Our Visitor's Center is located in the Heart of the Chadds Ford Village and was built in the early 1990's on the foundation of an 1800's dairy barn. This building houses our offices, library, temporary exhibit room, and meeting room. Come by for a visit and tour our three historic houses and see whats new in our exhibit room. This is also the first stop of your digital tour of the Society's historic buildings.
Backstory and Context
Welcome to the Chadds Ford Historical Society. This is the start of your digital tour of the society's three historic structures: The Springhouse, the Chads House, and the Barns-Brinton House. Before you digitally head to the next stop let me fill you in on the history of the organization and how we got here.
The Chadds Ford Historical Society had its genesis in the first Chadds Ford Day of 1958. Neighbors gathered at the then tranquil crossroads to get to know each other better, share their talents and share their interest in preserving the beauty and history of the countryside. They came and paraded in their period dress led by “Town Crier” Chris Sanderson. Works of art by Howard Pyle and the Wyeths, as well as other local artists, were exhibited in the old barn. Everyone had a good time, and one could sense that a community spirit had been enkindled. In 1959 and 1962 “The Day” was repeated--again on the Saturday nearest the anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777.
In 1967 the John Chad house--home of the early pioneer for whom Chadds Ford was named--was for sale. The neighbors were concerned about its state of deterioration and, of course, were well aware of it historic and architectural significance--a fine example of early 18th century stone Pennsylvania architecture. It had to be saved! In order to buy it a corporation needed to be formed. The Chadds Ford Day Committee seemed the logical group to implement founding the corporation. In 1968 the Chadds Ford Historical Society was incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of Pennsylvania and Chadds Ford Days became a week long Art Festival held in the Tri-County Conservancy’s newly purchased Hoffman Mill. Thousands came and the new profit was $37,000--enough to purchase the Chad House.
Unexpectedly another important building was for sale in 1969--the Barns-Brinton house. It too was in a state of serious deterioration. Chadds Ford Days in 1969 became a week-end. Profits were considerably less than those from the previous year. However, with the help of several generous donors, the Society was able to purchase its third historic building.
Today the Society's goal is to protect and preserve these historic structures and interpret them for the education and enjoyment of the community.
The First historic structure you will see on your digital tour is the springhouse.
Johnson, Virginia Spake . The Chadds Ford Historical Society, January 1st 1976. Accessed April 22nd 2020.