Friday, July 23, 2010

Marshallton United Methodist Church

Marshallton UME Church, about 1905
Marshallton Union Chapel, later named Marshallton United Methodist Church, was built in 1886. Through the years additions have been added and a few modifications made, but it is still in operation, located at 1105 Stanton Road in Mill Creek Hundred. Just east of the church is the Springer-Cranston house where Edwin J. Cranston resided. It was from Cranston that the land for the church was bought. Marshallton United Methodist was named for the community it serves, which was in turn named in honor of John Marshall, the founder of Marshall Rolling Mill, which was erected and began operations in 1836.

While the country gothic church was added to the National Register in 1987 based partially on its architectural characteristics, just as important was the central role it has played in bringing the community together.

In the 1880’s, a majority of the residents of Marshallton and the neighboring Kiamensi community worked in either the rolling mill in Marshallton or the Kiamensi Woolen Mill, located on the Red Clay Creek about one and a half miles away from Marshallton. By 1880 the rolling mill in Marshallton employed about one hundred and twenty-five people, and according to the 1870 census, Kiamensi Woolen mill employed about 60 people, a number which I imagine by the 1880’s had grown. In a milling and farming community with no church, many of the people would walk and attend services in Stanton. That is, until three men decided to take matters into their own hands.

George Bennett, William A. Mullin and Richard H. Williams, with the community’s interest at heart, purchased about one-quarter of an acre from Edwin J. Cranston. Monies were raised from within the community and in 1886 Marshallton Union Chapel was erected at a cost of $2,100. The chapel was a place for holding Sunday School, which had previously been held in the district school house, under unfavorable conditions. Religious meetings were held there every Sunday night and consisted of prayer meetings, or preaching.

Marshallton UME today
The original structure was a one-story frame, 30 feet by 50 feet. In 1922, a 30-foot by 45-foot gabled addition was added on the east side of the original building. Gothic arched commemorative stained glass windows and a bell tower were also added. The original bell was added in 1924, but cracked in 1929. In 1932 the bell was replaced. Between 1949 and 1957 a three-story brick educational building and fellow-ship hall was erected to the north and rear of the original building. For more information on the architecture of the church, click here for the National Register Nomination Form.

After almost 125 years, Marshallton United Methodist Church is still a central focal point of the Village of Marshallton. Community days, historical events, and even the town Christmas tree lighting are held on or near the church grounds. I think the church founders would be proud to see how well their idea of a community church has held together through the years.


  1. Orval L Foraker Sr.April 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I was born in the year 1931 on Greenbank Rd. We are the Foraker Family twelve children, Six boys and six girls. Sons and daughters of Mr, & Mrs John T. Jack Foraker wife Elda May Doughten.
    In 1928 my Family lived in and rented the house next to the Church

    1. What color was the church before they painted it white?

  2. Craig O'BrienApril 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    I bought the house across the road from this church, records show it was built in 1910 but i cannot find any deed info on it older that the 1990's... would love to know some history

    1. Hi Craig....1st of all welcome to Marshallton. Secondly ....I live not far from you. Scott asked me and the only information I have, and it does say 1910, I passed along to him. As you can see by Scott's and other peoples work there is a lot of history in the area and Marshallton, as we know it today, dates to around 1725.

    2. Just a follow up,

      First mention of the house is in February 8th 1896 where my plot that is part of a larger area plot was sold by Edward Cranston to a (unreadable party), the next deed shows a Samuel Broadbent buying the plot in 1902 and living there until his death in 1907 where the house was passed to his children (names are listed on the deed. I had a look around Ancestry and found a photo of samual Broadbents son and his family tree, I have the full history after that, I just find out what was on the land between the sale in 1896 and the Broadbent owners ..

      I have the cranston sale deed and the deed where Samual died in 1907 and passed the house to his kids, I can scan and send them as PDF's if any use,


    3. an edit.. the land was sold to Samuel Broadbent for $150.00 In 1869, I was reading the wrong deed section about Broadbent buying in 1902. So Samual owned that plot from 1896 to 1907, then it was passed to his children, this is getting very exciting!

  3. Hey there, Just to add to all of this, I found a old photo taken in front of my home in 1905 with Samuel Broadbent's son (Raymond) and family, comparing that photo with ones I have taken from the same angle, I'm sure its the same property.

  4. Hello everybody
    I was just reading up a bit on Marshallton
    (Marshallton Methodist Church,) I would love to look up also St. Barnabas Church too. Also, if anyone has any info on the property that is
    3810 Old Capitol Trail in Marshallton (Big White House on Corner?) Triangle-like of Old Capitol & Cross road is Orchard?
    Also any info on history of how in Kiamensi Gardens they got their street names? One in particular named "Diamond Street?"
    I know nothing about Marshallton bc I've lived in PA for approximately 30 years but moved back to Delaware about 12yrs AGO and bought this House on Old Capitol about 2years ago.
    What's ironic is my family has come from there but I still 'WE,' really kno nothing, so it would truly be a blessing if anyone could offer up any information I would be truly grateful!
    I am now going to share a few things
    My MomMom who is 100 yrs old told me her Father took her to Marshallton Methodist Church every single day and 3 times on Sundays! He also belonged to St.Barnabus
    Church too, In fact he passed away at the young age of 44 after attending Church 3times that Sunday while decorating the tree on Christmas Eve. His name was Charles Diamond
    As was my Grandmother's maiden name too of course and I always loved it! My Mother & myself only recently as in this week only found out about a 'Diamond Street,' being in 'Kiamensi Gardens?!' Now again, i didn't even really know where my MomMom was born; Grew up?! Or really know much about the Church either? I ALWAYS listened and was and I still am fascinated by her stories, AND my Mom's too but it NEVER really resonated with me or HIT me until recently!!! Because My House is literally ONLY ONE House away(same side of the street) where she went to Church every day from the time she was a small child!!! Also-she would always talk about the mill; I cannot wait to look that up too but her being born in Kiamensi right up the street from where I bought my house and hearing about 'Diamond St.' Is so wild to me?!!!! Honestly I sooooooo feel it is NOT a coincidence but DEFINATELY there is a connection to her maiden name/her Father's last name. My Great GrandFathers Name?!!!
    I Just Know iT!!! I Already know my house is more then 100 yrs Old .... Does Anyone know if by chance it may have been an old schoolhouse back in the day or know any history on the property? If Anyone knows anything or could offer me any info or help in how to obtain some I would greatly appreciate it more then you know!
    Debra Ambrose
    ps.This Has nothing to do with Marshallton;
    Well as far as I know? But I find it to still be really really something pretty cool and I would love to explore this too? It's just a fun fact.
    The last name Diamond is on her Maternal Side
    And the last name Blood is on her Paternal Side
    I just think that's the coolest!
    I just think they are both such strong names
    Of course I thought of "Blood Diamond."
    But I meant it in the most positive and uplifting way. Not in a way of Darkness.
    Please share with me
    I'll welcome all
    Thank you in advance
    God Bless You

    1. Thanks for the info, Debra, and a belated welcome back to Marshallton! A lot to unpack here -- and we'll eventually get to it all -- so let's get started. As far as other area sites go (like St. Barnabas and the Kiamensi Mill), the easiest thing to do is go to the index page via the button near the upper left of the page. Check out those posts, as well as ones on Hickman Blacksmith Shop, the Springer-Cranston House, and the Lost Pilling Houses, for a start. As luck would have it, I'm starting to work on a presentation I'll be giving in a couple months about Marshallton (more info to come...), so there might be new stuff coming.

      Did a quick census search on Charles Diamond, and if I have the right one (from maryland, wife Lula, sons Charles and Edward, daughters Beulah and Thelma) he definitely worked at the mills. He first worked at the Kiamensi Woolen Mill. The 1910 and 1920 censuses have them 3 families away from Richard Pilling, owner of the mill, on Kiamensi Road. In 1930 he worked at the fibre mill in Marshallton and lived on Newport Gap Pike near Prices Corner. 1930 they're 3 families from the Langs and Sturgises, who owned the store on the corner of Old Capitol Trail and NGP. (Look up Lang and Sturgis on the blog.) And I hate to change family lore (if this is the right guy), but Charles T. Diamond died 12-24-1939, at the age of 65. I found his obit.

      Last part for now, I don't know where the Kiamensi Garden street names came from, except to guess "From the developer". I lived on Henlopen Ave for 10 years. If you'd like, email me at and I can give you more info, and some names of people to talk to if you want more Marshallton history.

    2. SCOTT!!!!
      That is DEFINATELY is my Great Grandparents!!!
      Charles & LuLu Belle Diamond
      Thank You so so
      Very much!
      As a small child;
      My MomMom hung out at the "Pilling Mansion." with Pilling ...
      She will be 101 years old on April 13 ..
      Yay God!
      I am totally going to e-mail you k
      I cannot believe it took me this long to
      just now see this?!!
      that's messed up😞
      But I have it now & actually
      the timing was PERFECT!!!
      Thank You

  5. Scott I just got done reading this to my MomMom right this moment and I came across this!!! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you and I will get in touch with you okay?
    I'm excited!

    1. That's awesome. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  6. Anyone know what color the church was before it was painted white?