Yesterday was the celebration of Humphry Marshall’s 300th birthday and Marshallton was alive with happiness and history. It was so much fun!
These are the events I love. A pretty day spent with friends and family walking around a wonderfully pretty and historic village. I went around lunchtime and we started with lunch at the Four Dogs Tavern (fabulous), and then we explored. This way, I escaped the politicians who like to appear at fall events during election season.
I was a little disappointed the blacksmith shop was closed but thrilled that the Merchant of Menace was open!
It’s like development Whack-a-mole. We hear the news that Crebilly is safe for now and about literally like 5 minutes later this spectacular property on the outskirts of Marshallton is threatened by development given the sales and marketing materials on the listing. As per The Marshallton Conservation Trust’s Facebook page:
“1451 and 1452 Camp Linden Road and is often referred to as “Tarad Hill” and sometimes as the Bunny Meister Farm. It consists of 136 acres and includes land spanning from Northbrook Road on the west to North Wawaset Road on the East.”
~ Marshallton Conservation Trust September 9th, 2021
I do not know the property, but I have been by the approximate location in the past. What is left of horse country in Chester County (not being flippant but development eats up the land like a giant game of PAC-MAN in this county) is upset my sources tell me. This property is being big ass big time marketed and there is a website up called “The Brandywine.“
Here are some screen shots:
The Realtor has serious chops. It’s Lavinia Smerconish, yes as in Michael Smerconish’s wife. Sadly, I wouldn’t expect him to necessarily be sympathetic to preservationists because real estate is quite simply in his blood, but wow, what if this was happening in Bucks County where he hails from originally? Would it resonate?
Realtors just have a job to do like anyone else, but wow just wow.
So here we go again, Chester County. A trust owns the land per the deed (and the name of the Trust shows up in Pocopson Meeting Minutes from February, 2021), but the address is oddly familiar isn’t it? Shame on them, but am I surprised? Nope.
Above is what the Marshallton Conservation Trust has to say. They left out expressing concern to the Realtor or famous husband. All I have to say is if you contact any of these people, be polite. It’s all sharks and lawyers.
I don’t know all (or a lot) of these horse-associated properties. However, the name of this place “Tarad Hill”, kept dinging in my brain. I knew I had heard of it, so I dug around to find the reference and it is Radnor Hunt Club. So not all who belong to Radnor Hunt belong to the foxhunt part, and not all who ride with the hunt are club members…but anyway, that is the reference and one can’t help but wonder, wonder, wonder what the foxhunters think? After all if this parcel gets developed in any manner, chances are they lose another prime location to ride in, right?
I don’t know. Chester County is kind of a development sh*t show at this point, so I don’t know if miracles will happen here and a conservation/preservation buyer will be found because when you read the marketing materials, it’s a just a fancy git’ r’ done and sold site, isn’t it? That is how it reads exactly – see it translated to Coldwell Banker, Opus Elite (and isn’t that company name absurdly pretentious AF?), Monument Southeby’s, ReMax in York, etc., etc.
Tarad Hill as a property is spoken about by people — apparently there is so much wildlife on that farm. Wild turkeys, bald eagles, herons, the list goes on. It is reportedly (and looks) magical. There is also historical importance. I was told the Hessians went through the property crossing at Trimble’s Ford on their way to defeat the “colonists” at the Battle of the Brandywine, causing Washington to retreat to Valley Forge for the winter. Yep, it’s more than just “Washington slept here”. Does it have bog turtles?
This property could indeed find a conservation/preservation buyer even from within the Chester County foxhunting ranks, but people have to want to save and preserve this. Of course all of the Chester County Realtors who go to Radnor, Devon, Polo matches etc, etc might have a client…you just never know, do you?
So a friend of a mutual friend bought a box of stuff somewhere at a sale a while back.
They wanted this cool wooden box, and they really had no idea that within the box was a treasure. Or in my opinion a treasure.
Part of what was in the box were negatives of older Marshallton, PA….1966.
What is really exciting is who is attributed to these negatives. And that would be George Albert Mershon, Jr. – as in the man who created the Marshalton Inn, Oyster Bar, and Bar & Restaurant in West Chester. He was also one of the creators of the Marshallton Triathlon.
Apparently there are a whole bunch of Marshallton area photos. The person lending me these images put them on a light box and sent them to me.
The Marshalton Inn under Mr. Mershon, was a favorite of my late father’s. I remember special dinners there.
My friends and I loved the Oyster Bar and we had several totally fun nights before Thanksgiving at the Bar & Restaurant. The Gobble Off was SO fun!
And for those who wonder about the Marshallton/ Marshalton of it all refer to the current website:
Some may notice that the name of the village (Marshallton) and the name of the restaurant (Marshalton) are spelled differently. During a property transfer, “Marshalton” was misspelled on a deed. The error was never corrected.
I love when I have the opportunity to share cool stuff like this with my readers. Especially given all the development over near the village of Marshallton. It’s important for people to remember the “good old days”
Happy Memorial Day. Remember those who served — like George Albert Mershon, Jr. He flew planes in the Navy during the Korean War.
Every once in a while you need a staycation day. Today was mine. My friend Chris and I went to Marshallton today. We played tourist in our home county. We rambled in Chester County.
Everyone knows I have not been very mobile since my knee injury at the end of February/ first couple days of March and subsequent surgery in May. (Yes, it took that long. I couldn’t walk, and I certainly couldn’t drive and U.S. healthcare has a long and winding and irritating process if you do not practice Emergency Room medicine, as in push to the head of the line and bypass everything by going straight to the E.R.) So now, as I go through the process if physical therapy, I am thrilled to get out again.
My friend picked me up and we went to The Four Dogs Tavern. I had forgotten how amazing the food is and how wonderful the ambiance, and the terrific and friendly staff. We had the beet salad, which was amazing, and split the mushroom and goat cheese flatbread.
Then we did the senior stroll of the village of Marshallton – I am moving like a snail still. But oh, to take in the beauty of this village! This is so what Chester County is about.
My late father loved Marshallton and in particular, the Marshallton Inn. When some of my girlfriends and I were in our twenties we loved the then Oyster Bar and way back in the dark ages of the late 1980s some were dating guys who competed in the Marshallton Triathlon (and wow what a party afterwards!)
So flash forward to me as a quasi grown-up (some days are better than others!) and today. Marshallton is more beautiful than ever and the gardens are marvelous! Ran into another friend and met a nice man named Ernie and his wife. Ernie was restoring an antique buggy on his front porch.
Ernie encouraged us to go back further down the lane by his home to see the Bradford Friends Meeting, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. I am so glad he did! I had never seen it in person before.
Marshallton is just the village to remind you what Chester County is about. Marshallton is an unincorporated village in Chester County and a Federal Historic District. The Marshallton Historic District has 65 contributing structures and 3 contributing sites. Marshallton is like a living history site, living proof that historic districts and preservation can work.
And then there was Embreeville, which started out life as the Chester County Almshouse in 1798. It is also where Indian Hannah is purportedly buried.
Embreeville has had no news since February 2017 when West Bradford said “Zoning Hearing #395 for Embreeville Redevelopment, LP scheduled for February 1, 2017 has been continued to a date uncertain. There was no hearing on February 1st. Any resumption of the hearing will be after public notice and will be posted on this website.” (Embreeville has been so crazy it has it’s own page on West Bradford’s website.)
“Motivated by the desire to see the Marshallton area return to a safe, walkable community and its rich history preserved, several residents formed this 501c3 non –profit in 2009. Marshallton Conservation Trust is committed to preserving the historic integrity and the quality of life in this very special area for future generations….The Marshallton Conservation Trust (MCT) promotes the preservation and improvement of the Marshallton community through initiatives focused on maintaining and improving its livability along with its distinctive character.”
…The Marshallton Historic District is located along the Strasburg Road in central Chester County. It assumed its present configuration between the 1760s-1880s, with scattered infill and rebuilding occurring into the 1920s. Of the 71 principal buildings in the Marshallton Historic District, 67 contribute to its historical and architectural significance. The 4 non-contributing buildings include three from the 1930s-40s (a dwelling, store, and apartment building) and a c.1965 brick dwelling. Of similar size and scale to the district’s contributing buildings (by which they are far outnumbered), these non-contributing buildings do not detract from Marshallton’s overall architectural unity.
Marshallton lies only four miles west of the county seat of West Chester; its surroundings are still rural. Leaving West Chester by the Strasburg Road, one passes sprawling farms, open fields, and pasture land. There is a small group of historic buildings near the nationally registered Cope’s Bridge on the East Branch Brandywine River, and then more open country….
The Marshallton Historic District is primarily significant for its association with Strasburg Road, established in the late 18th century as a thoroughfare between Philadelphia and Strasburg in Lancaster County. Throughout 200 years of its history, Marshallton’s focus has been on Strasburg Road, and both literally and figuratively its growth has paralleled the road’s. With its integrity of setting and well preserved collection of buildings representing a variety of historic uses, Marshallton today conveys a clear, sense of the past — when the Strasburg Road was a primary transportation route and, capitalizing on its location, the village functioned as a rural service center for both travelers and nearby farmers.
Marshallton can trace its origins to the 1760s when a few houses, a Quaker Meeting, an inn, and a blacksmith shop were loosely grouped near the intersection of the roads to Strasburg and Downingtown. At that time the Strasburg Road was actually a fragmented series of local roads leading west.