Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ever heard of "Lindy Park" ? Named for Atlantic Ocean flyer Charles Lindbergh?

The Governor Johan Printz Monument in Governor Printz Park in Essington at Second and Wanamaker Aves.

NOTE: I was quite surprised when I found this article the Lindbergh/Printz Park in Essington. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, Lindbergh went on a world tour. He visited Phila and Delaware Co. including flying over Chester City which was front page news. The naming of the park was a surprise. I have never heard Lindbergh in the parks name.


CHESTER TIMES – October 19, 1927 



 Plot on Tinicum Island Honors Flier and Former Swedish Governor

          On the eve of Charles A. Lindbergh’s arrival in Philadelphia, the Swedish Colonial Society of Philadelphia announced today the establishment of Printz-Lindbergh Park, a pleasure place named to honor jointly a Swede, who was the first white settler in Pennsylvania, and the American youth of Swedish blood who made history by flying the Atlantic.
          From a historical viewpoint the oldest parcel of land in Pennsylvania the seven-acre park is situated on Tinicum Island, in this county.
          Although this grounded was offered to the Swedish Society some months ago and accepted shortly after, it was not until last week that the land actually became its own.  Several days ago the deed was transferred by the Tinicum Improvement Company, which held title to Tinicum property, for Charles Longstreth, of Coronado, Cal., the donor, to five trustees for the Swedish Colonial Society.
          SPROUL ON BOARD – The members of the board are Colonel Henry D. Paxon, Dr. Thomas Lynch Montgomery, Major David S. B. Chew, former Governor Sproul and Ormond Rambo, Jr.
          It was upon the Tinicum Island tract that the first white settlers of Pennsylvania established a permanent residence, one year before William Penn was born and thirty-nine years before he came to this country.  That was in 1643.
          Governor Johan Printz, Provincial Governor of New Sweden (now Delaware), was the first great Swede to help establish this country in the eyes of the world, and Lindbergh is the latest man with Swedish blood in his veins to being the United States before the nations.  That is why the society thought that no name would be as appropriate for this historical site as Printz-Lindbergh Park.
          Lindbergh’s topics principally in the interest of aviation it was thought inadvisable to ask him to officiate at a formal dedication of the park at present, as there would be little time on his crowded program.  The society plans to seek his early return for this ceremony.
          EXPECT LINDY AT CEREMONY – According to Colonel Paxon, president of the Colonial Swedish Society, the Board of Trustees is virtually certain that both the donor of Printz-Lindbergh Park.  Mr. Longstreth and Lindbergh, will be on hand when the date is set to dedicate the ground.
          The five men representing the Swedish Society have not yet decided what will be done with the seven acres besides transforming it into a park.  There is a large residence on the grounds, which has been leased and is being used as a roadhouse.  A pavilion, barn and several other buildings are also on the grounds.
          The lease does not terminate for another year, so plans for renovation will not be completed for some time.  It was suggested that a reproduction of Governor Printz’s home be erected, but the only plans the builders have to follow is that the house was, entirely of logs and was two stories high.
          When Mr. Longstreth offered the estate to the society, it was stated the ground was five acres.  A recent survey shows it to be seven acres.
          The Corinthian Yacht Club adjoins the grounds on one side, a boat construction company on the other, and the Delaware River runs along the front.  Second Street bounds the estate in the rear.


The Heritage Commission of Delaware County presents:
Finding Your Delco Roots

Free Genealogy Seminar

· Barbara Selletti, genealogist

· Margaret Jerrido & Judith Giesberg, Last Seen: Using Information Conduct African American Genealogy Wanted Ads to
· Sarah Horowitz, Quaker and Special Collections, Haverford College

Saturday, March 28, 2020
8:30 am - 12 pm
County Council Meeting Room
First Floor, Government Center
Media, PA 19063
Light breakfast included oatm: mission-2020-annual-seminar/

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The West Chester To Phila. Railroad Line 140 years ago and Upcoming Activities!!

The original Railroad Station in Lansdowne from about 1900. The current station is in the same location.


The West Chester Railroad from the Phila. Border to Media in 1880


Note: This article talks about a train ride on the then new line from Phila. to West Chester a 140 years ago. Delaware Co. was just starting to grow as a Phila. suburb but it was still mostly farm country. Several of the railroad stations in this article are renamed now. Angora is now Millbourne and Springhill is Secane. Please read and take a ride back!! 

      Real estate all along the road is steadily growing in value.  Buildings in course of erection or structure bearing marks of newness are to be seen on both sides of the road, from Philadelphia almost to Media.  Many new and handsome private residences are springing up along the line of the track, capacious barns and cattle sheds just finished or with the builders at work upon them are to be seen, and not a few extensive mills are being erected or having large additions made.  The land even quite remote from the city brings a very high figure.
                Not only has each station some interesting improvement to show, but between the regular stopping places the progress is almost as distinctly marked.  Abbottsford, the first stopping place shows a cluster of small houses in the vicinity of the station, the growth of recent years.  Angora has been still more progressive.  Opposite the railroad station is the Church Home for Children.  Here are also George Callahan’s Angora Mills, of which a new section has been built.  The Messrs. Callahan have erected here three handsome new residences.  Quite a little town has sprung up in Angora in late years.  The next station on the route is Fernwood.  The large new building on the north side of the track showing so conspicuously from the railroad is the Fernwood Hotel, for summer boarders, which is owned, it is said, by the Masonic Order.  Building lots are for sale at and near Fernwood, and bring prices ranging from five to seven thousand dollars per acre.
                Lansdowne, or the old Darby Road Station, is about three-quarters of a mile below Fernwood.  It has undergone many and striking improvements in the last five or six years.  The railroad house at the station has been enlarged and improved, and the grounds more neatly arranged.  Fine summer residences have been recently built here and the surrounding acres much beautified.  Joel J. Baily, the Philadelphia merchant, has a fine summer residence at Lansdowne, and nearby is the residence of Mr. Samuel Harlan, of the shipbuilding firm of Harlan & Hollingsworth.  Messrs. James P. Scott, the son and Howell W. Bickley, own and occupy handsome villas and about a mile and a half further south, towards Darby, is “Woodburn,” the summer residence and park of Colonel Scott, where he died in May last.  Mr. Harry Peale, of the firm of Thomas A. Biddle & Co., stock brokers and Rene Guillou own properties at Lansdowne.  Ten acres of the Dunk property, nearby, have just been purchased by a Philadelphia gentleman, for a thousand dollars an acre, most probably for immediate building purposes.  Real estate near Lansdowne brings from one to two thousand dollars per acre.
                Kellyville is a small station further west.  There are several fine residences nearby, and a number of valuable bustling properties, principally woolen mills.  A new shoddy mill, the property of Sellers Hoffman, is in course of erection.
Clifton proper has been increased by the addition of a number of houses, one or two churches have been built, and the place wears a thriving, prosperous look.  Here are the Glenwood Mills, owned by Samuel C. Lewis & Sons; the Clifton Mills by Randolph & Jenks and the Union Mills, by Thomas Kent.  Among the recent sales of property at Clifton were about twenty acres of land belonging Oborne Levis’ estate, to Wm. Longstreth of Philadelphia, for about $16,000.  Few building improvements or land sales have been made at Oak Lane recently.  Here is situated Dr. Given’s Inebriate Asylum.
                Property is in demand at Spring Hill.  W. J. Howard, Esq., has just purchased a farm of fifty acres on the north side, near the station.  Mr. James D. Rhodes occupies a fine residence on the hill.  Many old time mansions and landmarks are to be seen hereabouts.
                Morton station is conspicuous by reason of a handsome pressed brick railroad house, one of the neatest along the road.  Several buildings, principally private residences or annexes thereto, are being erected.  Thomas T. Tasker owns 600 acres here, with a fine residence and barn.  J. H. Irwin has just purchased 80 acres at Morton for about $300 per acre, and has erected a new hotel near the station, fitted up with has, &c.  At the time of his purchase Mr. Irwin owned 70 acres, nearly adjoining the new territory, and has a large machine shop there.  H. A. Bregoard is another large property owner at Morton.  He owns one hundred acres thereabouts, which he is daily improving.  Dr. Kingston Goddard, ex-Coroner of Philadelphia, owns a handsome property lying near the railroad.  The J. Edgar Thomson estate owns about 160 acres near Morton, fronting on the Delaware County Pike and near the railroad.  Handsome residences, built after the Swiss chalet style of architecture, adorn nearly all of the properties named, which have undergone vast improvement within a few years.  The old Morton homestead stands back some distance from the railroad station.
                Swarthmore is the name of the next station on the West Chester Road.  The college is the most conspicuous public object hereabouts.  The spirit of improvement shows itself about the institution as well as generally along the road, and during the last two or three years important changes have been made, notably the long and broad sweep of pathway running from the railroad to the college building. 
     The high hill in the distance is dotted with several handsome new stone houses, the residences of a number of the college professors.  The West Hill Land Company has purchased two hundred acres adjoining the college property on the east.  Their acreage is all high and health land.  The company is effecting many improvements in the vicinity of Swarthmore. On the hill a large water works is being erected.  Thomas Foulke, Prof. Beardsley and S. Kent occupy fine houses at Swarthmore, and Sylvester Garrett is erecting for himself a valuable residence.  Nearly all the property lying hereabout belongs or originally belonged to the John Ogden family.  J. H. Linville, President of the Keystone Bridge Company, and President of the new Southern Maryland Railroad, has a fine residence on the south side of the road.  So also has Mr. Callender I. Leiper, of the firm of Leiper & Lewis, who own the stone quarries near Swarthmore, of the stone of which nearly all the new houses in the neighborhood are built.  An interesting relic of other days is built.  An interesting relic of other days is the old cottage on the college grounds, which was the birthplace and for many years the home of the painter, Benjamin West.  It is in the center of a small orchard, and has every appearance of age.  Real estate at Swarthmore ranges in value from $500 to $1000 per acre.  East of Swarthmore Charles Ogden has built tow handsome residences, and Henry Ogden has a fine residence on the Delaware County Turnpike.
                Wallingford is distinguished for its many fine residences.  Directly opposite the station, on the north side, is the residence of Horace Howard Furness, Esq.   The mansion is very large and handsome.  Mr. Furness’ property embraces some 65 acres, and contains another residence besides that named.  Three acres were recently purchased by Mr. Furness at the rate of a thousand dollars per acre.  S. D. Hibbert has a handsome house with a new stable at Wallingford.  Among the other fine properties or new residences here are those of D. B. Paul, President of the Third National Bank; James Spear, the stove manufacturer of Philadelphia, who has just purchased thirty additional acres has just purchased thirty additional acres from Samuel C. Lewis; C. W. Godfrey, of the firm of Drexel & Co., who occupies a handsome stone house, with a tract of eighteen acres; Henry P. Dixon, of the firm of Thomas S. Dixon & Sons, who has just purchased nine acres of the Miskey property for $15,000.  Two acres of an adjoining property were recently sold for a thousand dollars an acre.  Louis Drake has eleven acres near Wallingford, with a modern style of house; Isaac Lewis, proprietor of the Wallingford Mills, has a farm of sixty-four acres, worth, it is said, $500 per acre; J. Howard Lewis owns six hundred acres fronting on the pike, which, at this point, is about a mile to the south of the railroad track.  Samuel C. Lewis, George C. Howard, J. Edward Farnum, ex-President of the West Chester Road, Isaac L. Miller and M. Kershaw own properties varying in size, lying at or near Wallingford.  Many of these properties front on the old Providence Road, which runs from Chester due north to Media.  This road was laid out by William Penn’s Commissioners in 1682, and many old line marks are still standing.  Nearly all of the properties named are undergoing improvements of some kind or other, and, with the growth of this popular station, proportionately increase in value. 
                From Wallingford to Manchester, and indeed to Media, are many desirable building lots, with high and healthy grounds, large water power from Ridley Creek, and many other local advantages.  Prices hereabouts range from $400 to $800 per acre.  One of the largest landowners near Media is Sam Bancroft, proprietor of the Todmorden Mills.  Several large sales of available building slots have recently been made in and about Media for good prices.
                Along the line of the road, even as far as West Chester, the march of improvement is marked at times, but the chief improvement in recent years has been between West Philadelphia and Media.

The Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge will be open the weekend of January 18 and 19 from noon until 4pm.
41 Rose Valley Road

Rose Valley, PA 19063
Enjoy a step back to early 1900’s.
Tour upper and lower studios, living room and dining room.
Permanent collection on display in upper studio.
Exhibit of papers of Mildred Scott Olmsted.
Display/sale of F. Townsend Morgan prints in the living room.
Admission: Free to members; $10 per person, 7 and up
Purchase tickets online (click here)
Please choose the appropriate date when purchasing tickets.
The Heritage Commission of Delaware County presents:
Finding Your Delco Roots
Free Genealogy Seminar

· Barbara Selletti, genealogist
· Margaret Jerrido & Judith Giesberg, Last Seen: Using Information Conduct African American Genealogy Wanted Ads to
· Sarah Horowitz, Quaker and Special Collections, Haverford College
Saturday, March 28, 2020
8:30 am - 12 pm
County Council Meeting Room
First Floor, Government Center
Media, PA 19063
Light breakfast included oatm: mission-2020-annual-seminar/


Sunday, January 12, 2020

"Tranquil" Media is no more!! The Trolley has arrived!! On April 1, 1913 imagine that! LOL

State St. in Media about 1909 during "rush hour". LOL You are looking west on State St. toward South Ave. Note the current PNC Bank building on the left.


The Trolleys come to Media April 1, 1913

   The tranquil atmosphere of the borough of Media, was rudely broken this morning by the appearance of a real trolley car.  The sensation was sprung when the first car over the Media division of the Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company reached the Delaware County terminus at 5:32 o’clock this morning.  The car, the first to run over the road, left Sixty-Ninth Street terminal, Philadelphia, at 5:02 o’clock.  It carried fifteen passengers and arrived at Media on schedule.
            On the first car was H. H. Atkens, vice president of the traction company; C. A. Entriken, civil engineer; A. E. Garwood, assistant engineer; S. W. Rogers, assistant superintendent of transportation; B. A. Hengst, claim agent; and W. H. Slaughter, freight agent at Sixty-Third Street; other passengers, J. Roop, C. H. Miller and Roy Blackburn of Llanerch; D. G. Moore of Upper Darby, and William W. Wilson of Drexel Hill.
            The first fare on the new line was paid by Mrs. Joseph T. Gormley, wife of a conductor on the new line.  H. W. Getz, an old employee of the company, tendered a brand new dollar bill in payment for his fare.  The car was in charge of Conductor William Lyle and Motorman Reese Hagy.
            A. Merritt Taylor, president of the traction company was not present at any of the opening features of the new trolley line.  He is in the south at this time recuperating from a recent attack of typhoid fever.
    The trolley company has the right to run in the borough on State Street from Providence Road to a point 100 feet west of Orange Street on a single track, returning by the same route, if the company shall not proceed to construct the road in due time unless delayed by legal interference, the right will be forfeited.  No construction in the borough is to be commenced until the company obtains the right to build as far as the borough line.  Octagonal wooden poles are to be used as far as Monroe Street, and west of that street iron poles are to be used.  The company is granted the right to maintain feed and telephone wires to the poles.  No wires are to be at an altitude of less than 13 feet.  The company is also to construct and maintain a vitrified brick paving from curb to curb west of Orange Street and between the rails and two feet on each side from Orange to Plum Street.  East of Plum Street the company is to construct and maintain a macadam roadway.  Cars must not be run in the borough at a speed of over 13 miles per hour, and each car is to be numbered on the outside.  The company shall not remove its tracks except for renewal or repairs without the consent of Council.  A penalty of $10 is provided for any violation of a provision of the ordinance, with a penalty of $2.50 for each day the violation continues after due notice is given.  If the company fails to run its cars for one year consecutively, it forfeits its rights and Council in such case reverses the right to remove the rails.  The company shall keep the crossings in good repair and maintain the grades so as to carry off the surface drainage.
            The company is relieved of all limitations imposed by any general ordinance.  The ordinance is binding on the company, its successors and assigns.
            President Taylor declared that Media would be furnished with the best service of any community in this part of the United States.  The cars will be seven feet longer than those in use on the present lines.  He explained the groove rails as being the most satisfactory for use in the borough, as they make less of an obstruction than the girder rails, and said the company was giving about $12,000 in municipal improvements.  “Luxurious” is the term he applied to the service which he says Media will secure.
            The car on its return trip to Philadelphia, left Lemon Street at 5:32 o’clock.  The passengers on the vehicle when it left the borough were:  Warren T. Lowe, Clifton Schur, Daniel Healy and J. E. Miclkle.  George Powell boarded the car at Springfield Township and Benjamin Supplee, Lawrence Supplee and Harry Skillton became passengers later.  The car had thirty-seven passengers by the time it reach Sixty-Ninth Street.   Vice President Aiken paid the first fare on this return trip.
            The second car to leave Media this morning, which departed at 6:02 o’clock carried a large number of people.  It had seventy passengers aboard when it reached the Philadelphia terminal.  The car was in charge of Conductor Joseph T. Gormley and Motorman Charles P. Morton.
            Among the passengers of this car were:  Miss Frieda Lynch, Miss E. E. Singleton, Miss M. H. Thorpe, W. J. Black, John L. Pennington, J. A. Sampson, Joseph Holmes, Charles Hodge, H. H. Carey, George J. Suter, Thomas J. Kelly, Thomas Pratt, T. C. Pratt, William Kelly, J. H. Evans, W. H. Corkran, William Saunders, Charles R. Cotton, William King, Jr., J. O. Howarth and George Whittaker of Media, but editor of the Morton Chronicle.
            The cars will be run on a half hour schedule over this road, the running time being 25 minutes.  The schedule has been thoroughly tried out and can be easily maintained.

Copies and "Right Clicks"

Around the Xmas Holidays I always get requests for copies of maps or pictures from my collection for gifts. That is not a problem, what is the problem some people do not understand why I'm charging them for copies.  They think they should be free. In almost 50 years of collecting Delco History I have collected 100's of maps and over 5,000 pictures of Delaware County and that has cost me tens of thousands of dollars plus books, pamphlets etc. Some people do not understand it and were upset I was going to charge them.. I do not post any pictures anymore without a watermark unless it is a very common picture, today people right click and take the copies for free. They do not understand how long it takes and how expensive it is to put a collection of Delco history together. It takes a lot!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Some early Chester Pike history and January seminars


Chester Pike at Hook Rd. looking east toward Darby Boro. The building on the right which stood at Hook Rd. was Tollgate #6. Chester Pike was a toll road for some 70 years.


Early Chester Pike History


Chester Pike is one of the oldest roads in Penna. Driving it today you never think of it as a toll road with horse and buggies and that it was once a toll road. Some early history below.

1685 - Robert Taylor was supervisor for “High Wayes” from “Chester Creek to Croome (Crum) Creeke,” followed by Bartholomew Coppock for the ensuing year.  John Hendrickson was supervisor for Amosland and “”Calcoone (Calcon Hooke.”  Succeeded by John Bartlesome for ensuing year.  Amosland abutted the Delaware River between Crum River and Muckinipates Creek (boundary between Norwood and Glenolden Boroughs), while Calcon Hook lay from there to Darby Creek below Cobb’s Creek junction, and in depth to about the road under discussion.  Calcon Hook was annexed to Darby Township in 1686, while Amosland became part of the new Ridley Township organized in 1687.  Muckinipates Creek remained the boundary between the two townships until the successive formation of the present Boroughs along the Turnpike.  Darby Township is first mentioned in 1683.
          1688 – The Grand inquest presents “ye want of a foot bridge over ye Mill Creeke (Cobb’s Creek) between this County and Philadelphia it being in ye King’s Road” (King James II of Great Britain was then upon the Throne).  The crossing here was therefore a ford, and we must presume this to have been the case at all streams, as beyond the necessity of the moment, there was no real substantial bridge built anywhere until 1708, when this road was carried over Chester River in Chester (at what is now Third Street).
          1690 – Supervisors still depended on the inhabitants to give their services in mending roads, or be fined for their neglect.  No one seems to have been paid to do this work.
          1691 – The Grand Inquest presented Ridley Township “for not clearing trees and logs that Lyes in ye King’s Roads betwixt amors land on Crum Creeke.”  There were no vehicles at this time and very few at the beginning of the nineteenth century.  In 1827, Watson the annalist traveled this road to Chester.  The woods were described, the remaining log houses noted, red clover had but then been introduced to this County.  Says he (as to this road about 1747, “Then the Road was comparatively but little traveled, by carriages scarcely ever, when but very few existed.  The few travelers who could be meet were on foot, or if on horseback, often having a female up behind, or if a female going to market, having two great Paniers poised on either side of the animal.  She all clad in homely homespun and the beast a real Pacer.  A chaise you could not see in a day’s ride.  But now (1827) we were met frequently, by Gigs, Sulkies, and Coaches, shining in glittering plate!”
                    Deborah Logan, in her “Notes on Chester,” (1827) written as an addendum to Watson’s Notes above quoted, says “the former numerous wild grapevines are noticed, of which our Country affords very great varieties.  Charles Thomson had told me that the most luscious and excellent wild grape he ever tasted grew in a meadow on this road.  (Watson had stated in 1827 that the numerous wild grapevines noted by Kalm about 1747 had disappeared).***** At the time David Lloyd died (1731), there were only eight four wheeled carriages kept in all Pennsylvania, one of which was his chaise.”
                      The bad condition of the roads, and want of bridges (no doubt of corduroy or log) runs all thru the records, mainly for the Townships bordering the Delaware River, and it seems certain that as described earlier in these notes, the cause of complaint is the Swedes or King’s or Queen’s Road which is this subject matter.  On or after 1692, the question of road supervisors and fence viewers is left by the Court to the respective townships.
                         “Chester ye 8th of the tenth month 1696 we of the Grand Inquest for the County of Chester Doos present the County for want of bridges over Crum Creek Rydly & Chester Creeke In the kings Roade according to Law.”
          March 20, 1696/7 – “The Court order this present Grand Jury to Lay oute a Roade way for A Cart from Walter Fawcet to Darby Bridge: forthwith.”
                   Here you have a bridge at Darby!  Never a complaint about the Darby ford or bridge, or the people with reference to one or the other!  Always do the people of Chester and Ridley need prodding to keep this, the only north and south highway, (excepting the Delaware River) in a travelable condition!
                   Walter Fawcet’s property was on Ridley Creek where the Governor Printz Bridge carries Providence Avenue out of Chester, and part of the present Bullen’s Lane is the original Swedish or Kings Road.  Following the above presentment, a road was laid out April 10, 1697 from the ford on Ridley Creek using the said Bullen’s Lane, but striking a new line to Darby “crossing Crum Creek and keeping along a line of marked trees laid out as straight as possible with a surveyor’s instrument to Darby Bridge where we end, having respect to Thomas Fox’s land that is clear.”  Fox owned west from Darby Creek both sides of the present road, so it is a presumption that this proceeding covered the northeastern route of the present road at least, and was the forerunner of a more serious move to follow to have a respectable highway from Chester to Darby.  In 1699, the Court prodded the supervisors of Ridley and Darby “to make good that new road from Walter Fawcet’s fence to Darby, sixty food wide.”
                   Again in 1701, the Grand Jury found it necessary to present the townships of Chester, Ridley, and Darby “for neglecting to repair the great road between Chester and the Philadelphia Count line and for want of convenient bridges over the creeks.”  The jury also requested that care be taken for a bridge “over Mill (Cobb’s) Creek, that parts this county from Philadelphia.”  In respect to the width of roads, the court made the following order which does not appear to have been enforced:  “Ordered, that all cart roads, laid out by order of Court, and allowed, shall be fifty feet broad, as the two roads laid out from Upper and Nether Providence to Darby and Caleb’s Mill, and all others.”  (Caleb Pusey’s mill was at Upland).
                   It is from the Harrisburg records that we must glean our knowledge of facts from this period on.
          March 19, 1705/6 - A petition was rendered to the “Leutt. Govern:  of the Province of Pennsylvania and the three lower Countyes, and to his Councils” by the inhabitants of the town and county of Chester that they were much impressed by the future advantages and growth of the town of Chester, and were in dire want for a direct road from there to Philadelphia.  Inasmuch as the petition goes on to request the Queen’s Road (Anne was on the throne) to be laid out from Darby to Chester, it can again be assumed, and not particularly relevant to these notes, that that part of the ancient road from Darby to Philadelphia gave satisfaction.  The petition further avers that the request is “to answer the bridge on Chester Creek.”  As stated, this bridge (Third Street) was not built until 1708, but for years the progressive citizens on both banks had been building the approaches and fighting hard to divert said ancient road as described elsewhere in these notes, to approximately what we now know it.  (Petition on file Logan Papers Vol. 3, p. 122,
Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia.)  The same day, an order was issued by Council to Jasper Yeates, Caleb Pusey, Jeremiah Collet, Robert Barber, Richard Crosby, and John Hendrixson directing them to lay out such road, and their return is dated June 28, 1706.  (Collet and Hendrixson did not sign).  Length, seven miles.  In compliance with the order of Council, the road was promptly laid out, and the Supervisors for Chester, Ridley, and Darby Townships directed by the Court and notified by the Sheriff to clear the same.  (Original plan or draft on file at Harrisburg in the Department of Highways.)
          August 13, 1747 - Two petitions filed to lay out this road again (now King’s Road as George II was on the Throne) from Cobb’s Creek over Chester Bridge to New Castle County Line, there being doubt as to the 1706 road being duly recorded.  Petitions read in Provincial Council August 17 and 18, 1747.
          September 7, 1747 - The Secretary reports having searched and found sundry orders relating to parts of the road.
          September 8, 1747 - Ordered by the Council “That the said road shall be resurveyed and laid out according to the courses it now runs, beginning at the South Boundary of the City of Philadelphia, and from thence extending to the Lower Ferry, and from thence to Darby Creek, and from thence by the Courses described in the recorded return made in the year 1706 to Chester Bridge, from thence by the present courses thereof to the limits of New Castle Government.”  One jury was appointed to lay out that part in the County of Philadelphia, another jury consisting of Caleb Cowpland, Joseph Parker, Joseph Bonsall, Samuel Levis, James Mather, John Davis, Peter Dicks, Thomas Pearson, and John Sketchley, or any five of them, to lay out that part thru Chester County.
          October 5, 1747 – Report of Surveyor General that road was laid out as far as Darby, but could proceed no farther with the jury because the order confined them to follow the courses of the 1706 road from Darby to Chester, and since that time, alterations had occurred which barred their following the said order.  (The travelled road in some places was 330 feet to 660 feet south of the courses laid down in 1706.)
          March 2, 1747/8 – A petition was read from the jury and sundry inhabitants abutting the route of the proposed road, to the effect that between Darby and Chester, the road could not be laid out as recorded in 1706, due to encroachments on improved land, and deviations through woodland, etc. from the present route.  The petitioners ask Council to appoint a jury for the purpose of laying out the road “in the most convenient place to accommodate the Publick.”  Petition dated December 3, 1747.  The Council, after inspecting maps of courses of 1706, and as now existed; rescind their order of September 8, and order and direct the Committee (Jury) to lay the same out “in the manner it now runs.”
          July 16, 1748 – Return of the road from Philadelphia to New Castle dated July 15, 1749, received and confirmed 60 feet wide, except in Chester and Darby where it is to retain its present width.  Joseph Bonsal and John Davis were the Commissioners appointed to survey and lay out this road, and this date filed their return.  Signed by all the jury except Parker.  From the description in the return, Cobb’s, Ridley and Chester Creeks were bridged, and the road still sported stumps and posts within its limits.  (The original plan or draft is on file at Harrisburg in the Department of Highways).
          The first mention thus far found of tollgates being established on this road was in 1799 when an Act of Assembly was passed on April 11 to help lighten the burden of our small County, then ten years old, in maintaining bridges.  This Act authorized the Commissioners to erect such gates for five years, and to collect toll from all travelers.  One toll gate was placed at Ridley Creek Bridge.
          Coach, light, wagon or other pleasurable carriage, with
               four wheels and four horses                                                 25¢
          Coach, light wagon, or other pleasurable carriage with
               two wheels and two horses                                                   15¢
          Chairs, sulkey, etc. with one horse                                            10¢
          Sleigh with two horses                                                               6¢
          Man and horse                                                                       
          Wagon with four horses                                                       12¢
          Wagon with two horses                                                       
          Cart and horse                                                                     
          Every additional horse to carriages of pleasure                  
          Every additional horse to carriages of burden                    
          Transportation in the early days was by horseback, the female, if accompanying the man, riding “side saddle” on a pillion back of the saddle.  A custom here the middle of the eighteenth century, and relating to marriages, was for the bride-to-be to ride in this fashion to the ceremony behind her father, or best friend, but to leave in position behind the groom.  Horse blocks were common – sometimes formed of three steps – for females to more readily mount behind their escorts.
          Freight in the early times referred to was mainly transported by pack horses, grain in sacks, sometimes a youth was mounted astride on animal and leading one or even four pack animals.  No great number of carts, if any, existed in the rural section at the time alluded to, and few, very few, carriages.  Wheels were expensive, so many farmers hauled grain and produce on sleds, winter and summer, just as some farmers today use sleds for hauling on grass and plowed bound.  The chair later referred to, was a common armchair on leather braces supported over a pair of wheels.  These vehicles were very light, and adapted to the rough, miry roads, of which the Chester and Darby Turnpike was no exception.
          Some stage coaches made 40 miles per day (From Ashmead’s History – 1884)
          “As recent as January 10, 1834, the Queen’s Highway between Chester and Darby was so b ad that the mail coach from Washington stuck fast in the mud below Darby, and had to be drawn to that village by oxen; while on January 9, 1836, a heavy lumber box on runners, used as an omnibus between Darby and Philadelphia, stuck fast in a snow drift near the former place, and it was two days before it could be moved.
          “I have not definitely ascertained when the first stage line was established between Philadelphia and Baltimore, but Martin gives the abstract of a long advertisement which appears in the Independent Gazette, or the Chronicle of Freedom, published in Philadelphia, January 2, 1788.  Greenhorn, Johnson & Co of “the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Eastern Shore Line of Post Coach Carriages,” state that carriages will set out on Fourth Street, nearly opposite the old Indian Queen Tavern, during the winter on Mondays and Thursdays of every week, at ten o’clock in the forenoon, and arrive in Baltimore on Wednesdays and Saturdays in good season for dining.  The passengers on their way from Philadelphia will dine at the “Queen of France Inn,” kept by Mr. and John Jarvis, twenty-two miles from the city.  In the issue of the same paper, July 12, 1788, the notice is somewhat changed, and the rates of fare are given thus:
                                                                                 MILES    L        S        D
          From Phila to Chester                                           15      0        5        0
          From Chester to Queen of France                            7      0        2        6
          From Queen of France to Wilmington                     6      0        2        6
          From Wilmington to Christiana Bridge                  10     0        3        4
          From Christiana Bridge to Elk                               12     0        4        2
          From Elk to Susquehanna                                      16     0        7        6
          From Philadelphia to Susquehanna Bridge             66     1        5        6
          From Susquehanna to Baltimore                            37        Gratis
          “The passengers sleep the first night at Christiana Bridge.” 
          “In the same journal, issue of February 11, 1788, the following note is given:  “The proprietors of the Old Line of Stages, have united with the lines from New York to Philadelphia, and thence to Baltimore, will begin to run on Monday, the 18th inst.  The stages will leave the New York and Baltimore Stage Office on 4th Street, two doors from the Indian Queen, kept by Mr. James Thompson, at 6 o’clock on the mornings of Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and will return again on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays each week during the winter season.”
          “At the time mentioned there must have been rival lines running to Baltimore, that of Greeshorn, Johnson & Co., and G. P. Vanhorne, Kerlin & Co.  The following advertisement appears in the Pennsylvania Packet, March 11, 1790:
                   “The well-established mail stages between the City of
                   Philadelphia and Baltimore continue their regular tours
                   respectively from each place by the way of the Susquehannah,
                   on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Returning on
                   Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  To facilitate the
                   dispatch and arrival of the public mails is an obligation
                   indispensable, and every exertion to accommodate engages
                   the duty and interests of the proprietors.  The passengers are
                   therefore requested to be early in their preparations for the
                   stages starting, as the most assiduous efforts are requisite and
                   will be practiced, to render general and complete satisfaction.
                                                          G. P. Vanhorne, Kerlin & Co.
                   “N. B. – Regulations to be seen in the stage office at the George Inn.”
                                “Isaac Wild, Jr., of Dublin in 1796 visited the Country, and describing his journey by stage from Philadelphia to Baltimore, he records.  “The driver had frequently to call to the passengers in the stage to lean out of the carriage, first on one side, then at the other, to prevent it from oversetting in the deep ruts with which the road abounded.  ‘Now gentlemen, to the right,’ upon which all the passengers in the stage stretched their bodies half out of the carriage to balance it on that side; ‘Now, gentlemen, to the left, and so on.  The performances took place about every half-mile.  If the road was contiguous to a wood, they just cut down a few trees to open a new passage, an operation which they called making a road.”
          “During the first thirty odd years of the present century there were several lines of stages running between the points named, Reeside, Stockton & Stokes, Murdock &b Nasp, and Janviers’ rival lines of coaches.  They changed their horses and stopped for meals at designated places, and made certain inns their headquarters.  The large stable yards around the old Washington Hotel (Reeside’s line stopped at that house), the Columbia House, and the City Hotel (then known as the Eagle and afterwards as the National), in Chester, were necessary for the change of horses and coach stopping places.  It was a busy scene in those times when the lumbering stage, with its coachman, in the wintertime, wrapped in a great coat of many capes, expertly throwing a whip with a long lash that sounded in the frosty air like the crack of a pistol, the horses at a full gallop, came into sight, the coach-body surging on its heavy leather springs, rumbling over the hard, frozen, lumpy road, and at last turning into the spacious inn yard, the earsplitting blast from the guard’s horn, which was always blown in coming into the town, brought everyone to the windows of the houses, for it was something to be regretted, for twenty-four hours at least, in those days if the stage chanced to go by unobserved.  Often, too, the guard, out of very wantonness, would “toot his horn” just to see the horses in the field, who came trotting to the roadside fences to look at the passing wonder, scamper at the noise, and sometimes to alarm the farmers jogging along in the road before the stage.  About the beginning of this century, at the run which crosses the King’s Highway just below Thurlow Station, the guard once blew a blast to quicken up a lady’s horse that was ambling along in a sleepy manner, and did it so effectually that the rider was thrown to the earth and into the run, receiving such injuries that she died within a few minutes.”
          January 19, 1797 – From American Annual Register:  “The roads from Philadelphia to Baltimore exhibit, for the greater part of the way, an aspect of savage desolation.  Chasms to the depth of six, eight, or ten feet, occur at numerous intervals.
          A stagecoach which left Philadelphia on the 5th of February, 1796, took five days to go to Baltimore.  The roads are in a fearful condition.  Coaches are overturned, passengers killed, and horses destroyed by the overwork put upon them.  In winter, sometimes, no stage sets out for two weeks.”
          Travel and transportation on the old Pike was on considerable proportions, with inns and taverns at convenient intervals to relieve the wants of the travelers, to feed, water, stable, or change the horses, and to accommodate those on long journeys bent who desired no night conveyance.  “At night the yards of these taverns would be filled with teams, the horses standing on each side of the tongue, on which a trough was placed.  The Teamsters carried their beds with them, and at night spread them on the barroom floors, or in rooms appropriated for that purpose.  Some of these public houses were known as stage taverns, and others as wagon taverns, the stage taverns being generally somewhat ore pretentious than the others these public houses were, as a rule, remarkably well kept, and had a good class of landlords, generally the owners.  When the Pennsylvania Railroad went into operation in 1838 (in 1831 as the Philadelphia and Delaware County and Southwark Railroad Companies; in 1836 as the Philadelphia Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company; and at a later time, the Philadelphia Baltimore and Washington Railroad Company) it took travel and transportation of merchandise from the turnpike, and as a consequence the income from tolls fell off rapidly, and the glory of the numerous hostelries waned year by year.”
          There are numerous accounts in our local histories respecting the Revolutionary movements of troops over the Turnpike, and of incidents relating to the taverns or inns, but lack of time and space forbids these subjects being added to these notes which are intended more as a historic sequence of events having to do with the development of the road itself.
The Heritage Commission of Delaware County presents: Finding Your Delco Roots
Genealogy Seminar

· Barbara Selletti, genealogist
· Margaret Jerrido & Judith Giesberg, Last Seen: Using Information Conduct African American Genealogy Wanted Ads to
· Local Research Center
Saturday, March 28, 2020
8:30 am - 12 pm
County Council Meeting Room
First Floor, Government Center
Media, PA 19063 oatm: mission-2020-annual-seminar/

Are you interested in the history of our area?
Join us on Jan. 26th from 1 to 4 at the 1696 Thomas Massey House, Lawrence Rd. Broomall
There will be artifacts on display as well as photographs and other materials related to our local history
Local historians will be available to share the history of Marple Township and the surrounding area.
Refreshments will be served