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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cuba Rock II -- The Irish Wall

The "Irish Wall"
-- Researched and Written by Walt Chiquoine

In a prior post, we discussed Con Hollohan and his property known as Cuba Rock.  According to his descendant Charles Esling, his home was the center of Roman Catholic worship until 1772.  The northern portion of his tract became Mount Cuba.  Con settled the land about 1747, and his estate sold the property to Evan Phillips in 1793.  It’s reasonable to assume that Phillips took over Con’s home.

Based on research done in 1986, we made the circumstantial case that Con’s homestead was in the very southwest corner of his property.  Part of that evidence was a stone wall that still stands today.  I’ve now had the opportunity to visit that wall and do some additional land research, and would like to share the results.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Simon Cranston

One phenomenon that has interested me since I began researching Mill Creek Hundred history is how certain families came to dominate particular areas, at least as far as owning property. It would usually begin with one settler on a homestead, who then would buy adjacent or nearby farms either directly for his sons or to increase his own holdings. Later on, the original properties would be divided and end up in the hands of multiple members of the family. This has happened over and over again, whether it was the Eastburns, Whitemans, Mitchells, Springers or numerous others. In the Marshallton and Stanton area, the dominant family for most of the 19th Century and well into the 20th was undoubtedly the Cranstons.

The Cranston name is of course still well known to area residents today, but their story, for the most part, is not. Besides in the name of a fire company, a neighborhood, and an apartment complex, the Cranston legacy also lives on in many of the houses they owned. Unfortunately, though, at least two have been (relatively) recently lost. Any telling of the Cranston story, however, has to begin with the first of the clan to settle in this area -- Simon Cranston.