Oral History Project

 

The Historical Commission recently completed a monumental project that involved the compilation of 12 oral histories of Township residents.  Learn more about these valued members of our community below.

 

EMMA “B” ABERNETHY

Until a recent move to West Chester, Emma “B” Abernethy was a life-long resident of East Bradford Township. B’s interview covers many topics including family life at 840 Copeland School Road and school at the Copeland School House.

 

JOE ARMSTRONG

Joe talks about growing up at Cope’s Bridge Farm in East Bradford Township.  Joe’s early schooling was in West Chester. To him, the outdoors around his home started him on his life-long love of fly fishing, and in the fall, deer hunting.

 

DOUG & MARGE BARR

Doug and Marge Barr grew up in West Bradford, just over the East Bradford line. Doug’s childhood home is on West Strasburg Road, between Marshallton and Cope’s Bridge. Marge’s is in the middle of Marshallton. After they married in 1949, Doug and Marge moved into East Bradford’s Worth/Jefferis Rural Historic District.  We recommend that you watch Doug Barr’s interview first, immediately followed by Marge Barr’s interview.

 

MIKE COLLEY

Mike Colley is a lifelong resident of East Bradford. His father, Art Colley, was the Resident Director of Paradise Farm Camps and spent his first summer there in 1933. Mike grew up in this home at Paradise Farm Camps (operated by Children’s Country Week Association), which is in the Paradise Valley Historic District.

 

MOSES WORTH CORNWELL

Moses and his sister, Josie Parman, were born and raised at Allerton Farm on Allerton Road in the Worth/Jefferis Rural Historic District. Moses’ interview covers many topics including fox hunting, the West Chester Demonstration School, World War II, and more.

 

CURTIS GUTHRIE

Curtis and his six siblings were born and raised at 828 Guthrie Road.  The farm, originally 233 acres, has been continuously farmed for 270 years. A sale in 1841 described the farm as “one story log house cellared under; log barn, stone stable high, spring house near dwelling…well fenced, has a good portion of woodlands and an orchard of select fruits and well watered.” Lydia Guthrie purchased the farm in 1907 and the Guthrie family added dairy cattle and has farmed 57 acres for 3 generations.

 

BOB HAWKES

Bob talks about his early days growing up on his parents’ farm in East Bradford Township where he still lives. He became a professor at West Chester and kept bees for their pollination on the farm and honey. He and his wife Betsy traveled widely in the US West. Currently, Bob volunteers on the East Bradford Township Trails Committee.

 

HAROLD “BILL” HOLTZ

Bill Holtz is a distinguished World War II combat veteran.  Bill came back from WWII and got married. He and his wife wanted to live in the country with space. They looked at Margaret Conner’s house, the log and stone home on Conner Road which she had for sale, and Margaret came out of the house with a shotgun and ordered Bill and his wife off her property.

 

EMMY LOU KRICK

Emmy was born and raised in Merion, PA. Her parents felt that their 3 daughters should get married as soon as they were out of school, so Emmy married Byron.  Byron wanted to be a dairy farmer.  They bought their first house in Morstein, and then bought Wild Oats Farm on Skelp Level Road.  There they raised Angus Cattle, 30 sheep and horses.  Their son raised chickens.  Here is a photograph of the Wild Oats farmhouse which was built in 1732.

 

JOSEPHINE CORNWELL OAS PARMAN

Josie and her brother, Moses Cornwell, were born and raised at Allerton Farm on Allerton Road in the Worth/Jefferis Rural Historic District.  Josie’s interview covers many topics including fox hunting, the “Shorty Long” house, and cattle escaping from Page Allinson’s farm.

 

STRODE’S SAUSAGE & SCRAPPLE

In 1784 the Strode family purchased the Entriken’s mill property at the Birmingham and Lenape crossroads. In 1875 the serpentine portion of the barn associated with the mill was erected and A. Darlington Strode established the Strode Sausage and Scrapple factory in the barn adjacent to the mill. Initially serving villagers of the crossroads, Strode Scrapple became nationally well-known and was sold at Reading Terminal in Philadelphia. The scrapple was canned and was easily shipped all over the United States. The factory produced sausage and scrapple for a century. The property is now owned by East Bradford Township which is in the process of stabilization and restoration of the barn.

 

RUTH PASSMORE YOUNG

Ruth’s grandparents were Annie Darlington and Isaac Passmore. The Darlington family established a nursery near the crossroads of Birmingham and Lenape roads in the early 1700’s and supplied fresh fruits and vegetables to the residents of the village.

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