Staff Research

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1777 Chester County Property Atlas

14036979147_c3633eeeb4_o Opens in new windowIf you ever wondered who lived on your property in September 1777 or wanted to know if it was plundered by the British Army during the Philadelphia Campaign, then you’re going to want to check this out new research tool. The Battle of Brandywine has been considered the largest battle of the American Revolution, yet these armies were not fighting on vacant land. Thousands of inhabitants called Chester County home, and this new project will highlight these people and their stories. Click the image to the left to start exploring! 

September 2020

Remembering the Graves: The Family Behind Birmingham Hill


You've likely heard of the Battle of Brandywine. Maybe you're even familiar with Birmingham Hill. But have you heard of the Graves family? They owned the land where so much of the fighting took place on September 11, 1777. In this video, we peel back the layers and study how the battle impacted this Chester County family. Click the image to the left to watch the video. 

August 2020

New London Crossroads

New London Vid

In 1729, Lazarus Finney was granted a license to operate a tavern at the New London Crossroads (modern-day State Road & Rt. 896). Similar taverns and crossroads were vital to the early commercial success of Chester County. Chester County thrived on wheat production which was turned into flour at the many gristmills along the Elk River, White & Red Clay Creeks, and the Brandywine. Check out our very first video which discusses the history of this particular tavern, the importance of wheat production in Chester County, and the global mercantile system which necessitated such taverns, crossroads, and gristmills. Click the image to the left to watch the video.

                                                                    July 2020

Chester County Archives Staff Picks

Staff Picks

During the week of April 21st, 2020, the Chester County Archives staff featured some “staff picks” on their Facebook page. They wanted these posts to spark some curiosity and encourage its audience to explore different records or a new collection. They also hoped their picks would shed a little light on the team behind all the work on Facebook, on the website, and in the reading room. Click the image to the left. 

May 2020

A Colonial Tavern in West Brandywine Township

West Brandywine Tavern

Around 1767, Andrew Culbertson purchased 150 acres of land along the west branch of the Brandywine Creek. Culbertson quickly capitalized on the prime location and began operating a grist mill, saw mill, and a tavern. The tavern petitions submitted by Culbertson offer a glimpse into the early history of this colonial tavern. In 1774, for example, he detailed what happened when he refused to serve his neighbor’s drunken servant and his friends. Explore the history of this colonial tavern in West Brandywine Township in this month’s post from the Archives staff. Click the image to the left. 

April 2020

Ann Preston, MD and the 1852 Pennsylvania Woman’s Rights Convention

1852 combo168 years ago on June 2nd and 3rd 1852, the Pennsylvania Woman’s Rights Convention occurred at Horticultural Hall, now home to the Chester County Historical Society. Ann Preston, MD delivered the main speech during the event. In her remarks she addressed the need for women to have equal educational and professional opportunities. Read more about the 1852 convention and Ann Preston in this month’s blog from the Chester County Archives. Click the image to the left. 

March 2020

Moses G. Hepburn and the Magnolia House

Magnolia House046

Moses Garrison Hepburn opened his West Chester Magnolia House in 1866. The business not only served West Chester’s African American community, but it also elevated Hepburn’s status among those in the borough’s political and economic establishment. Read more about Hepburn and his Magnolia House in this month’s blog post from the Chester County Archives. Click the image to the left. 

February 2020