In the early 1700s, William Penn‘s Quakers were on a race with their neighbors to the east, north and south to settle Pennsylvania. The untouched rolling hills and wooded streams of south-central Pennsylvania provided rich opportunities for these early pioneers.
Mills using natural water power were central to the settling of pre-Revolutionary Pennsylvania. These mills processed the wool and flour that were essential to feed and clothe the early settlers.
Built in 1731, this original Revolutionary-era brownstone “Quaker Mill House”, a dream home for history buffs, was one of the early fruits of William Penn’s land grant from England’s King James II.
“On February 28, 1681, Charles II granted a land charter to William Penn to repay a debt of £16,000 (around £2,100,000 in 2008, adjusting for retail inflation) owed to William’s father, Admiral William Penn. This was one of the largest land grants to an individual in history. It was called Pennsylvania. William Penn, who wanted it called New Wales or Sylvania, was embarrassed at the change, fearing that people would think he had named it after himself, but King Charles would not rename the grant. Penn established a government with two innovations that were much copied in the New World: the county commission and freedom of religious conviction.” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania#History
“WILLIAM PENN was a dreamer. He also had the king over a barrel. Charles II owed his father a huge debt. To repay the Penns, William was awarded an enormous tract of land in the New World. Immediately he saw possibilities. People of his faith, the Quakers, had suffered serious persecution in England. With some good advertising, he might be able to establish a religious refuge. He might even be able to turn a profit. Slowly, the wheels began to spin. In, 1681, his dream became a reality.” — USHistory.org
In the early 1700s, the Quaker Mill House served an adjacent fulling mill on Big Spring Run that supplied wool for the local farmers and settlers. Later, a grist mill on the Fishing Creek (into which Big Spring Run feeds) supplied flour. Before the advent of railroads and industrialization, these mills were an integral part of the local markets for more than 150 years.
To this day, the Quaker Mill House also known as “House of Two-Mill Dam”, retains deep links to its early Quaker heritage.
“Prior to the coming of the first settlers in 1736, Newberry Township was inhabited by the Susquehannock Indians. Before 1736, all settlement in Pennsylvania was kept east of the Susquehanna River, but the Indian Treaty of 1736 extended Lancaster County’s boundary westward indefinitely. Quaker families from Lancaster and Chester counties immediately set out across the Susquehanna to find new land. These settlers utilized the Middletown Ferry to access the west bank of the river, and once they reached what is now Newberry Township, settled throughout the Fishing Creek and Bennetts Run valleys.”
Yet even before the first human inhabitants, the Quaker Mill House property was called home by Triassic-era dinosaurs. Validated by paleontologists from the Pennsylvania State Museum, dinosaur footprints from a Coelophysis (Triassic period, 200 million years ago) were recovered from layers of bedrock on the property in the 1930’s, and again in 1994.Unique Features:
- 2.5 story original brownstone mill house dating to 1731
- Original twenty- inch stone walls and 10” wood beams
- 1.5+ acres surrounded by old-growth trees and original natural features
- Bordered by Fishing Creek, a stocked freshwater trout stream
- Approved subdivision for potential expansion
Modern additions and numerous updates offer the ultimate in modern convenience and enjoyment, while still retaining the charm of the original pre-Revolutionary home.
- All hardwood, ceramic and quarry tile floors
- Chef-designed custom kitchen with new appliances
- New and updated bathrooms with Jacuzzi tub
- Cathedral ceiling master bedroom with walkout lanai
- Energy-efficient updates
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