Thomas Massey House

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1696 Thomas Massey House
Thomas Massey House, October 2009
Thomas Massey House is located in Pennsylvania
Thomas Massey House
Thomas Massey House is located in the US
Thomas Massey House
Location Lawrence and Springhouse Rds., Broomall, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°57′55″N 75°21′5″W / 39.96528°N 75.35139°W / 39.96528; -75.35139Coordinates: 39°57′55″N 75°21′5″W / 39.96528°N 75.35139°W / 39.96528; -75.35139
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1696
Architect Thomas Massey
Architectural style Colonial
NRHP Reference # 70000904[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 16, 1970
Designated PHMC May 09, 1986[2]

The 1696 Thomas Massey House is one of the oldest English Quaker homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is a 2-story brick and stone house, originally constructed by the English, Quaker settler, Thomas Massey in 1696. It is located on Lawrence Road near Sproul Road in Broomall, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Massey[edit]

Thomas Massey was born in the village of Marpoole (Marple) in Cheshire, England. He was a Quaker and an indentured servant to Francis Stanfield, who arranged for him and seven other indentured servants to emigrate to America. Thomas set sail from Chester, England aboard the ketch "Endeavor". He landed in Philadelphia, PA on September 29, 1683 at the age of twenty. After 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 on the same ship as Massey. Together they had seven children: Esther (1693), Mordecai (1695), James (1697), Hannah (1699), Thomas (1701), Phoebe (1705) and Mary (1707) Thomas died in 1707 or 1708 and Phebe remarried two years later.[3][4] His oldest son, Mordecai, inherited the house. It was owned by the Massey family until 1925.

Building History[edit]

Thomas Massey built the original brick section 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 above the kitchen added about 1860.

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.

In 1964, the house was saved from demolition by Massey's descendant, Lawrence M.C. Smith. Smith bought the house and 1-acre (0.40 ha) of ground and donated the property to Marple Township on condition that it be restored within ten years. The restoration was completed by architect, John Milner. During the restoration, a walk-in-fireplace and beehive oven were uncovered. Many of the home's original features have been restored and are fully functional.[5]

The house was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1970 and is listed on the Historical American Building Survey.[4] A Pennsylvania historical marker was dedicated on the site on May 9, 1986.[6]

Tours and Events[edit]

The house is open to the public for tours from April through October on Sundays from 1 to 4 PM. It is seasonally decorated and furnished with authentic 17th and 18th century items, including some of the home's original fixtures, such as: cabinetry, furniture, cookware and dinnerware, books and tools.

Special events such as: lectures, demonstrations, dinners, cooking classes, gardening presentations and social gatherings are held throughout the year. At dinner events, an authentic colonial meal is prepared in the kitchen and served in the home. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  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 "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. 
  5. ^ "Design & Preservation". 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Thomas Massey House Historical Marker". 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Thomas Massey House Official website

Media related to Thomas Massey House at Wikimedia Commons