The Buried Past: An Archaeological History of Philadelphia

By John L. Cotter; Daniel G. Roberts et al. | Go to book overview

10

Chester and Delaware Counties

THE PRINTZHOF: A HEAVY MAN WITH A HEAVY HAND

THE MORTON HOMESTEAD AND THE MORTONSON HOUSE: THE OLD SWEDES AT HOME

THE GRANGE: A WELSH QUAKER ESTATE AND ITS EVOLUTION

THE CALEB PUSEY HOUSE: A DURABLE QUAKER RUSTIC

RIDLEY CREEK STATE PARK: THE COLONIAL PENNSYLVANIA PLANTATION AND SYCAMORE MILLS

WAYNESBOROUGH: THE ESTATE OF GENERAL "MAD" ANTHONY WAYNE

VALLEY FORGE: A NATIONAL ICON UNCOVERED

THE BARNS-BRINTON HOUSE: ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF OLD U.S. ROUTE 1

In September 1789, five years after Montgomery County came into existence, the state assembly voted to create Delaware County by dividing Chester County along the boundary lines shown in Figure 2 in the Introduction. The new county was the result of a protracted and heated dispute over the location of the original county seat at Chester. For people in the western part of the area, it was a long journey to that town at the county's southeastern border, and they lobbied strenuously for the removal of the county government to a more central location. The "removalists" won the battle when West Chester became Chester County's seat in 1786. But the war was not over. As the residents of Chester and the southeastern part of the county began experiencing some of the inconvenience their western neighbors had previously felt, they launched a campaign that led, after much petitioning, to the formation of Delaware County, with the town of Chester serving as its county seat.

Although in most respects Chester County and its spinoff followed the same course of development as Bucks, Philadelphia, and Montgomery counties, at least one difference is discernible. The early Swedish influence in this area was marked, as a few of the sites described in this chapter testify. In 1643 Johan Printz, the third colonial governor of New Sweden, installed his seat of government on Tinicum Island, thereby establishing the first permanent European settlement within the present bounds of Pennsylvania. Here Printz built a log fort, as well as a residence known as the "Printzhof." Described by a contemporary as "very handsome," with "a fine orchard, a pleasure house and other conveniences," the Printzhof was no doubt a far cry from the rough

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