Past Meeting

Images of the Thomas Massey House from their website

The Story of the Thomas Massey House

by Rich Paul

The Thomas Massey House in Broomall is a well-preserved 18th-century residence open for historic tours, as well as serving as a restaurant. Rich Paul — the First VIce President of the Board of Directors of Thomas Massey House — guided us on an exploration of its history.

The Thomas Massey House is a monument to the American dream the home of an indentured servant who became a landowner, and like the American dream the house has endured over 300 years. The Thomas Massey House is one of the oldest English Quaker homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is on the National Register of Historical Places, and the Historical American Building Survey.

The Thomas Massey House is unique because so much of the original fabric has survived. The 1696 brick portion was built by Thomas Massey as an addition to the existing log or frame house. In 1731 his son, Mordecai, replaced the log or frame house with a stone section. During the restoration, evidence of a walk-in-fireplace and beehive oven was discovered. These features have been reconstructed and are in use today.

In 1964 the Massey House was on the verge of demolition when a descendant, Lawrence M.C. Smith bought the house and one acre of ground, and gave it to the Township of Marple for restoration. Restoration was to be completed in ten years. Although the "plantation" is now only one acre, gardens of the period are maintained. The Massey House is presently furnished with appropriate late 17th and 18th century furniture.

adapted from the Thomas Massey House website

This presentation was held at the Tredyffrin Public Library in Strafford, PA on Sunday 15 September 2019, starting at 2 pm.


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