. It now hosts events year-round, including a concert series by the Lansdowne Folk Club and the annual Lansdowne Arts Festival in September. It can also be rented for wedding receptions, birthday and anniversary parties and other private events.


Twentieth Century Club
The Twentieth Century Club of Lansdowne was organized in 1897 by a small group of women whose objective was to create an organized center of thought and action among women, for the protection of their interests and for the promotion of science, literature and art.  Their motto was “Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.” The building designed by the prominent Philadelphia architectural firm of Heacock and Hokanson and constructed in 1911 by George Grover of Morton, was financed by the members of the club and maintained through dues and rentals.




For more information on the Lansdowne Theatre, visit lansdownetheater.org
For more information on events at the Twentieth Century Club, visit twentiethcenturyclub.com

The Thomas Massey House in Broomall

The Thomas Massey House is a monument to the American dream – the home of an indentured servant who became a landowner, and like the American dream the house has endured over 300 years. The Thomas Massey House is one of the oldest English Quaker homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  It is on the National Register of Historical Places, and the Historical American Building Survey.

The House is unique because so much of the original fabric has survived.  The 1696 brick portion was built by Thomas Massey as an addition to the existing log or frame house.  In 1731 his son, Mordecai, replaced the log or frame house with a stone section.  During the restoration, evidence of a walk-in-fireplace and beehive oven was discovered.  These features have been reconstructed and are in use today.

Thomas Massey was born in the village of Marpoole (Marple) in Cheshire, England. Arriving in America at the age of twenty Thomas disembarked at Chester as an indentured servant to Francis Stanfield. Thomas fulfilled his indenture and received the promised 50 acres of ground from his master and 50 acres from William Penn. Arriving with Thomas on the “Endeavor” was a thirteen year old girl, Phebe Taylor, who came with her mother and seven siblings to join their father, Robert.  In 1692 Thomas Massey married Phebe Taylor – he was twenty nine, she was twenty two.
America at the age of twenty Thomas disembarked at Chester as an indentured servant to Francis Stanfield. Thomas fulfilled his indenture and received the promised 50 acres of ground from his master and 50 acres from William Penn.

By 1696 Thomas had purchased three hundred acres of land and established his “plantation” in Marple Township. 

In 1964 the Massey House was on the verge of demolition when a descendant, Lawrence M.C. Smith bought the house and one acre of ground, and gave it to the Township of Marple for restoration.  Restoration was to be completed in ten years.  Although the “plantation” is now only one acre, gardens of the period are maintained.

The Massey House is now furnished with appropriate late 17th and 18th century furniture.

Tours and Hours

Sunday from May through October between 1pm and 4pm with the exception of holiday weekends or by appointment.

For more information, call 610-353-3644, or visit thomasmasseyhouse.org/

The Morton Homestead


Morton Homestead is a historic homestead that is part of Morton Homestead State Park at 100 Lincoln Avenue in Prospect Park, Delaware County.

The homestead was founded in 1654 by Morton Mortenson, a Finnish immigrant, when the area was part of the New Sweden colony. Mortenson’s great-grandson, John Morton, signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Parts of the current house date back to the 1698 with a large addition constructed in the 18th century.

Years before William Penn and his Quaker followers set foot on America's shores, Swedish settlers had established a settlement along the Delaware River and Bay..

The two-and-a-half acre Morton Homestead in Prospect Park came to prominence as a public, tangible site around which to begin a discussion of the little-known colony called New Sweden.

The building at Morton Homestead today is a three-part cabin identified as south, center, and north units. The Morton cabin is one of the oldest dwellings in Pennsylvania and one of the few surviving examples of seventeenth-century Swedish log structures in the Delaware Valley.

According to a 1938 study of the site, the old cabin was cited as the birthplace of John Morton (1725-1777), signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Morton Homestead State Park is open to the public as is the John Heinz Wildlife Preserve and the area surrounding.

The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.


Thomas Leiper Estate

Thomas Leiper (15 December 1745 – 6 July 1825) was a Scottish American merchant and local politician who served in the American Revolutionary War. He was the first American to construct a permanent working railway by creating a short span on his property in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Born in Strathaven, Lanark, Scotland, Leiper was educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh, and emigrated to Maryland in 1763. In 1765 Leiper moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and opened a business storing and exporting tobacco. When the American Revolution began, the leading tobacco house in the community was interdicted and legally prevented from trading. Leiper seized the opportunity and expanded his business, soon becoming the principal tobacco agent in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States. Leiper was a staunch Democrat, and served actively as chairman of Democratic town meetings. At one meeting, he was the first to nominate General Andrew Jackson for the presidency.

His home, the Thomas Leiper Estate, also known as Avondale, is a historic estate located at Wallingford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. It was built by Thomas Leiper around 1785, and named Strath Haven after Leiper's birthplace in Strathaven, Scotland. The estate includes the following: the three-story, yellow stuccoed mansion house, "Fireproof" vault, communal outhouse, barn, carriage house, smokehouse, warehouse, tenant's house, and quarry.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The Friends of the Leiper House offers weekend guided tours of the house from April through December.


521 Avondale Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086
For tours, phone: (610) 566-6365

The Wyeth Legacy

N.C. Wyeths Studio                                           Photograph by Carlos Alejandro

In 1911, with the proceeds from his illustrations for Treasure Island, the artist N.C. Wyeth purchased 18 acres of land near the village of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He described it as “the most glorious sight in the township.”

Wyeth built his home and studio on a hill overlooking the valley—setting down roots which have nourished a family of extraordinary creativity for more than a century.

Today, the house and studio retain much of their original character. The main studio, with its spectacular Palladian-style north window, still contains many of the props that were essential to the work of an illustrator, including a birch-bark canoe hanging from the rafters and a collection of firearms. A full-size mural painting, displayed in a soaring 1923 addition, helps tell the story of Wyeth’s career. The house, with its country furnishings, reveals a more intimate picture of family life.

The N.C. Wyeth House and Studio is a National Historic Landmark and a member of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Guided tours of the house and studio introduce visitors to the various aspects of Wyeth’s career and to other members of the family, significantly enriching the museum visit. Tours depart from the Brandywine River Museum via shuttle on the schedule listed below.


                                    Andrew Wyeths Studio                                         Photograph by Carlos Alejandro

Andrew Wyeth, one of America’s best-known twentieth-century artists, painted many of his most important works of art in his Chadds Ford studio. Given to the Brandywine River Museum of Art by the artist’s wife, Betsy James Wyeth, the studio provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience this very personal space. The artist’s son, Jamie Wyeth, said: “The world of Andrew Wyeth is best understood by a visit to his studio.”

This studio served as the artist’s principal Pennsylvania work place from 1940 to 2008. Thousands of paintings and drawings were created there, inspired by the people, architecture and landscapes of Chadds Ford. The studio still houses the furnishings, library and collections acquired by the artist, as well as examples of the art materials he used throughout his career.The Andrew Wyeth Studio is a National Historic Landmark and a member site of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Guided tours of the Andrew Wyeth Studio introduce visitors to all aspects of his career, enhancing the Museum’s gallery experience. Tours depart from the Museum via shuttle on the schedule listed below.


Kuerner’s Farm                                         Photograph by Carlos Alejandro

Wyeth discovered Karl and Anna Kuerner’s farm on one of his boyhood walks. The Kuerners, German immigrants who settled in Chadds Ford after World War I, fascinated the artist. Over time, he developed a complex relationship with the family and the farmscape, aspects of which he explored in many of his best-known works of art.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art acquired the Kuerner Farm in 1999. Located ten minutes from the Museum, the Kuerner house (now unfurnished) and farm evoke a remarkable artistic legacy.

Referencing reproductions of the artist’s work, docent-led tours to the Kuerner Farm provide an in-depth study of the major paintings in Wyeth’s oeuvre that depict Kuerner farm subjects, contrasting the artist’s compositions with actual sites on the property. The tour includes the farm house and barn, and significantly expands a visitor’s understanding of Andrew Wyeth’s creative process. Tours depart from the Museum via shuttle on the schedule listed below.

The Kuerner Farm is a National Historic Landmark.


Tours

Tours take place daily April 1–November 20, 2016 and last approximately one hour. Children under age six are not permitted on the tours.

Monday: 10 and 11:15 a.m.
Thursday: 10 and 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10 and 11:15 a.m. & 12:45, 2 and 3:15 p.m.

Tickets

Tickets cost $8 per person in addition to regular museum admission, free to members of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. Cost to tour additional properties is $5 per person for each site.

For more information, call 610.388.2700, or visit www.brandywine.org


The Historic Grange Estate

One of the oldest and grandest of the homes in Delaware County is the Grange Estate. It was built by Henry Lewis, a Welsh Quaker and one of the first three European settlers in Haverford Township. Arriving in 1682, he built his home on 500 acres and named it Maen Coch, meaning Red Stone, the name of his village in Wales.  In 1700 Henry Lewis, Jr. built the first section of the mansion, which is now the drawing room, and made subsequent changes later naming the estate Clifton Hall.

The current look of the home is due to changes made by John Ashhurst and his family who made significant architectural changes to the property in between 1850 and 1860. These included the addition of the porte cochere and wing designed by John Carver.

In 1913, the 86.024 acre estate was purchased by Benjamin R. Hoffman and his wife Margaret who shared his wife's horticultural interests and added many new specimens to the gardens.  Over the years Mr. Hoffman and his wife sold parcels of the estate leaving the current 9.917 acres.   Some of these parcels of land became what are now known as Chatham Park and Chatham Village.

In 1974 Haverford Township purchased the acreage from
Margaret Hoffman's Estate and is now managed by Friends of the Grange, Inc., a non-profit organized to preserve and maintain the property.

The buildings, gardens, and grounds may be visited free of charge, but rentals are available providing the vista of the mansion, front porch and piazza for the celebration of special occasions.

For rentals and other information, call 610.446.4958, or email the business offices at grangeest@verizon.net.