Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Edward Cranston House

The Cranstons and their new home, c.1890
A little while back in the last post I wrote (about the Ferguson-Worth Farm), I noted that there had been several recent occasions where someone had inquired about a particular property, instigating an interesting investigation. This post is about another one of these situations, except with a slight twist -- the house I'm writing about is not the one I was asked about. I was originally asked about another nearby house, but as I started researching the larger property it was on I soon realized the significance of this particular home. I also realized that it fit into another story I knew a little bit about and a family I knew quite a bit about.

The house in question stands on Old Capital Trail near the western end of Marshallton. When it was built it may have been the "last house out", certainly on its side (north side) of the street. The land it sits on, like a lot of the area in the 19th Century, was owned by the Cranston family. Where we want to start, though, is with Joseph Cranston (1799-1872). Joseph, a son of family patriarch Simon Cranston, originally settled on a farm on the west side of Limestone Road above Stanton, about where Mannette Heights and Stanton Middle School are now. It was land acquired by the family through Joseph's mother, Mary Marshall Cranston, which she had inherited from her father William Marshall. After Joseph's older brother William died with no adult heirs, Joseph took over his farm. William's tract was on the east side of Limestone Road, just south of Kirkwood Highway. However, Joseph held on to his original farm.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Vignettes of Marshallton at Greenbank Mill (3/27/18)

Update: Due to possible inclement weather on March 20, the talk has been rescheduled for one week later, Tuesday March 27, 2018. Same time, 7:00 PM. Sorry if this inconveniences  anyone, but there's no reason to risk anyone's (including mine) safety. Hope to see you on the 27th!

As you may know, I've given talks the past few years at the wonderful Red Clay Valley History Talk Series, hosted by Historic Red Clay Valley, Inc. and the Wilmington & Western Railroad. The past two seasons I've done presentations entitled Vignettes of Marshallton. (BTW, thanks, Ray (or Tom, if it was you), for coming up with the title.) They've been fun journeys through the history of the village and the surrounding area, and NOT just an excuse for me to stand up and show a bunch of cool, old pictures. OK, maybe it was a little of that.

Well, in either case, I've enjoyed presenting these talks and we've had great turn-out for all of them. But on the off chance that you might be interested in hearing them and were unable to attend the first time (I can't imagine what would have been more important, but I'm willing to let that go), you're in luck -- I'll be giving each of the talks once more in the coming few weeks.

On Tuesday evening, March 20 March 27 at 7:00, I'll be presenting the first Vignettes talk at the Greenbank Mill. This is basically the same talk I gave last year, with only a few minor changes. Sort like the director's cut, but in this one Han still shot first. We'll look at the early history of the area (which actually does tie in with Greenbank), the two main mills, two churches, several stores, and few other odds and ends. There will be no written exam. Or any other kind. If you're on Facebook, you can find more event info here. Again, the talk will begin at 7:00 PM at the Greenbank Mill, 500 Greenbank Road.

Then a few weeks later on Sunday evening, April 8, I'll be giving the second Vignettes talk at the April meeting of the Friends of Brandywine Springs (FOBS). This is the "sequel" presentation I gave at this year's History Talk Series. It's similar to the first one, except for being completely different. This time we look at some of the area's historic schools, a few of the railroad-related items, a winding sojourn through one of the major area families, and then a few extras at the end. This will be held at the Cedars Methodist Church on Harrison Avenue in the Cedars (off of Newport Gap Pike, just south of Brandywine Springs). The FOBS business meeting begins at 7:00 PM, with the presentation commencing afterwards (sometime between 7:30 and 8). All are welcome at the meeting and the talk.