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Notes From

The Ford

Spring 2017

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Museums & Exhibitions We’re preparing to reopen our historic house museums and planning a brand new exhibit in the Barn Visitors Center for the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine!

Upcoming Programs This Spring brings the return of our popular Tavern Talks program and our annual lecture series, PLUS the introduction of a new program on Revolutionary espionage!

Volunteer Opportunities Learn how you can get involved in the excitement at the Society from museums to special events, we offer something you’ll enjoy!

The Newsletter of the Chadds Ford Historical Society


Tavern Talks 2017 History is not boring!

Our popular Tavern Talks series returns in 2017 with exciting new topics for you to discover! Hosted at the 1714 Barns-Brinton House, Tavern Talks focuses on unexplored aspects of early American history through hands-on activities, food and drink tastings, demonstrations, live entertainment and more! Themes for this year’s Tavern Talks are: February 16 - Chocolate & Courtship March 23 - Colonial “Cocktails” April 20 - Tavern Night May 18 - Spy Games June 15 - Quacking Up (18th Century Medicine) September 14 - Well-Preserved

Notes... Because there’s so much happening at the Chadds Ford Historical Society that we want to share with our members we thought it was a good time to change the format of our newsletter... More pages and a new layout allow us to use larger photos and fonts making the newsletter even more friendly and accessible than it has been in the past. We’ll continue to post the newsletter on www. so you can catch up with us anytime, anywhere!

October 12 - Spirits and Spirits November 9 - Feast Mode!

Let us know what you think about the changes!

More About Tavern Talks Tavern Talks is a regular series (not a lecture!) exclusively for adults 21 and older. The format is similar to an open house where guests may arrive anytime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and stay as long as they’d like. Admission is $20 per person for non-members and $15 for CFHS Members. Tickets must be purchased in advance at or by calling 2 Notes From The Ford

the Historical Society at 610-388-7376. Tavern Talks is located at the historic Barns Brinton House, 630 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford (next to the Chaddsford Winery). We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Tavern Talk!

Renovations At The Barn Visitors Center


enovations were recently completed at the Society’s Barn Visitors Center. Changes were made to the interior of the building to improve the efficiency of the administrative offices, accessibility and comfort of the research library and storage for historic artifacts and doruments. The Staff Office and the Research Library have swapped locations. Previously researchers using the Society’s library and archives walked through the staff offices to get to the library . Now the library is immediately accessible from the main hallway of the Visitors Center. The Staff Office is still adjacent to the Research Library so staff members can easily and quickly respond to researchers questions. The rooms can be closed off to reduce noise or provide privacy by closing new barn style doors that were installed between the two spaces. The Research Library includes new workstations for researchers and volunteers as well as a conference table and seating area. Some reference material is stored on book shelves in the Library, though the bulk of the Society’s library and archival

collections have been moved to a new climate controlled storage area in the attic. The Staff Office has been modified to divide the room into three distinct workspaces by building half walls to delineate the spaces. This provides each member of the staff with a clear workspace, but still promotes communication and collaboration through an open office design. Large workstations, updated computer systems, and better lighting were added to improve the efficiency of the work environment. In the attic of the barn, a large room

was constructed to provide secure, climate-controlled collections storage for historic artifacts, books and archival materials like documents and photos. Our staff is currently working on designing efficient storage to maximize the use of the new collections space. Since staff assistance is needed to retrieve collections materials, researchers interested in using the Society’s library, archives or collections should contact the office at 610-388-7376 to set up a research appointment. Research hours are Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visit Our New Museum Store! In addition to renovating our administrtative office and research library we have also redesigned our Museum Store. The store now has a wide selection of historicallyinspired goods including many from local artisans. Whether you a re looking for vintage home decor, a unique hostess gift, holiday decorations or just something to papmer yourself with be sure to stop by our Museum Store at the Barn Visitors Center. And with a new layout and point-of-sale system the store is a pleasure to shop in! Remember, CFHS Members receive 10% off and Benefactors receive 15% off!! Notes From The Ford 3

SPRING LECTURE SERIES COMMEMORATES THE PHILADELPHIA CAMPAIGN OF 1777 This year marks the 240th anniversary of the 1777 British campaign to capture Philadelphia, and end the American War for Independence. This is an important anniversary since the Battle of Brandywine occurred during that campaign, bringing two armies and thousands of soldiers together to clash right here - in and around Chadds Ford. There will be a variety of events and activities happening throughout the area including a major reenactment in mid-September, and our own exhibit about the impact of the Battle on the Chadds Ford community. Battle of Brandywine, 1777

To The Last Extremity: Fort Mifflin’s Valiant Stand March 22, 7:00 pm

Join Elizabeth Beatty, Executive Director of Fort Mifflin, as she tells the story of the Fort that saved America! Following a five-week siege in the fall of 1777, the British ultimately surrounded the fort on three sides and unleashed the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution. The fort’s garrison of just 400 men refused to give up, and held the British at bay, buying time for Washington’s army to reach Valley Forge where he rebuilt the army during the winter encampment.

We invite you to join us for this great series of lectures. The lectures are free for CFHS members and just $5 for non-members. All lectures are held at the Barn Visitors Center.

Remember Paoli! April 6, 7:00 pm

After General George Washington’s defeat at Brandywine on September 11th, his forces retreated toward Philadelphia to regroup, and he ordered General Anthony Wayne to harass the British. But the attempt failed, and the result was the 9th deadliest battle in the American Revolutionary War. Presenter Jim Christ is the vice-president of the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund.

Present But Not Accounted For: Women at the 1777-1778 Valley Forge Encampment April 12, 7:00 pm

Over 400 women camped at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78. Dr. Nancy Loane’s presentation will introduce you to the women who traveled with the Continental Army, those with Washington’s military family, and the wives of the officers, such as Martha Washington, Lucy Knox, and Catharine Greene. Through the women at camp, you’ll discover a Valley Forge encampment that you never knew existed.

Local Author Mike Harris Presenting Copies of New Book – Brandywine March 29, 7:00 pm



Brandywine Creek calmly meanders through the Pennsylvania countryside today, but on September 11, 1777, it served as the scenic backdrop for the largest battle of the American Revolution, one that encompassed more troops over more land than any combat fought on American soil until the Civil War. The complex British campaign that defeated George Washington’s colonial army and led to the capture of the capital city of Philadelphia was one of the most important military events of the war. Michael C. Harris’s impressive Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777, is the first full length study of this pivotal engagement in many years. 4 Notes From The Ford


“We had a full opportunity of beholding the

CFHS Members

Beginning April 19, the Chadds Ford Historical Society will host a new exhibition in our Visitors Center that explores the impact of the Battle of Brandywine on the residents of Chadds Ford. Wanton Waste: Chadds Ford & The Battle of Brandywine explores the experiences of noncombatants living in the area before, during and after the clash of the two armies.

help us understand how civilians were affected.



The exhibit also includes period maps

the exhibit incorporates

battery on Brandywine Heights that was painted by Lt. Colonel William Augustus West, Viscount Cantelupe.


You are invited to a special preview of our new exhibition on Tuesday evening, April 18, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Light refreshments will be available.

destruction and wanton waste committed on Schell, our Programs & and images, including a privately held the property of the peaceable inhabitants of the Development Manager, British image of an American artillery neighborhood...�


oseph Townsend wrote the words above to describe the impact of the Battle of Brandywine on the people living in and around Chadds Ford. On September 11, 1777, British and American forces descended upon the tiny, rural village of Chadds Ford bringing the American War for Independence to the front doors of this previously peaceful

18th century maps and objects with firsthand accounts of the battle and its aftermath. Local Quaker Joseph Townsend left us a compelling description of the battle where he describes in great detail its impact on the local community. Descriptions from British, German and American soldiers round out the action of the battle while local records

PAINT OUT CHADDS FORD! On Saturday, March 4 the Society hosted our Annual Paint Out Chadds Ford plein air painting event. This year 24 artists participated in the event by painting scenes inspired by the countryside of the Chadds Ford area. Many artists arrived on Friday, March 3, to begin painting. Each artist could paint up to six paintings and submit three paintings for an exhibition held on Saturday evening. Additionally, they could bring three paintings of the area that they

The exhibition is open during regular open hours at the Barn Visitors Center on Creek Road. CFHS members have a chance to see the exhibition before the general public at a special preview on Tuesday evening, April 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wanton Waste: Chadds Ford & The Battle of Brandywine runs until February 2018.

completed at an earlier date or during a different season. These were also on display and for sale. The public was invited to attend the exhibition and meet the artists at a reception. The art remained on exhibition - and for sale - for the rest of March at the Barn Visitors Center. The Society received a portion of the price of each painting sold. The proceeds help support the operations of the Chadds Ford Historical Society. Notes From The Ford 5

Two New Personal Membership Levels Introduced For 2017 We invite you to join or renew your membership in the Chadds Ford Historical Society at one of the following membership levels:


Individual, $30 Benefits for one person (see below)


Dual, $50 Benefits for two people


Family, $55 Benefits for two adults and their children or grandchildren.


NEW! Patron, $125 All Family benefits plus additional tickets and exclusive events.


NEW! Benefactor, $250 All Patron benefits plus tickets for museums, Tavern Talks and 15% store discount.


embership in the Chadds Ford HIstorical Society is a great way to show your support for the organization while getting a great value through free or discounted admission to many of our programs, events and museums. All members of the Society receive the following benefits: •

Free admission to Chadds Ford Days and the Great Pumpkin Carve

Free admission to the annual Spring Lecture Series

Free guided tours of the Chads House & Barns-Brinton House

6 Notes From The Ford

Invitations to exhibitions, special events and membersonly previews

10% discount in the museum shop.

This year we have added two higher levels of membership - Patrons & Benefactors. These new levels receive all of the benefits listed above plus some additional exclusive benefits: Patrons also receive two additional tickets for museum tours that they can give to friends or other family members, and will be invited to a special event, like a behind-thescenes collections tour, designed just for Patrons and Benefactors. Benefactors receive all the Patron benefits plus two more museum tickets, two tickets to attend one of our Tavern Talks programs, and a 15% discount in the Museum Store instead of 10%. To join or renew your membership visit or call us at 610-388-7376.

CFHS returned to BBC Tavern & Grill on March 30 for a Guest Bartender Night!

CFHS Partners With Local Businesses For Friend & Fund Raising Events


s a local community organization, the Chadds Ford Historical Society often works with other local organizations, businesses and individuals on a variety of projects. The Society especially appreciates the opportunities that our local business community provides to raise awareness and support for the Society while bringing customers into small businesses. Already in 2017, the Society has worked with Hank’s Place and BBC Tavern & Grill, and we are currently working with Talbots in Glen Mills on a event for late Spring. On Sunday, January 15, we enjoyed our annual “Breakfast at Hank’s” event at Hank’s Place at the corner of Route 1 and Creek Road. Owners Voula and Peter Skiadas have been generous supporters of the Society for many years - not only through this annual

event, but also by supporting our other events like Chadds Ford Days. Breakfast at Hank’s raised $2,000 for the Society, and while bringing local people together at a restaurant that truly is a community treasure! Another nearby business that has been a consistent support of the Society is BBC Tavern and Grill in Greenville, Delaware. Owner David Dietz supports many local community groups and schools through his Guest Bartender events. On March 30, David and his staff helped our volunteers raise over $2,500 for the Society’s activities. In addition to staff and board members, special guest Victoria Wyeth was pouring drinks including her grandfather’s favorite cocktail which she dubbed “Andy’s Potion” for the evening.

On Friday, May 12, CFHS will host a Give Back event in conjunction with Talbots of Glen Mills. This event is a special shopping day at Talbots where 10% of pre-tax purchases are donated to the Society. The Society’s president, Kendal Reynolds, will be acting as hostess for this event, and will be in the store on Friday afternoon to help raise awareness about the CFHS. Be sure to save the date for a special shopping trip to Talbots that will have you looking good and feeling good about helping support the Society! Check our website www. for information on this and all upcoming events.

Notes From The Ford 7

Volunteer! The Chadds Ford Historical Society relies on a large number of generous volunteers to take care of our properties and collections and help us with the large variety of special events and programs every year. We are always looking for people to volunteer at the Society, and there are many ways to get involved. Volunteering at the Chadds Ford Historical Society is a great way to support your community, share your love of history, and meet new people with similar interests. Plus, it’s alot of fun! The Society offers ongoing volunteer projects for people that are interested in a long-term experience as well as “one & done” opportunities for those with more limited time for volunteering. Our volunteers help us with all aspects of the organization. They are involved in everything from planning and running our big events like the Great Pumpkin Carve to teaching history to

school children to maintaining our historic buildings and collections. If you are interested in volunteering contact the office and let us know. We’ll invite you in for a visit to chat about your interests and our current and upcoming volunteer needs. Before you visit, here are some things to think about: •

Why do you want to volunteer

What you want to get out of it

What are interests

• •




How much time do you have to volunteer Do you like to work on your own or with others

We have volunteer opportunities on weekdays as well as occasional weeknights and weekends. Contact us for more information at 610-388-7376 or info@

Current Volunteer Opportunities Educational Programs Assist with museum tours, school tours & activities, paranormal tours, summer camps Events Help with Chadds Ford Days, Great Pumpkin Carve, Candlelight Christmas, Plein Air, Lectures, Special Events, etc. Administrative Assist the office with data entry, preparation of mailings, distributing marketing materials, organizing & filing Collections & Library Assist with care of historic artifacts, cataloguing, photography, organization of storage spaces, installing exhibits Museums & Properties Help with housekeeping in historic houses, clean up of properties, weeding, general maintenance Research Conduct historical research, develop new programs & presentations

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Following the success of our Tavern Talks program our staff have been developing other new programs that will allow visitors to experience our historic sites in innovative ways. In late spring we will introduce the new Escape Brandywine experience at the c. 1725 Chads House. Designed like other popular escape room games, Escape Brandywine places visitors in the roles of spies on the eve of the Battle of Brandywine. Visitors are charged with finding General Howe’s battle plans that have been hidden in the Chads House. They then need to escape the house to bring the plans to General Washington. Using real Revolutionary War spy techniques, codes, and cyphers, players will have 60 minutes to solve puzzles that will allow them to locate the plans and escape the house! Escape rooms started in Asia in 2007. Based on popular video adventure games, escape room popularity grew quickly and spread to other countries around the world. By 2016 there were over 1,500 escape rooms in the U.S. with more being opened every month. “We think Escape Brandywine is going to be an amazing

way to interact with the historic Chads House and immerse yourself in history,” says CFHS Executive Director, Mike Connolly. “While they are having fun, people will also be learning about the British strategy for the Battle of Brandywine, and using actual 18th century espionage techniques.”

Escape Brandywine is designed for groups of up to 12 people to play at a time so is an ideal activity for a day out with friends, a birthday party experience, or a way to meet new people.

“Escape rooms require players to be logical, creative and collaborative to win the game.” It’s also a great team-building experience for employees of local businesses. According to Connolly, “Escape rooms require players to be logical, creative and collaborative to win the game. Players need to work well as a team communicating well and working respectfully together. Escape Brandywine will be a great offsite activity for local businesses, and we plan to market the program to them.” Be sure to check our website and Facebook pages for dates and times. Then, challenge yourself to Escape Brandywine!

Spies of the Revolution Nathan Hale

Spies of the Revolution Abraham Woodhull

Spies of the Revolution Ann Bates

Hale went behind British lines in

A farmer, Woodhull became the leader

A Philadelphia schoolteacher,

disuise at Long Island to gather

of Washington’s important “Culper

Bates married a British soldier and

intelligence for the Americans. He was

Spy Ring” that operated around New

was recruited as a spy for British

caught by the British and executed.

York City beginning in 1778. His

commander Sir Henry Clinton. She

Traditionally, Hale’s last words were “I

information was passed to Washington

was very effective in providing

only regret that I have but one life to

through Major Benjamin Tallmadge.

valuable intelligence about the

give for my country. “

Americans’ plans to the British. Notes From The Ford 9


Host An Epic Game Night At The Barns Brinton House!

The Meeting Room at the Barn Visitors Center is available for parties, meetings, business retreats & more!

Make sure your next gaming session goes down in history! The Barns Brinton House is available to rent for gaming sessions! Whether you are a board gamer, role player, or just want to play cards, our incredible 1714 tavern is the perfect setting to create a memorable gaming experience! It’s like the Red Dragon Inn come to life!

The Barn Meeting Room is available throughout the week. “The Meeting Room at the Barn is prefect for small parties like showers and birthdays!” Most people are familiar with the Meeting Room at the Barn Visitors Center from attending lectures or other Society programs here. But many do not know that the meeting room is available to rent for private functions. Now that the renovations at the Barn are complete, the meeting room is once again available for rent for birthday parties, baby showers, graduation dinners and more! The room can accommodate up to 48 at a seated dinner and up to 60 with theater seating as at a lecture. A kitchen is immediately adjacent to the room for the

convenience of caterers, and CFHS tables and chairs may be used at no additional cost. Plenty of free parking is available on site and the Barn is fully accessible. The Meeting Room is available 7 days a week for daytime or evening use. Rental periods are for 6 hours, including time for set up and clean up. Only one event is scheduled per day. Rates vary depending on the day and time, and CFHS members receive a discount from the general rates.

Groups of up to 15 can game in the two main rooms of the tavern’s first floor for up to four hours. It’s a perfect way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or just have a special night of gaming. Bring your games, snacks, beverages and friends and get ready for adventure!

For Information About Hosting Your Event At The Chadds Ford Historical Society Call 610-388-7376 or Email 10 Notes From The Ford

New Website Coming Soon!

Before opening our historic houses for summer tours, it’s time to clean up around the grounds

Spring Clean Up Day, May 7 Come out and join us for a Sunday morning clean up session at the Barn, Chads House and Barns Brinton House Now that winter is over (hopefully!) it’s time to get ready for spring and summer. At the Historical Society that means it’s time to clean up the grounds so they look nice for our summer tours and fall events. On Sunday, May 7, from 8 am to 12 pm we’ll be working around our properties cleaning up debris,

planting annuals, mulching beds and making minor repairs around the sites. We need volunteers to help us accomplish everything that we have planned - and it’s a lot! Spring Clean Up Day is a great way to get outside with your family and friends while giving back to your community. It’s also a great activity for small businesses and corporate groups that want to participate in community activities.

Volunteer Merrie Goodlander is working with our staff to completely redesign the Society’s main website. Our goal for redesigning the website is to provide more information about the Society available to members, visitors, and make it easy to find. The new website will be able to grow with the Society. Future plans include adding details about our collections, archives and library holdings to make it simple for researchers and others to learn about Chadds Ford history. Even though the website changing the address is not:


To join us, sign up through our website www.chaddsfordhistory. org or call 610-388-7376.

Look for our new website in mid to late 2017

Help Needed with Museum Tours & Visitor Services Guided Tours, Museum Store, Visitor Information & Facility Rentals Love history? Like people? Consider joining the team at the Chadds Ford Historical Society! We have part-time, paid positions available for museum guides, visitors services representatives and event supervisors. Guide and visitor service positions involve weekend hours. Event supervisor positions involve weekend and evening hours. For details about each position please visit our website at

Notes From The Ford 11

2017 Chadds Ford Historical Society Annual Meeting

CHADDS FORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY 1736 N. Creek Road P.O. Box 27 Chadds Ford, PA 19317


Join Us! CFHS Annual Meeting April 30, 2017 3:00 p.m. Barn Visitors Center

Spring 2017 Newletter  

Spring issue of the Chadds Ford Historical Society's seasonal newsletter.

Spring 2017 Newletter  

Spring issue of the Chadds Ford Historical Society's seasonal newsletter.