Thomas Massey House

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Thomas Massey House
MasseyHouse.JPG
Thomas Massey House, October 2009
Thomas Massey House is located in Pennsylvania
Thomas Massey House
Location Lawrence and Springhouse Rds., Broomall, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°57′55.26″N 75°31′4.3914″W / 39.9653500°N 75.517886500°W / 39.9653500; -75.517886500Coordinates: 39°57′55.26″N 75°31′4.3914″W / 39.9653500°N 75.517886500°W / 39.9653500; -75.517886500
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1696
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 70000904[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 16, 1970
Designated PHMC May 09, 1986[2]

The Thomas Massey House is a brick and stone colonial house, located on Lawrence Road near West Chester Pike in Broomall, Pennsylvania. The brick section was created by Thomas Massey, a Quaker, in 1696 as an addition to an earlier wooden house. Thomas's son Mordecai Massey likely tore down the wooden house and built the first stone addition during the 1730s. A stone walled kitchen was added in the early nineteenth century with a second story added about 1860. The house was donated to Marple Township in 1964 to avoid destruction. 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.

Thomas Massey was born in the village of Marpoole (Marple) in Cheshire, England. He landed in America on September 29, 1683 at the age of twenty, disembarking from the ketch "Endeavor" at Chester as an indentured servant to Francis Stanfield. His master similarly provided transportation to America for seven other indentured servants. When Thomas worked off his indenture, he received 50 acres (20 ha) of land from his master and another 50 acres from William Penn. In 1692, at age 29, he married 22 year old Phebe Taylor, who had arrived in America at age 13 with her family on the same ship as Massey. Together they had seven children. Thomas died in 1707 or 1708 and Phebe remarried two years later.[3][4]

The house remained in the Massey family until 1925, and was used as a farmhouse into the 1930s when a furnace and electrical wiring were added. When the land around the house was developed into suburban housing, the Massey House was used for storage and painting.[4]

In 1964 the Massey House was on the verge of demolition when a descendant, Lawrence M.C. Smith bought the house and 1-acre (0.40 ha) of ground, and gave it to the Township of Marple for restoration. Restoration was completed in ten years. During the restoration, evidence of a walk-in-fireplace and beehive oven was discovered. These features have been reconstructed and are in use today.[4]

The house is furnished with 17th and 18th century furniture and is open to the public for tours between 1 and 4 Sunday afternoon beginning with the last weekend in April and ending the last weekend in October.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas Massey House official site
  4. ^ a b c "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes Clarissa B. Smith (May 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Thomas Massey House" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-06. 

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