Rose Valley Mill ruins from about 1905
Rose Valley Plans
Note. Rose Valley founder, William Price was interviewed twice about his plans for his art community, These two articles are from the Chester Times in the Spring of 1901
William L. Price, of Philadelphia, who has purchased the old Osborne Mills and tenement houses at Rose Valley, is discussing as to what uses the property will be put to said: “The plans for the community suggested by me for the advancement of all forms of fine art are as yet in such an undeveloped state I would rather not speak in detail upon the subject. “It will be in a general way both a social and an industrial reform, but we are in no way connected with socialists, or communists, we are rather an answer to them, although we agree on several points. “There is nothing whatever in the charity line about the enterprise. The capital should pay interest and many of the colonies will make their homes there permanently; the idea of the large dining room, where all may dine together, is merely a suggestion offered to simplify housekeeping. “The property purchased by me is nothing more or less than old ruins and will require a great deal of time and money to fix up. “Our occupation will be anything that will promote all forms of fine art, but for goodness’ sake don’t say we are going to manufacture antique furniture, as that is exactly what we are not going to do.” In about six months, Mr. Price said, the community would be probably in working order.
PLANS OF THE ROSE VALLEY COMMUNITY
Settlement for the Advancement of All Forms of Art – Not Collection of Socialists
The plans of the purchasers of the Rose Valley tract are gradually being perfected. The idea of the purchasers is to establish a community which will work for the advancement of all forms of fine art. It will be in a general way a social and industrial community, but will be connected with no Socialists or Communists. Nor will it be charitable in design; the capital will pay interest, and many of the stockholders will make their permanent homes there.
A CHARTER SOUGHT – An application for a charter has been made in the name of the Rose Valley Association. It will be granted in a short time, and then more specific details will be made public. These Philadelphians compose the central committee, acting for the association: John O. Gilmore, president of the Colonial Trust Company, president; Edward W. Bok, editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal; William L. Price, architect; M. Hawley McLanahan of the firm of Whiteside & McLanahan, real estate, and Howard Stratton, instructor in the Industrial Art School, Frank Pritchard is legal advisor. Mr. Price and Mr. McLanahan contemplate homes on the property which is admirably qualified to supply all needs. Carl McMell, who recently married Miss Mary Price, is living in Rose Valley, and the residence there of Francis Day is nearing completion. The character of the country is rolling, and two mills with accessories are included in the purchase. Sufficient water is available.
NEW SITE FOR ART SCHOOL – The association has made it possible for Mr. Stratton to remove his summer art school from its quarters at Fort Washington to one of the old mills at Rose Valley. The third floor of the mill has been fitted with three north skylights, many windows and all the necessary appurtenances for a summer studio. Applied art will be taught in this studio. Later, it is intended to make furniture of the substantial hand out variety on the second floor, while the basement will be devoted to the art of pottery making. Of the twenty-one students already established there, seventeen reside at the Guest House, a structure resembling an old English inn.
The housekeeping in this inn is superintended by Miss Suzanna Price, who boards students at $5 a week. Large wooden benches made from a design of Mr. Pierce’s embellish each side of the many doorways.