Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Darby Boro Library needs your help

The Darby Library at 1001 Main St. in Darby from about 1905. The library is still in the same building which opened in 1872.

   Before Radio, Tv., computers and cell phones, libraries were the place to go. Libraries were the place to go for information, research or just to meet and talk. Ben Franklin founded the first library in Pennsylvania in 1731 and the Darby Library Co. was founded 12 years later in 1743, On May 10, 1743 some 30 men met to organize the library and the first official meeting was held just 2 days later electing John Pearson as the first librarian. The men came from  as far away as Ridley Twp to start the library. John Sketchley, step father of John Morton, was an original founder. The original books of the library from the 1740's the Darby Library still has on display. It cost three dollars a year to join the library. The problem was getting books for patrons to read. A list of 43 books was selected to start the library but there was no way to get the books in America. There were no businesses in America printing anything at the time and the books had to be bought an shipped from England. Darby Library board member, John Bartram, had a friend in London, England Peter Collinson. Collinson bought the books the library wanted and shipped them to them, something Collinson did for years. The first library building was at the home of the first librarian, John Pearson at 934 Main St. up until the mid 19th century the home of the library was in the home of the librarian were a room was set aside. The current library building at 1001 Main St. opened in 1872. The building a Darby Landmark needs help a lot of work to bring it up to date structurally. The Library is applying for several grants to get the work done, but that does not mean they will get them. The library is a 501[c]3 organization were donated money is tax deductible. Please take the time and help a Delaware Co. Landmark thru a rough time.


Established in 1743, the Darby Library Company has continually provided library service to Darby Community and beyond. It is a 501 c3 Corporation with the id number of 23-1396790.


The current home was built in 1866 and now needs major improvements.

·        First and most important, the bricks are crumbling and bowing.

·        It needs a new roof and better management for water runoff.

·        Lighting needs to be up graded to LEDs.

We are constantly applying for Grants to solve the building’s problems but as of today, we have not been the recipient.

You can help in two ways:

Write a letter in support of the Library and its importance to you and the community. Letters can be sent to or mailed.

Donate towards our capital fund. Checks can be made out to the Darby Library  1001 Main St. Darby PA  19023


April 3 and Onwards!
Come and meet our new pig mom-to-be!
Thank you to all those volunteers who joined us on our opening day on March 27! We had a tremendous turn out of both volunteers and visitors, and even Mother Nature smiled on us!
Come and join us in the months ahead - Volunteer sign up now permits sign up up to the end of May!

The Plantation cooks are back, and this Saturday for the first time in over a year we were able to share the fruits of out labor with other volunteers!

See all our farm animals especially our new Leicester Longwool sheep, Hog Island sheep, and Tamworth mixed breed pig. There will be hearth cooking, woodworking, long rifle demonstrations, spinning, weaving, working with flax, colonial music, candle making and seed planting. The ox will be yoked and the horse harnessed so some farm work can be completed.


New this year - Sunday Storytime!
Join us the 3rd Sunday of every month from 12:00pm until 2:00pm we will be reading from a children's book, the children will then do a hands on activity, go on a behind the scenes farm tour and then you are welcome to picnic in our grove!

April 10th - Historic Timeline
Witness history throughout the ages from Europe to the Americas and from the 16th century to modern times.

April 24th - Slavery and Servitude in Colonial Pennsylvania
Come and see how work was accomplished on our farm. This will be a day for children and adults alike. There will be hands on activities such as candle making and planting in the garden. Ned Hector will address slavery in the colony with his “Imaginary discussion with George Washington”.

May 8th & May 15th - Sheep Shearing and Textiles
Come to the Plantation on Saturday, May 8th or Saturday, May 15th, and see our rare breed sheep lose their fleece. We will have Eva Mergen, one of our farmers, explain how to shear and then demonstrate the skill by using hand shears. We will also have people demonstrating most of the steps for turning that wool into cloth for clothing, and visitors will have an opportunity to card wool. We will explain how to care for sheep, what they eat, and the advantages of various breeds. There will also be a chance to learn about our other farm animals including our horses, ox, pigs, chickens, geese, and turkeys. There will be hearth cooking, garden, farm, and house tours. Check website for shearing times. Enjoy a day in the country that is very close to home. To purchase tickets or make a free member reservation

May 29th - Militia Muster and Lock, Stock and Barrel Display
Join us on Saturday, May 29th for a discussion by local historian Chris Reardon as he presents an in-depth look at the evolution of hunting and military arms from the beginning of European settlement in the Delaware Valley, to the Valley's impact on the arms used as the eastern settlements push westward. There will be a small colonial muster. In colonial times, a muster was the gathering of local farmers to drill, work, and socialize with good food and music. The muster will include long rifle demonstrations, fire starting, hearth cooking as well as farm chores and our farm animals.

LET US KNOW if you plan to come out by signing up ABOVE - this is important! Please plan to be set up and ready to go at 11am, since this is our most popular time slot and visitors are typically raring to go!

The house and farm have all been spring cleaned, and Kevin and Eva have the place in better shape than ever! However we know it won't stay that way for long! Moving forward we will be asking that one of the weekend volunteers sign up to arrive upto an hour earlier to give the house a sweep, and clean the dead bugs and spider webs off the window sills. This will be particularly important once we start to allow more visitors into the house

Please Note - No one is to park along the lane. We have had many trees removed due to lantern flies and the cars are now visible to the public.

2021 Policies for Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation regarding Covid -19

The Plantation plans to be open for public visitation starting March 27, 2021 on weekends, Saturdays and perhaps Sundays if staffing is available and interest is again high. We have just a couple of live school visits scheduled and all are small groups. If permitted, the Plantation will operate a summer camp (to start no earlier than June 20, 2020). We will develop a similar policy for camp likely in May.
The number of visitors on weekends will be limited to ensure proper social distancing. For now we would like to increase the total capacity of people on site to be 75. All but a few of them again will be outside. We expect this number to rarely, if ever be exceeded.

We will open the farmhouse and stone cabin similarly, as we did last year. Windows and doors will be open throughout the visited areas and visitors will be allowed in family groups. If an interpreter is demonstrating inside (such as spinning, sewing or weaving) we will ensure that there is adequate distancing. There will be an inside cook in the kitchen but we are able to distance adequately there. Food will be prepared and eaten by just volunteers, as in the past. Any meal will be eaten outside and there we be no eating in groups. Any outdoor demonstrations and activities will allow six foot separation between the demonstrator and the public, and staff will be on hand to discourage different groups of visitors from congregating or getting too close.

All outdoor activities such as plowing, gardening, animal care, blacksmithing, woodworking and interpreting the well, will be demonstrated by a single staff member in an outdoor location. If help is needed by another staff member social distancing will be maintained. Only visitors that arrived together (for example, members of the same family or household unit) may watch a demonstration at one time.

As long as the state recommends it, visitors over the age of two years will be required to wear a mask on admission and keep it on during their stay, and all employees will wear masks while required by state law/DCNR law. Hand sanitizer stations will be available at the entrance/exit, near the restrooms, and at all regularly trafficked areas.

The restroom will be open at all times (once the park turn the water back on) with good ventilation when the site is open for the comfort of the Plantation’s visitors and to give full access to handwashing. Restrooms will be disinfected regularly throughout the day while the site is open and at the end of the day after closing.


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