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Historic Preservation and Pirates along the Delaware River

a southeastern Pennsylvania travel itinerary

Marcus Hook’s historical significance comes from its identity as a maritime town. Originally a Lenape settlement, it became a New Sweden trading post in the 1640s with shipbuilding and fishing as early industries. Briefly a resort and amusement center, Marcus Hook’s rail, roads and deep-water port gave rise to the refineries that became the borough’s dominant industry.

Plank HouseThe Pioneer, an iron-hulled American schooner still sailing, was built in Marcus Hook in 1885

The Hook was also a haven for pirates in the early 18thcentury and its market provided a place to sell plundered goods and re-supply for their next voyage; what is now Second Street was originally called Discord Lane and where the pirates hung out while in town.
Plank House once the home of a mistress of the pirate Blackbeard is a one-and-a-half story, hall-plan house featuring a finished upper level and full cellar. The house is constructed using sawn planks fitted together with dovetail joinery and caulked with oakum. Some of the original riven lath remains on the interior of the house. A stone and brick relieving arch in the cellar supports the fireplaces and chimney stack. The upper level of the house, accessed via a winder staircase, features a fielded panel fireplace. Both the architecture of the house and the archaeology indicate a probable construction date of 1735.

Old Planbk HouseThe William Penn Landing Site marks the spot of the first landing of William Penn on the territory of Pennsylvania, on October 28 or 29, 1682. Penn, the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, landed in the only town in the province, then known as Upland and promptly renamed it Chester. The monument at the site was designed by John Struthers, erected on November 8 and dedicated November 9, 1882. The landing site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The Old Chester Courthouse was built in 1724 in Chester, to serve as the courthouse for Chester County, one of the first three counties in the Province of Pennsylvania set up by William Penn.  Later, the area around Chester was separated from Chester County and formed into Delaware County; the Chester Courthouse became the courthouse for Delaware County.

untitled 2Chester Waterside Station is a historic power station. The original section of the Station building was built in 1916, and consists of the Boiler House with attached Coal Towers, Turbine Hall, and the Switch House. It is in the Beaux-Arts style. The Turbine Hall Annex addition was built in 1939-1942. Also located on the property is the two-story, red brick Machine Shop building. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Chichester Friends Meetinghouse is a historic Quaker meeting house near Boothwyn. The Chester area was one of the earliest areas settled by Quakers in Pennsylvania. The meetinghouse, first built in 1688, then rebuilt after a fire in 1769 reflects this early Quaker heritage. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

John P. Crozer II Mansion located in Upland, was built in 1879-1880, and is a three-story mansion house built entirely of California redwood. It reflects grandiose Victorian tastes, with elements of the Gothic and Queen Anne styles. The mansion was divided into eight apartments. Also on the property are a contributing carriage house, barn, trophy house, spring house, remains of greenhouses, a root cellar and ice house.

untitled 4Pusey-Crozier Mill Historic District is a historic mill complex and national historic district located in Upland. The district includes nine contributing buildings, one contributing site, and one contributing structure, at the site of the first grist mill and sawmill erected by the English Quakers in 1682. They are the Pennock Log House (1790), schoolhouse (1849), four single houses (1850), large double house (1850s), mid-19th century barn, and the original mill site, headrace, and tail race.

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