At the close of the 19th Century, Chester County could boast that nearly 40 African Methodist churches of four denominations spread throughout the county, from its population centers to its rural townships. Formed at different times in different areas of the country, the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Union American Methodist Episcopal, and African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant churches were at their greatest extent. By 1920, their number had dwindled dramatically, and by the 1970s many had vanished altogether.
Beyond the familiar potter’s field in the ChesLen Preserve, other sites also contain Chester County’s forgotten poor.
On June 23rd, 1973, Hurricane Agnes roared through central Pennsylvania, causing inundating a huge swath of the Commonwealth causing widespread… Read more (Partially) Reconstructing the Lost Death Records of the Chester County Home
One day you walk into the Kennett Square ReStore and lay your eyes on this: What do you do? In… Read more What’s in a Commode?
Some days, you see something that makes you do a double take and then send off an email to the… Read more Courthouse Sundial Vandalized
Early in 1901, the pages of the Daily Local News were abuzz with word that a group of businessmen was… Read more West Chester’s Eastern Telephone Manufacturing Company
In the spring of 1848, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted a charter for the construction of a railroad from Philadelphia… Read more The Forgotten Family of Oakbourne
In the early 1870s, the previously tranquil Brandywine Valley was introduced to the sounds of a massive construction project. The… Read more The Lost Photographer of Lenape Park
Big things often start very small. They build over time and become something no one could have foreseen, and the… Read more Found Waybills Reveal Lesser-known Story of Valley Forge Asbestos Dumping
As in any job, there are days when it can be slog to work in the archives; for example, sitting… Read more For John B. and John J.