You know me, I love my old farms. I am obsessed with old barns. For years, I have passed by this farm sitting all marooned by modern times with Route 100 to the front and the Pennsylvania Turnpike to its left side when you are looking from Route 100. I found out today this property is Happy Days Farm and it is in Uwchlan Township.
At present this farm is STILL being farmed by tenants which is why I had no idea until yesterday that Vanguard even owned the land because I did not live in Chester County back when this all started.
I feel I need to mention that I know 100% for a fact that active farming is still going on because I fear as soon as I post this if I DO NOT mention Happy Days Farm is still actively farmed, they will get trespassers. DO NOT JUST VISIT THIS FARM RANDOMLY, OK? TRESPASSING HERE MEANS A VISIT FROM THE POLICE, CAPISCE?
The Philadelphia Business Journal and Vista Today did not mention there was still active farming going on, so I kind of feel I have to, that I must point out THE FARM IS STILL IN USE. And it is because of these publications I am writing this post because I was alarmed at the news they imparted to all of us recently about Happy Days Farm potentially literally coming to an end.
Noodling around on ChescoViews I found this:
Is it just me or is it a total disaster if this farm is lost to development???
Vanguard has decided to put Happy Days Farm in Exton up for sale, writes Natalie Kostelni for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The investment giant has owned it for two decades and once considered using the 246-acre property for a new campus.
When it originally purchased the property in 1999, Vanguard anticipated developing a campus that would total between one and two million square feet. But the property has been sitting without any development on it ever since…..Now, the property is expected to attract interest from a wide range of developers.
THIS IS A FARM! A STILL WORKING FARM EVEN WITH TENANT FARMERS! WE NEED OUR FARMS IN CHESTER COUNTY NOT MORE BLOODY DEVELOPMENT AND DEVELOPERS, RIGHT?!
Happy Days Farm was once home to the Supplee Family in modern times (I think from some point in the 1940s.) Mildred and Warren Supplee were well-loved by their community and were married for 75 years:
Mildred M. Supplee of Freedom Village Mildred M. Supplee, presently of Freedom Village, West Brandywine and formerly of Lionville and Upper Uwchlan Township, passed away in the presence of her children and loved ones on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
She was 100, having celebrated her birthday on April 15. Born in Chester Springs, she was the daughter and oldest child of H. Raymond and Mary Vail McBride. She lived her entire life in central Chester County, having lived in Chester Springs until the age of five when she moved with her family to Byers and lived there until her marriage. She attended the one-room Windsor School in Upper Uwchlan Township for eight years and then West Chester High School, graduating in 1931. She studied nursing at Chester County Hospital, and after her family was raised she was charge nurse at the former Huffman Nursing Home in Whitford.
After a five-year courtship she married her beloved late husband, S. Warren Supplee, and the couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in 2008, prior to Warren’s passing. Upon her marriage she moved with Warren to his family farm where they farmed the two farm properties collectively known today as Happy Days Farm.
In 1994 they moved with son Walter from the farm property in Lionville to a home in Upper Uwchlan Township where they lived until moving to Freedom Village.
Mildred was very active in church work, being a member of Windsor Baptist Church in Eagle for 85 years. She presently was the oldest living member. She served as church clerk for 50 years, served as a trustee, was active and held positions in the mission society, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and helped organize and advise the Christian Endeavor youth program at the church. She helped serve church suppers and weddings. She was also involved in the Central Union Association of the American Baptist convention and held positions there.
Mildred was christened a Lutheran and attended St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chester Springs, attending there with her family prior to joining Windsor. She presently was an associate member there and attended services there as well as Windsor through her hundred years.
Besides helping on the family farm and raising her family, she made the family’s clothes, bedding, and enjoyed doing handwork. She was an excellent cook and people loved to come for a meal. She entertained many family, church and school groups. She enjoyed reading until her eyesight failed. She was a devoted daughter and provided care for her parents as well as her husband’s parents and brother. She was a member of many farm organizations with her husband….
Obituary of S. Warren Supplee as it appeared in the Southern Chester County Weeklies on May 29, 2008:
S. Warren Supplee, 98, of Freedom Village, West Brandywine, and formerly of Lionville, passed away on Friday evening, May 16, 2008, at Brandywine Hospital, surrounded by his wife and children.Born in Westtown, he was the son of the late Samuel W. and Myrtle Broadbelt Supplee.
A lifelong farmer, Mr. Supplee lived his entire life in the central Chester County area.
He grew up on a farm on Johnny’s Way, Westtown. At the age of 13, he moved to Lionville with his parents and brother and farmed there on the two farm properties collectively known today as the Happy Days Farm.
He loved to tell of the family’s move to Lionville from Westtown. He and his father moved machinery and some farm crops every other day using horses and wagons. On moving day, the men drove the dairy cattle from Westtown to Lionville.
He started to milk by hand at the age of 5 and milked till he was 80. He lived to see milking parlors and a robot milker.
He married Mildred McBride, and the couple recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
In 1994, he moved from the farm in Lionville to Upper Uwchlan, where he lived until his move to Freedom Village.
He attended Goshen Baptist Church as a child until his move to Lionville, where he attended Windsor Baptist Church in Eagle. He joined there in 1928 and was the oldest living member. He also attended St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chester Springs.
An avid Chester County foxhunter, he hunted with several hunts and had his own foxhounds. He also enjoyed hunting rabbits with his beagles.
He attended schools in Westtown and graduated from Lionville High School. He also attended West Chester High School.
Mr. Supplee served on the Uwchlan Township board and later the Downingtown Area School Board.
He was a member of the former Uwchlan Grange, Lionville Fire Company, P.O.S. of A, Odd Fellows, West Chester Home Clusters and several farm organizations…..
Before I found these obituaries, it was just a farm, just a big swath of land. Now I know how much this land, this farm was loved.
And I am told there are historically listed structures on this farm? Buildings that are registered with the historical society that any buyer can not remove?
I will note that Philadelphia Architects and Buildings dates the farm as circa 1730 to 1780. They also have a 1995 site plan. I also discovered it is part of some Watershed H (Brandywine Creek, East Brandywine creek?) and there is an archeological and historical survey report. And this abstract document from 1998 would also be of interest.
Also, it took some digging but I did indeed find a 1998 PA Historic Resouces Survey Form. You can click HERE and I am uploading it here: H067961_67867_D. It’s fascinating and what did this survey lead me to? Oh yes, another Penn Land Grant and possibly part of Native American Hunting Grounds:
The origins of Happy Days Farm can be traced to two early land grants from William Penn, Proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania. One tract of 1,000 acres was granted to James Claypoole in 1682. James Claypoole was an English investor who purchased several land grants in Pennsylvania, but never lived there. The other tract of 1,666 2/3 acres was granted to David Lloyd in 1703. David Lloyd was a land investor who owned a considerable portion of what became Uwchlan Township in 1712. In 1713, the heirs of James Claypoole sold 800 acres in Uwchlan to David Lloyd. In 1714, Lloyd sold to Joseph Phipps an 800 acre plantation that included parts of the two Penn grants.
The description on the 1714 deed of a “messuage, tenement plantation tract” indicates that there was already an established farm and dwelling house. Joseph Phipps was among the early Quaker settlers who requested the formation of their own meeting in Uwchlan Township in 1712. At the time, most of these Quakers were living on land owned by David Lloyd, so Joseph Phipps was probably living on the land he later purchased. Between 1712 and 1715, most of David Lloyd’s holdings in Uwchlan Township were deeded to early residents such as Phipps. The first tax records for Uwchlan Township occurred in 1715. Joseph Phipps was one of eighteen names recorded on that list and one of the greatest landowners. 280 years later, descendants of Joseph continue to live in Uwchlan Township.
Joseph Phipps married twice and had seven children with Mary Woodyear and one son with Mary Helsby. His children included Sarah, Samuel, Joseph, Nathan, George (died young), John, Aaron (died young) and by second wife a son also named George born in 1743.
Genealogical records at the Chester County Historical Society suggest that Joseph was born in 1661, but that seems unlikely. If that were correct, Joseph had a son when he was 82 years old and died at the age of 1011 The Phipps family belonged to the Society of Friends, but records indicate that Joseph’s sons did not always live up to the Quaker high moral standards. One of Joseph Phipps Jr. was one of the few slaveowners in Uwchlan Township. In 1764, Joseph Phipps Jr. was taxed eight shillings for one negro man. At that time only five landowners in the Township owned slaves. Nathan and Joseph Jr. were both condemned for marrying out the society. George was complained of in 1727 for excessive drinking and quarreling. Samuel was condemned for having indecent familiarity with his neighbor’s wife. John was charged in 1735 with fathering a bastard child and in 1739 for assaulting a neighbor. The consequence of too much privilege and too little discipline that some complain of in today’s society seems similar to the difficulties Joseph Phipps had with his sons nearly 300years ago!
For much of the eighteenth century, the Phipps family prospered. As Joseph’s children grew and married several houses were built on the family lands. Some farmland was divided, but the “home farm” and approximately 400 acres remained intact through the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century witnessed the growth of a new agricultural industry – the dairy farm. Chester County became known for its dairy farms. By the 1880’s, 85 individually owned dairy farms prospered in Uwchlan Township. The Phipps families owned several.
Happy Days Farm is the only farm property that remained in the Phipps family for more than two centuries. Members of the Phipps family were active in several area churches including Uwchlan Society of Friends and Windsor Baptist Church. Phipps participated in the organizing and prosperity of the Uwchlan Grange. Residents of this early farm accomplished their goals. They may not have been famous, but they were excellent examples of nineteenth century Pennsylvania farmers.
The “Home” farm finally left the Phipps family in 1923, when sold to settle the estate of Phillena Phipps, widow of William Phipps, great, great, great grandson of the original settler, Joseph Phipps.
The farm property was granted to Harrison Durant in 1923, who owned it for twenty six years, but had lived there as early as 1914. The farm under Durant’s ownership continued to be a dairy farm. Durant remodeled the farmhouse by opening the two original first floor rooms to create one large living room. He eliminated one fireplace and altered the large fireplace. When central heating was installed some other fireplaces were closed off. It appears that Harrison Durant was eccentric. In 1946, he purchased some old fire equipment and advertised private fire protection services for such times as burning brush to clear fields, or to assist the volunteer fire companies. This enterprise was short-lived, he put the equipment up for sale in April, 1947.
Colonial tax records provide little information on land holdings and buildings, but by 1796 descriptions of taxpayers holdings were entered every few years. Jonathan Phipps was taxed in that year for 361 acres, with “two stone houses, 2 stories high and 1 stone kitchen, 1 log house 2 stories high, 1 barn part stone and part frame, 2 good log barns, 2 stone spring houses, 1 shed waggon house, 1 shed stable, 1 lime kiln and two log tenements. The 1799 tax records indicate that the main dwelling house was part stone and part log and was assessed at $280, a sizable sum at that time. Also included in the 1799 tax records for this 360 acre property were two small stone houses, two log houses, three stone springhouses, one log barn and two log and stone barns. This list
supports the theory that several Phipps families lived on the “home” farm.
Several buildings remain, including: the original farmhouse, two stone springhouses, one barn, the old foundation of another barn (the barn has been rebuilt.) a carriage house and some modern buildings. Of particular note is a tenant house built in 1925 with some architectural features unique to Uwchlan Township.
The Supplees also own a strip of land on the other side of Route 100 and a house and lot that lie within the Lionville National Historic District. It is unknown at this time if these parcels will be included in future development. The early twentieth century house is a one story frame bungalow.
In the past, arrowheads have been found in the area of Happy Days Farm. Uwchlan residents have long supported the premise that the farm was once part of Native American Hunting grounds. Most of the roads forming a wheel design in Lionville were originally Indian paths, but other evidence of Native American activity in the area has never been thoroughly investigated or documented.
In 2001 the Daily Local featured a letter to the editor that included a plea for this farm:
As a resident of Uwchlan Township for the past 12 years, I am typical of the many residents who moved here because of its rural charm. However, unlike many of our neighbors who are moving out because of the major changes in Uwchlan’s character in recent years, my family wants to stay. We love the community and its schools; we work and volunteer in the community and hope that the encroaching development won’t destroy all that Uwchlan is.
Of particular concern to us is the development in the high density sector of the township. According to the county’s Landscapes plan, the area surrounding Route 113 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is targeted for the densest development in the township….The development of the Happy Days Farm by Vanguard will bring new meaning to the word density. Along with all the tax incentives Vanguard will contribute to the community, it will turn Uwchlan Township into a small metropolis…..
As tax-paying citizens who will bear the burden of the traffic and noise pollution that the Vanguard complex will bring, we should not be expected to compromise the beauty of our community as well just because we happen to be in the high density sector of the county. Uwchlan Township deserves its share of the open space proposed for purchase by the county.
TREDYFFRIN – Gov. Tom Ridge made it official yesterday, presenting The Vanguard Group with a $55.5 million economic package to expand itˆ’s Chester County presence and create 6,000 new jobs over the next five years.
The mutual fund giant, the county’s largest employer, recently announced plans to build a corporate campus on the 245-acre Supplee family Happy Days Farm near the Downingtown interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Uwchlan. That expansion, plus an expansion of the companyˆ’s corporate headquarters in Tredyffrin, represents a $550 million investment for Vanguard.
Ridge made the official announcement of the multi-million tax package and other incentives at Vanguard’s corporate campus surrounded by state and county officials and about 100 Vanguard senior managers.
“Vanguard is a client of ours,” Ridge said as he toured the bond traders’ offices at the company headquarters. “We’re a service industry, not out to make a profit. But the companies that do make a profit, we want them to do it in Pennsylvania.”…John J. Brennan, Vanguard chairman and chief executive officer, said Chester County, a region rich in farmland where people cultivated a living, has developed as a place rich in local talent, rich in human resources which has been “vital to our success.”
“The Supplee parcel we look at with the perspective of an investor,” Brennan said, adding that investing is his business “I manage $550 billion of other people’s money.”
Brennan introduced Ridge to a standing ovation congratulating the governor and the Governor’s Action Team for their long-term view.
Ridge called Monday a great day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a great day for Vanguard….The Happy Days Farm property, which Vanguard agreed to buy in April, was considered by two giant malls over the last four years, as well as by pharmaceutical giant, Astra Zeneca for its US headquarters. The drug company decided to locate in Delaware wooed away by tax breaks and massive road improvements.
The governor praised the county’s sensitive, smart growth and Uwchlan’s foresight to designate the Supplee tract for economic growth.
“It’s not about a mall here,” Ridge said. “This company builds a quality campus that anybody would be happy to have as a neighbor.”
The Happy Days Farm expansion comes with expedited plans by the state Department of Transportation to improve highways associated with the project, specifically routes 100 and 113 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The “transportation improvements”, Ridge said, will make it possible for people in Lancaster and Reading to work at the Happy Days site once developed.
Wow. That was QUITE the investment offer on the part of the state, right? Funded by taxpayer dollars of Pennsylvanians, right?
I can tell you that the Daily Local featured an article in 2001 about an update to Vanguard’s then plans:
The mutual fund company plans to build 2.5 million square feet of office space for 10,000 new employees next to the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Downingtown interchange on the former Happy Days Farm.
The location is desirable for employee recruiting, as well as employee commuting, Ralph K. Packard, Vanguard managing director and chief financial officer, told members of the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce.
Packard was guest speaker Tuesday at the organization’s March luncheon held at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Lionville.
Now Happy Days Farm and Vanguard have popped up in articles for years according to my research today. For example, when State Senator Andy Dinniman was a County Commissioner he wanted Vanguard to help raise $20 million to preserve farmland in Chester County:
The county is hoping the state, local municipalities and Vanguard will chip in to help raise $20 million to preserve farmland in the northern part of the county.
“(Vanguard) is the largest job creation project in the commonwealth right now,” said County Commissioner Andrew Dinniman. “We thought we had a unique two-year window of opportunity before construction starts. We’re trying to get a head start on this.”
Vanguard, the nation’s second largest mutual fund firm and the county’s largest employer with headquarters in Malvern, is planning 2.5 million square-feet of office space for nearly 10,000 employees at its new campus on the site of the 245-acre Happy Days Farm on Route 100.
“We know once Vanguard starts to get built in a couple of years, there will be an enormous pressure to eat up this land and we want to preserve some of it,” said Dinniman….Wayne Clapp, assistant director of the county planning commission, said the proposal is consistent with the county’s Landscapes master plan.
“We prefer not to see development in the rural, natural landscape,” he said.
“They should be preserved, not built upon,” said Clapp. “Agriculture is still the largest industry in the county. We tend to think of farmland as open space, but it is an industry.”
Did that ever happen? Apparently not, but read on…..
In 2001 there was an article in The Daily Local about the effects of development on traffic and now that we are in 2019 in my opinion, we can safely say NO ONE MUCH LISTENED and CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE:
Over time, Atwater in East Whiteland and Tredyffrin, Valley Creek Corporate Center in West Whiteland and Vanguard’s corporate campus in Uwchlan, could generate a total of 26,000 new jobs and about as many additional cars on the roads.
Faced with those numbers, PennDOT already has road widening projects, new bridges and better signalization either under way or in the planning stages.
For commuters, it means more aggravation.
“That type of development means a regional draw,” said Chris Williams, senior project manager at McMahon Associates, a traffic planning firm with offices in West Whiteland….The county is seeing so much development, so much traffic, Kaiser said, any one development can cause a bottleneck at an intersection five or 10 miles down the road.
On the drawing board:
Vanguard Group is set to build a 2.5 million square foot corporate campus at Happy Days Farm on Route 100 in Uwchlan. It is still in due-diligence stage, said John Demming, Vanguard spokesman. Some 6,000 people could work there when it is completed, Demming said Valley Creek Corporate Center broke ground last month. When complete, the high-end office park developed by The Rubenstein Co. on Swedesford Road near routes 30 and 202 in West Whiteland will be made up of 1.75 million square feet in 17 buildings. It is expected to attract 7,500 to 10,000 employees. The 200-acre site was once owned by Church Farm School.
Atwater by developer Trammell Crow will be a 2.6-million-square-foot office complex for about 10,000 employees. It will be located at the former Cedar Hollow Quarry site between Route 29 and Yellow Springs Road.The 380-acre site straddles East Whiteland and Tredyffrin townships but the bulk of the development is slated for East Whiteland. Both Atwater and Valley Creek will affect Route 202
Also in 2001 was the Save Our Countryside Rally. Also reported in The Daily Local:
Fox hunting clubs, farmers and concerned citizens from the area, surrounding townships and even surrounding counties, voiced their concerns about the disappearing landscape of Chester County to state legislators and local organization leaders.
Originally scheduled to be held at the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds, the rally was moved to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church because of rain, said James Scharnberg, master of the Skycastle French Hounds of Chester Springs and organizer of the event.
State Sen. Jim Gerlach, R-44th of East Brandywine; state Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th of Downingtown; county commissioners Andrew Dinniman and Colin Hanna; Eleanor Morris of the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust and John Hoekstra, director of Green Valley Association, addressed the crowd regarding the importance of making their voices heard and saving open space.
Two local development plans in Wallace and Uwchlan were at the forefront of residents’ minds….The other development that concerns citizens and politicians alike is the Vanguard construction, which is to begin in two years, at Happy Days Farm, where Route 100 meets the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Uwchlan. The site will employ between 8,000 and 10,000 people.
According to Dinniman, the county has put up $5 million for farmland preservation in the area. The county is asking its three other partners — the state, the township and Vanguard — to contribute $5 million each, bringing the total to $20 million. “The only way to save open space is to save the farms and help the farmers financially,” Dinniman said. “Part of stewardship is to help us preserve land of Chester County. They are not exactly impoverished and can help us in this aspect.”
All of the speakers encouraged the crowd to let their voices be heard. “I believe the answer is the community has to mobilize,” Dinniman said following the rally. “The key is the voice. What I have heard was a deep anger level, a concern, a plea for change. Public officials need to listen and use every ounce of energy to answer the plea. The key is to keep the voice going so it can be heard.”
That is key: “concerns citizens and politicians alike.” So I challenge these officials still around like State Senator Andy Dinniman to look at the Happy Days Farm situation again. Why? Because as years passed, residents obviously grew complacent as in maybe this wasn’t happening. Now residents have to pick up the cause of saving our countryside once again and FAST.
People have already said to me the following about this situation:
“What are you going to start bitching about? This tract has been talked about for years as a mall, a big pharma company…even heard of it as possibly an amusement park. A casino wouldn’t be unlikely either. Hey maybe Amazon will think about it in lieu of their NYC site. Too bad we couldn’t convince Vanguard to develop it. I think some ecological issues slowed down the Vanguard start up years ago. Something about turtles, but not sure how true that was. Who knows what we will get now.”
To my armchair quarterbacks I say it is still a working farm. THAT is what I am bitching about it. What was proposed in the past does not have to be this farm’s future. It could have a preservation-minded future.
Agriculture as noted above was once Chester County’s largest industry, right? Why not invest in THAT Vanguard? You guys do socially responsible investing, correct? What is more socially responsible that agricultural preservation in the county Vanguard calls home? Seems win-win to me and face it Vanguard, you can AFFORD to do this, can’t you?
Really and truly I cannot stand this anymore. Every week it seems it’s another farm. Another historically important piece of architecture. Where has all of the preservation gone?
Someone else said to me today:
“Happy Days Farm represents a lynchpin development opportunity connecting the turnpike Eagleview development to the 113 corridor – once it falls contiguous open space to the east will diminish rapidly.”
Skip ahead to 2014 and an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. We should have paid more attention because now I ask, was this a warning of the future a/k/a our present?
For a view of the “jobless recovery” – there are still fewer Americans employed today than in 2008, despite rising business profits and share prices – take a look at what has changed at Vanguard Group’s Chester County campus. And what hasn’t.
Vanguard assets have tripled, to nearly $3 trillion, since the stock market bottomed out five years ago. Its popular index portfolios, targeted-date retirement funds, and other products now account for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. mutual fund industry…..Way back in 1999, Vanguard proposed a second multimillion-square-foot office center, at Happy Days Farm just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike exit in Lionville, Uwchlan Township….The state of Pennsylvania said it was ready to grant up to $55.5 million in aid if Vanguard met its hiring goals…..But Happy Days hasn’t been needed, and the state didn’t have to provide any grants….it has cut back on the platoons of young, hourly “crewmembers” who answered phone calls from investors.
“We don’t have a goal of having fewer people at Vanguard,” said Chris McIsaac, boss at Vanguard’s Institutional Investor Group, …. “But if we can do more with the same number of people, that’s a good thing for our clients.”….As office demand has fallen, Vanguard has negotiated lower taxes, based on the reduced value investors are now willing to pay for suburban office space….Vanguard expects to keep adding assets. But it’s no longer planning for large or rapid employment growth, Reed said.
“Like every company in America, we’ve got to be more efficient tomorrow than today,” Reed added.
That article by Joseph Di Stefano tells us RIGHT THERE what some media is reporting to us this week. This 2014 article was laying out the groundwork for dumping Happy Days Farm out of their real estate portfolio, wasn’t it? Of course this article also spells out what happened to that grant money – it just seems like it evaporated as an offer as time passed, didn’t it?
To me that also says that Vanguard is also now in part perhaps just paying lip service to calling Chester County “it’s home” and I subject to you the following for consideration: if someplace else offered them a sweeter plum for the picking than all the municipalities which have bent over and kissed the corporate rear end of Vanguard all these years in Chester County would they stay? I wonder.
Heck we should have paid closer attention in 2012 when this article on Vanguard and their real estate hopscotching came out:
TREDYFFRIN – Vanguard Group Inc. confirmed on Thursday that it has signed an agreement to purchase the neighboring Pfizer property.
Vanguard spokesman John Woerth said he could not disclose the purchase price, though published reports put the deal at $40 million.
For Vanguard, the purchase was all about location.
“This is a stone’s throw from our current Malvern headquarters,” Woerth said, explaining why Vanguard is making the investment. “We had the opportunity to purchase a property close to our current property at a reasonable price.”….
Vanguard also owns Happy Days Farm on Route 100 in Uwchlan. It purchased the 250-acre property in 2000 with the intent to turn it into an upscale corporate campus. Some road work has been done since then, but no buildings have been started.
Worth said while Vanguard continues to own the property, “there are no plans to develop it at this time.”
The signs have been there all along. Sigh.
Vanguard is a financial powerhouse. As per their numbers, the assets under management are 5.1 trillion USD (January 31, 2018). They also are in the news that the have socially responsible, environmentally responsible ETFs.
Can you afford to be a responsible investor?
That’s the question that has plagued pensions and individual investors alike as they consider financial products dedicated to environmental, social and governance criteria. In two recent polls, a majority of institutions and high-net-worth investors concluded fees were too high to justify an allocation….Just this month, Vanguard, arguably the czar of low-fee fund offerings, jumped into the ESG fray with the Vanguard ESG US Stock ETF ESGV, +0.54% and the Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF VSGX, +0.14% offerings. The funds will track the holdings of the FTSE US All Cap Choice and FTSE Global All Cap ex US Choice indexes — two ESG indexes — and fees are slated at 0.12% and 0.15%, respectively. The funds will incorporate elements some elements from more traditional Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) by excluding certain “sin stocks” such as those in adult entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, and weapons, and the funds will also exclude fossil-fuel firms from its investment portfolios. From there, the funds will apply an ESG overlay to the stock portfolios. The fund will also attempt to maximize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in its investment decisions.
The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:
Look at that: sustainable cities and communities and climate action and life on land and zero hunger just to pull out a few points. A great working farm surviving would play a role in that, right? So many of these goals could be applied to saving a working farm they own, can’t you agree?
So Vanguard? I realize that although Jack Bogle founded you some would argue if you were really still the firm of Jack Bogle, yes? But can you still be enough of Jack Bogle’s firm that maybe you would consider putting your socially responsible money where your corporate mouth is?
A company with TRILLIONS in assets could indeed work something out with a nature conservancy and donate the land into preservation. The land could be preserved and still have tenant farmers.
Vanguard, you bring a lot of people to Chester County. But if you sell this land to developers you put another nail in the coffin of Chester County’s industry of agriculture and the agricultural history and traditions. Vanguard, if you sell to developers a parcel this big will not be open space it will be developed up as quickly as developed plans can get through, correct?
Vanguard, if you want to pay homage to where you call home, save this parcel and BE socially responsible by doing so. We don’t grow our food on the roof of Whole Foods and Wegman’s do we? We still need agrarian values and landscapes, don’t we?
Chester County, this farm land is not sold yet. As a county can we at least try to change the conversation here? Save our countryside?
Readers keep sending me photos of Lloyd Farm and I am grateful. A little dose of vertigo has kept me grounded.
Lloyd Farm. What can I say that hasn’t been said already? This is insanity that this farm house is coming down. Much like La Ronda in Bryn Mawr around 2009, it is a place that doesn’t have to come down, it’s a choice isn’t it?
La Ronda was in Lower Merion Township, which like Caln is a First Class Township. A big distinction is however, that Lower Merion agreed with residents that La Ronda should have been saved. Can we just say plainly that it seems like Caln doesn’t give a crap?
Other things about this site I wonder about is have they checked for graves? I have also heard people say that given the 200 + years of people living on the property there may be burial grounds and is this true?
I think it’s the wrong choice to tear down Lloyd Farm’s farmhouse. I am a defender of private property rights but this is NOT just about private property and somebody exercising their rights. This is about development superseding history.
And I’m sure that Caln’s commissioners and lovely solicitor really would prefer none of us were talking about Lloyd Farm, but how can we not? The Lloyd family gave and did much where they called home didn’t they?
How can we not wonder what it will take to slow the pace of development in Chester County?
Our county is being destroyed. Not all developments are bad but when is the last time we saw one that was thoughtful? They mostly seem like they are all about just cramming as many structures on the property as humanly possible and developers wherever moving onto their next projects.
And this property which as I’ve written before is part of a Penn land grant, has an 18th-century farmhouse that’s historically important with an equally important 1910 addition completed and designed by a noted Philadelphia architect also with ties to Chester County. The history is undeniable.
In 1982 it could have become historically recognized but it never happened. Why?
Lloyd Farm via the familial history is linked to yet another local treasure, Glen Isle.
I am told this developer whom I do not know and was never really aware of before is a local guy. I don’t understand why as a local guy he can’t see what a good thing it would be to save the farmhouse and a little bit of the land around it? I will go back to my point that even Toll Brothers saves the occasional farmhouse in their developments.
Now let’s talk about Caln Township for a hot minute. Time for the residents to change the faces of who govern them every election until they are gone. I don’t know who those commissioners in Caln are working for but it’s certainly not the residents is it? And what about the appointed officials there? Who are they working for? Maybe it’s time to change them up as well, huh? But you have to flip the board of commissioners in order to be able to do that don’t you?
Anyway these are photos that have been sent to me over the past couple of days which are in this post.
I urge residents to keep cool heads. You have every right to be angry about what is happening in Caln. Keep the faith, Caln residents.
I keep saying it but will say it again: our history should not always belong to the wrecking ball and bulldozer.
There is this page on Facebook I follow called Her Voice Echoes. In their own words:
Her Voice Echoes presents letters, editorials, articles and other documents written by and, sometimes, about women. A few voices will infuriate you. You may even find them abhorrent. Others will uplift and enlighten. Some will make you laugh, others cry. Hopefully, we’ll learn from all of them what it means to be human and the struggles that we share across centuries, social class, ethnicities and nationalities.
They post some great stuff and sometime things I roll my eyes at ever so slightly. Today, or last night probably, they posted something from Oprah.Com called The New Midlife Crisis. It’s about women, for women and Hallelujah we’re finally allowed by society to have a midlife crisis? Is that what it is?
I do have a problem with the article in the context that it seems directed at Gen X women. So yo do only Gen X women feel these things? I am 54 and I can tell you this article resonates with me. And not because my life is so terrible, it resonates because of what a decade ago almost my life could have been.
As I cooked dinner the other night, I thought about the women I had been talking to. They’re just entering, slogging through or just leaving their 40s. They belong to Generation X, born roughly during the baby bust, from 1965 to 1984, the Title IX babies who were the first women in their families to go to college. Or go away to college. Or to live on their own, launch a career, marry in their late 20s (or never) or choose to stay home with their children. They’re a Latina executive in California, a white stay-at-home mom in Virginia who grows her own organic vegetables, an African-American writer in Texas, an Indian-American corporate vice president who grew up in the suburbs of New York, and dozens more. They’re smart. They’re grateful for what they have. They’re also exhausted. Some of them are terrified. A few of them are wondering what the point is.
Oh Ms. Calhoun? Umm Gen X women are not the only ones experiencing this.
Someone I know turned to me recently and said she felt like she had no purpose. This almost broke my heart because this is a person whom I find to always have purpose, someone who has very quietly done some very amazing things.
I said to her that I think purpose as in our life’s purpose can shift and change and is always multi-faceted. I also said I think purpose can change as we change and age and life situations change. What might have been our intended purpose in our 20s isn’t the same as when we hit our 30s. Our 40s. Our 50s. (and so on)
I also think if we stop to breathe, and open our minds and hearts, purpose can indeed find us.
The author of the Oprah.com piece Ada Calhoun continues:
The complaints of well-educated, middle- and upper-middle class women are easy to dismiss as temporary, or not really a crisis, or #FirstWorldProblems. America, in the grand scheme of things, is still a rich, relatively safe country. (Syrian refugees do not have the luxury of waking up in the middle of the night worried about credit card bills.) Although many women are trying to make it on minimum-wage, split-shift jobs (and arguably don’t have so much a midlife crisis as an ongoing crisis), women overall are closing the wage gap. Men do more at home. We deal with less sexism than our mothers and grandmothers, and have far more opportunities. Insert your Reason Why We Don’t Deserve to Feel Lousy here.
Fine. Let’s agree that this particular slice of Generation X women shouldn’t feel bad. And yet, many do: Nearly 60 percent of Gen Xers describe themselves as stressed out. A 2009 analysis of General Social Survey data showed that women’s happiness “declined both absolutely and relative to men” from the early ’70s to the mid-2000s. More than one in five women are on antidepressants. An awful lot of middle-aged women are furious and overwhelmed. What we don’t talk about enough is how the deck is stacked against them feeling any other way…..Part of the reason we don’t know much about women’s midlife experience is that the focus has often been on men. For them, the “midlife crisis” (a term coined by psychoanalyst Elliott Jaques in a 1965 journal article) usually involves busting stuff up—marriages, mostly—but also careers, norms, reputations….Other research suggests that women’s happiness bottoms out around 40; men’s, around 50. (Maybe that’s another reason the female experience isn’t much discussed: By the time men start thinking about these issues, women seem unaffected, but only because they’ve already been through it.)
Read more: http://oprah.com/new-midlife-crisis.html
More than one in five women in the US are on anti-depressants I personally think in part is because doctors don’t want to doctor, it’s easier to satisfy big pharma and prescribe a pill.
Goddamnitall women don’t just want to be given a pill, sometimes they just want someone to talk to and to listen to them because trust me they do not always get it at home. For the first part of my 40s I often felt a panic because at that time I was in a relationship with someone who preferred the sound of his own voice to anyone else’s. Fortunately for me, that is not what my life held for me and that person exited my life…in a blizzard (I loved snow that year.)
But if I think back on it and that relationship in particular, taking into consideration this Oprah.com article did I subconsciously stay in that relationship far longer than I should have because of some unexpressed and somewhat unknown fear at the time of being alone or not doing what was sort of expected of me? I am thinking that is true because it wasn’t until that relationship was over did I realize again that I did NOT have to panic, I could survive on my own, and I had value as a human being. And at that point, I began to breathe again and rediscover who I was.
I am not a Gen Xer as I was born the year before they designate the appropriate time frame (1965 to 1984). I will tell you that my friends and I feel like we were of the last generations of women groomed to be more highly decorative than highly functional. If we were highly functional it was either a happy accident or an act of rebellion.
Nice Main Line girls were groomed at home, at school, at dancing class. When I was at Shipley there was still afternoon tea. It was served in part by alumnae. My late mother-in-law would even put in an appearance. Only she is someone who had I been given the opportunity I would have paid more attention to because she was independent and a maverick of sorts. I can still tell you what it was like when I watched her come into Shipley for trustee meetings, but I never actually met her then or had a conversation with her. She carried herself like a cross between a dancer and a queen.
After Shipley, we girls were invited (or not invited but in those days people could not just dictate and shove their way in) to dance in the Cotillion of the Charity Ball. Or if your parents had the money and the pedigree you could be a full-fledged debutante. If you had a proper Mayflower or Early American pedigree you also/or did The Assemblies. As I had neither in my family tree, I was never sure which it was, only that until recently if you weren’t part of a select family you couldn’t attend even as a guest.
My two standout memories from the 1981 Charity Ball? My enforced blind date my mother chose photographed on a bench in the Bellevue reading the program book appearing in the 1982 Charity Ball Program with some sarcastic comment underneath it….and boy was my mother furious. The second memory is being ready to go out with my cotillion partner and praying Bobby Scott wouldn’t murder my last name. Seriously.
So we as girls/young women went to college, some on to graduate school, medical school and so on and so forth. But the message was always confusing: were we supposed to be independent and strong women or bits of fluff that looked good at dinner parties? Or both?
Ada Calhoun further noted in her Oprah.com article the following:
Women our age sometimes romanticize the freedom we used to have as kids in the ’70s or ’80s, but sociologist Linda Waite, PhD, director of NORC at the University of Chicago’s Center on Demography and Economics of Aging, has done extensive national surveys of middle-aged people, and she says Gen X was at a disadvantage from the start. Our parents’ choices often led to instability at home. Four in 10 Gen X children were likely to have divorced parents (the divorce rate, which peaked in 1980, recently hit a 36-year low). The effect was both financial (when your father leaves, it’s much less likely he’ll pay for college) and psychological.
“If your parents are divorced,” Waite says, “you see the world in a fundamentally different way. You see the world as unstable. That left people cautious.”
If our childhood in the late ’70s and early ’80s was a time of massive changes—the first generation of latchkey kids, high crime rates in the headlines, missing children’s pictures on milk cartons, the AIDS epidemic beginning—our transition to adulthood was equally rocky. Many of us started our job hunts in the early ’90s recession, which was followed by a “jobless recovery.” If you were born later into Generation X, you might have entered the workforce around the 1999-ish stock market peak, but the tech bubble started to burst, landing us in the 2001 recession.
I did not have divorced parents, but sometimes I question where emphasis was placed. I often felt out-of-place and unheard. I was supposed to do what I was told. Period. I will note that this is something my husband has felt on occasion marred my abilities as a step-parent because of what I learned by living through.
In my house growing up there was very heavy emphasis on how you looked and how you behaved. Ok fine, no one wants to be godless and immoral but what does this do to self-body image and self-worth? In the junior high school and high school years I could prance with the best of them, but it was often just a survival charade so weakness wasn’t smelled in the air by the mean girls. To be honest self-worth was an epiphany when I was going to turn 50 and self-body image? I still struggle with it thanks to breast cancer.
Ada Calhoun talks about women our age (ok I will just say “our” since I was only born a year before her age range) possessing a bone-deep, almost hallucinatory panic about money (almost a direct quote from the article) and I can’t disagree. And she points out that experts say social security may or will run out in 2040. Or when I am into my 70s. Lovely. I pay my taxes, have paid into social security for years and in the end will the U.S. government just rip millions of us off? I do not think I will ever relax about money. It’s a love hate relationship. If you have ever worried about falling down a financial rabbit hole, you understand the fear rational or irrational.
When my parents were in their 30s and 40s they had a nice house and so on. When I was in my 30s and 40s I was still struggling on occasion and shock and horrors, I was single. I swear that is what was hardest on my mother, that I was not married. I remember when my sister and brother-in-law threw my parents a fancy 40th anniversary party. I was told by my mother I could not attend without a DATE. Yes seriously. In the end I did indeed attend without a date and much to mommy’s chagrin I did not in fact turn into a pillar of salt or something.
But that whole single thing was stressful and depressing at times. Not because I was upset particularly but because everyone else was. Because I was single so long it was always funny to see things I was left out of. It’s like I was viewed as a freak or unnatural. Sometimes married couples viewed me as suspect. One time someone told me once they couldn’t include me at a dinner party because she didn’t want an odd number and she was sure I would understand. No not really, that was kind of rude.
The article goes on to say that a lot of us feel stress and depression because we feel stalled in our careers. I don’t quite see that for myself personally because when I survived breast cancer my doctors literally sat me down and told me I had to change my life, job, and reduce stress. That was when I left my former industry. Truthfully, it was one of the best things I ever did for myself. It was scary because the unknown was/is scary but it was incredibly freeing.
You could say I joined the gig economy after a fashion. A gig economy is defined as a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. Otherwise known as freelance. Sometimes it is frustrating, but it’s not so scary and it is doable. Sometimes you just have to hustle.
What was also freeing? Finding the relationship I had always wanted slightly later in life. Knowing more of who I was and who my partner was made all of the difference. We came together because we wanted to be together, not because it was expected to be so. My husband is an amazing man, and yes I feel blessed every day that he loves me and I love him.
That love and understanding for me has been all the difference. I won’t say I still don’t have my occasional midlife panic moments but I am more grounded now I think and actually supported. When you feel supported as a human being, the panic of crisis points will subside. You are not walking a tightrope without a net when you have someone you love and trust implicitly.
Slowly I am learning you are only as stuck as you allow yourself to be. I never truly knew that before. When you run around in your head from thought to thought you do get stuck sometimes.
Dean Douglass was certainly ahead of her time. I also saw something else I took note of fly by on Facebook today also on Her Voice Echoes:
They refer to a letter written by one of my colonial favorites, Abigail Adams, to her husband John in March, 1776:
…I feel very differently at the approach of spring to what I did a month ago. We knew not then whether we could plant or sow with safety, whether when we had toild we could reap the fruits of our own industery, whether we could rest in our own Cottages, or whether we should not be driven from the sea coasts to seek shelter in the wilderness, but now we feel as if we might sit under our own vine and eat the good of the land.
I feel a gaieti de Coar to which before I was a stranger. I think the Sun looks brighter, the Birds sing more melodiously, and Nature puts on a more chearfull countanance. We feel a temporary peace, and the poor fugitives are returning to their deserted habitations.
Tho we felicitate ourselves, we sympathize with those who are trembling least the Lot of Boston should be theirs. But they cannot be in similar circumstances unless pusilanimity and cowardise should take possession of them. They have time and warning given them to see the Evil and shun it. — I long to hear that you have declared an independency — and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend….
Doesn’t.That.Just. Blow. You. Away???
Where am I going with this post? Not sure at this point. It started as one thing, has segued to other things like a good old flowing stream of female consciousness. Sorry, not sorry I have a busy brain. Sometimes it takes a while to turn it off.
The article on Oprah.com is huge and I think really interesting. I will finish with one last quote from the article:
And I think of what my friend who grew up in Mexico once told me: “The 30s are the adolescence of your adulthood,” she said, “and when you reach 50, it’s a restart—empieza de nuevo—a second chance.”
Well dayummm. Like Miss Jean Brodie I am in my prime now I guess?
Thanks for rambling. Stay dry and warm this evening and Happy Valentine’s Day a couple of days early.
Once upon a time in a lifetime of mine long, long ago I worked in New York City. Ok yes, decades ago at this point but there were things outside of work that are still these pleasant snippets of enjoyable experiences and memories. Among them was there was (and still is) art everywhere.
Music, art, theater. Subways with poetry on posters like my favorite poem by William Butler Yeats:
When You Are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Hearing fabulous jazz bands at the Blue Note. Rediscovering Caffè Reggio on MacDougal.
All of the various street fairs, and flea markets, and art markets. Dusty old bookstore, antique stores, thrift shops.
A lot of what I liked at the time was down around Greenwich Village. There were so many cool stores and places to check out.
And then there were all of the artists you would see hawking their wares outside of various museums all over the city like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A lot of this still goes on, incidentally…in between the knock off designer handbag stands and so on.
I was young and well when you are young your salary doen’t go far and funky shoes from a boutique on the Upper West Side was likely to win out over art because well…you couldn’t wear a painting to happy hour, right? But here and there there were artists I would see and just liked for whatever reason. Not necesarily them personally, but their work.
There was this one artist named Anna Tefft Siok whose work I had seen somewhere one time that I liked, but had then forgotten even her name. It had been a bird watercolor. An owl. Sort of abstract but I liked it. And that was saying something because abstract is not really me.
I had not seen work from this artist again in the intervening years until a piece popped up on eBay a year or so ago. Dishfunctional in West Chester had this woodpecker for sale in their eBay store. It was that artist from long ago. I remembered the owl. Her name was Anna Tefft Siok. Only I did not want to pay what Disfuntional was asking for something I would have to definitely re-frame.
So I watched the woodpecker print and waited…and over a year later I pulled up the Disfunctional listing just to see. The print had not dropped in price but when I put in the artist’s name another copy of the print showed up with an antique dealer in Maine. At less than half of what the other exact same print was listed at. That seemed more reasonable to me. (I have found the Disfuntional prices to be a little high at times, sadly.)
Today I took my newly found woodpecker to be framed. Framers Market Gallery in Malvern is who I use for all of my framing. As a related aside, they also represent quite a few Chester County artists. I will have to take something off of my walls when the woodpecker comes home.
I love the process of finding the perfect mat and frame. Framers Market Gallery is very patient with me when it comes to that. And the owner Jayne has impeccable taste.
We ended up with a double mat and a frame which will pick up the texture of the woodpecker’s tree:
The frame my print arrived in was older and while in o.k. condition, the print had never been properly framed and you could see some yellowing on the edges – nothing which was properly acid proof was in the frame with the print and when we took the old mat and paper away from the print we could see the damage from inexpensive framing, sadly. When it is finished, the woodpecker print will be framed properly and last a long, long time.
Curious about the artist, I went a Googling. I discovered she had gone to RISD in Rhode Island and had taught for years at Greenwich House Pottery and the 92nd Street Y.
I found her obituary, which told me more about her:
Courtesy of Greenwich House and the pottery staff the following sentiment from them was shared with me about my rediscovered artist:
Esteemed faculty member Anna Siok taught children’s classes at Greenwich House Pottery from 1958 to 2009. Throughout this period, Anna’s generosity of spirit enriched many lives. We established the Anna Siok Award in her honor in 1995, which honors her life of creativity, nurturing support and enduring presence. We continue to give out this award annually to an artist at Greenwich House Pottery who displays excellence in handbuilding.
I will note I also contacted the 92nd Street Y. Sadly, they had absolutely nothing to share. What I got was “Unfortunately we don’t have her bio on file. Good luck in your ongoing search!” Anna Tefft Siok taught at both places for over 50 years. I know she died in 2010, but seriously? They had nothing on file? It’s like she never existed.
I am glad Greenwich House too the time for me. I urge people to check out Greenwich House Pottery. It seems really cool.
In the obituary online, I found photos of my artist:
And once again that is the thing about art: buy what you like. It does not have to be expensive. It does not have to be a famous artist, although Anna Tefft Siok was respected and was well known throughout her life in New York.
Art brings me joy. I have core things I will never part with (my Margery Niblock wood cuts for example), but I will replace art pieces I discovered with other pieces I discovered. Tastes change, we evolve in what strikes a chord with us at different stages of our lives.
Art brokers and gallery owners alike probably wouldn’t like me saying art doesn’t have to be rare or priceless to hold huge amounts of monetary value. But art should make us happy, evoke a memory, provoke a memory, cause a new memory to happen. Or when all else fails, you just like something. And no one else has to like it. Only you.
So many people love art yet live with blank walls. Sometimes I think it’s because they do not know what to buy. Or are afraid. To them I say: what do you like? What would make you happy?
For me it makes me happy that I stumbled upon an artist once again I had seen long ago. And living in the woods, having a woodpecker print is kind of appropriate, I think.
I will close with one last photo of this artist from her 2010 obituary. Painting in the summer. I now have a cool provenance to go with a print I just liked.
Explore art. Support local artists wherever you live. Life is too short for bare walls.
I received a message overnight:
I am hearing from neighbors (across from Lloyd house) the developer isn’t tearing the circa 1795 house down. I hope that’s true! A bunch of us walked the house. Teens have vandalized it yet the house is solid. Something like 9 bedrooms!!
I met a lady in town whose mother grew up there. Her mother’s mother died when she was young so the father took a job at Lloyd farm taking care of the stables and horses and they lived in the house with the Lloyd family! (We assume based on dates it was the Lloyd family)
Sending photos I took. It’s such a huge old house.
Abandoned Steve photography documents old Chester county houses before they’re torn down. He took photos as well. His are better than mine.
Lloyd Farm. Sigh.
In December 2018 I had posted about Lloyd farm in Caln being at risk. Sources tell me that they had quite the crown turn out the other evening who turned out to protest this?
Things that people are worried about include will that historic farmhouse be torn down no matter what? Is it true that farmhouse does indeed have a fairly new roof and if this land was part of a William Penn Land Grant as in the guy who settled PA, how can this even happen? And what about the component of the big pipeline easement? How should that affect density of any development plan?
Things also being wondered about is this developer just looking for plan approvals to flip the parcel with approvals to yet another developer? And is this developer the guy who owns Suburban Propane?
Is it true that Caln’s solicitor was snippy with residents? And isn’t she the same gal who USED to hold or holds a similar position in West Goshen? East Goshen? Does something in Easttown and more places? Why does she seem so pro-development? Is she going to be mad I ask these questions? Aren’t we allowed to ask these questions? Will she try to stop me from asking these very reasonable questions?
And as for the category of “in the audience” who was the mystery attorney who seemed to object to some community flyer? Who was he there for? Apparently they also objected to residents concerned about development jacking up traffic?
So the meeting was paused until January, 2019, correct? And then there was this update January 5th that a reader posted:
Update on the Lloyd Farm. There is no public hearing being rescheduled. The people have spoken and the Commissioners have heard you! While this plan isn’t going to get through, REGAL WILL BE BACK. As quickly as they can. Yes they have a right to develop land the own and paid $4.6M dollars for. But they need to do it in a manner that is acceptable to the Caln Twp residents. We will be watching and reporting so keep a look out for news here and on www.calnwatch.info
I was driving by Lloyd Avenue while in Downingtown on Saturday with a friend, so is this part of that parcel? See below:
So a recap is in order before I press on, ok?
Super historic. Known as the “Lloyd Farm”, “Valley Brook Farm” has a fire I would call mysterious a few years ago? Seriously.
Then I hit Google and oh the things I found including this amazing history compiled by someone named Edward G. Lendrat on the West Chester University Old Caln Historical Society Collection. Caln Township has this buried on their website.
Pretty crazy historic, and I understand there was a fire, but is super-sized developement all Caln Township can think is right for this property??? I am told the developer who has bought the “Lloyd Farm” was proposing 5 story apartment buildings, and commercial where there is NO zoning for it? So now what?
So if I read the history of the property correctly, it dates back to the late 1600s and a Penn Land Grant? And by 1996 it was owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia? (Now I make no secret of my disdain of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and their pedophile priest problems of recent past. Sorry, I digress again…)
Ironically something I wasn’t looking for with regard to this property but seemed to have stumbled upon is a 2015 pipeline easement between the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Columbia Gas. So umm, high density development being proposed and a pipeline? NICE, right?
(See my prior post for links to the history I found and some document on the easement.)
Again I will tell you I have never been on this property. But people near it have, which is how I was sent the photos I am sharing.
Do I have the answers as to what to do with this property? Sadly, no. Don’t know that area well enough. But if there is a pipeline easement, maybe the developer should go light on the development?
Again, how many cram plan developments does one county need? Who is driving this?
Chester County, we can’t just keep sitting idly by as chuck after chunk of land gets carved up. Once open space is gone, it’s gone. Once history is gone, it’s gone.
They had me with part of a Penn Land Grant. That is older than the American Revolution and is so the literal founding and early settlers.
Here is a snippet off of Wikipedia – sorry – it saves me time:
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in English North America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II. The name Pennsylvania, which translates roughly as “Penn’s Woods”, was created by combining the Penn surname (in honor of William’s father, Admiral Sir William Penn) with the Latin word sylvania, meaning “forest land”. The Province of Pennsylvania was one of the two major Restoration colonies, the other being the Province of Carolina. The proprietary colony‘s charter remained in the hands of the Penn family until the American Revolution, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was created and became one of the original thirteen states. “The lower counties on Delaware”, a separate colony within the province, would breakaway during the American Revolution as “the Delaware State” and also be one of the original thirteen states.
Also check out places like the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s website. Land that was part of any Penn Land Grant is extraordinarily historically significant. Residents near and far and hsitorians should take note and attend meetings. Media local and regional might not find history and land development sexy, but they also need to get on the stick here. One blip on this important topic was in the Daily Local in early December.
According to the Caln Watch Website there is a meeting Tuesday, February 12 at the Thorndale Fire Hall 3611 Lincoln Hwy, Thorndale, PA 19372 – 6pm to 8pm (Parking located in school lot):
Soooo…among the questions that should be asked and that Caln Township and this developer needs to address is are they SAVING the historic farmhouse for real? If so enough with the demolition by neglect, right? If people are sending me interior photos, then the building is not properly secured and while safe for now the longer it is exposed to punk ass vandals and the elements is not good, correct?
They did post a teensy 2/1/2019 update on this issue:
Sooooo…my suggestion? Contact these folks. Make your opinions known. Flood meetings with bodies. Reach out to public officials and those who want to be in office or ummm have aspirations for higher office who are in local office now. Reach out to any historic preservation or media contacts you have.
Jennifer Breton email@example.com
George Chambers firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Young email@example.com
John Contento firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorraine Tindaro email@example.com
Always cc firstname.lastname@example.org
It borders Downingtown, right?
Downingtown Borough Council:
Anthony Gazzerro, President
Term Expires: 2021
Alex Rakoff, Vice President
Term Expires: 2019
Phil Dague – Councilperson
Term Expires: 2019
Jeff Thomas, Councilperson
Term Expires: 2019
Ann Feldman, Councilperson
Term Expires: 2021
Patricia McGlone, Councilperson
Term Expires: 2021
The Chester County Planning Commission:
Brian N. O’Leary, AICP,
Carol Stauffer, AICP,
CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE STAFF DIRECTORY. You never know who you may know, right?
Also at issue and not in Caln and not Lloyd Farm but I must mention given the shared solicitor?
Those misguided supervisors are voting on higher density B.S. zoning thing I never thought I would see in that township on Tuesday February 5th. I heard and was not surprised to hear they refused a resident petition against this? The East Goshen meeting starts at 7 PM. The agenda is posted and can be read HERE. People and media should attend that as well and read the packet linked here. (Also on Tuesday in East Goshen? A chicken ordinance. I find it ironic that chickens have such issues in a township that was once also a lot of farms. Yes, I am pro-chicken although I personally keep none.)
Why is this a call for arms? Simple. Chester County is groaning and suffering under the weight of over development and it needs to slow down or even stop for a good long while. Just this weekend I was in Glenmoore for example. They seem to suffer from lots and lots of power outages. Locals speculate part of the cause is the infrastructure can’t keep up with the pace of development.
Moderation is the key to true and actual smart growth. Only we don’t see that any longer. There is limited respect for the past and the architectural heritage of Chester County. Just like there is lip service paid to open space and agricultural preservation at times. It’s great when small parcels are preserved and handed down to the next generation, but what about these big parcels? Parcels like Crebilly and Lloyd farm are what a lot of our county was like for a very long time.
Now I actually do believe progress has a place but it’s the vision of progress I take issue with. Progress doesn’t have to hurt and wanton development hurts. We can’t support it long-term and by the time a lot of folks figure that out, the developers and current elected and appointed officials will be long gone, correct? As a county we have to look past the damn ratables that elected and appointed officials salivate over. They are a short-term financial gain if a gain at all since is it not true sometimes the ratables are not what people thought they would be?
Maybe some do not like my opinions, but I am entitled to them. Not every square inch should be developed. Not every square inch needs to be developed. Y’all aren’t going to get your veggies off the roof of places like Whole Foods are you?
Farms, open space, history need to be respected and preserved. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. What do you as a resident want the future to look like? Lots of Tyvec wrapped plastic beige boxes? More stucco McMansion horror show stories? Human warehouses for seniors and others? More ugly strip malls? The end of Main Street? Constipated bits of “open space” which is usually land that is not able to be developed?
Tick tock Chester County, tick tock.