Walking the East End, Part One

East End of West Chester

This self-guided walking tour is illustrated with numerous photographs, many of them offering a rare glimpse into the 19th-century lives of early black entrepreneurs in the days when West Chester (a county seat) was nearly 90 percent Quaker.

The book also documents the Civil Rights era: Bayard Rustin,famous as the chief tactician of nonviolent action and the organizer of the March of 1963, was born and raised in the East End. 

Although the book is designed as a walking tour, with numbered sites in an area of West Chester called the “East End,” the book will be of interest to anyone interested in 19th century industries and the lives of free black residents (and former slaves) in the years before or after the Civil War.

The industries documented in the book – and shown in the images here – include a mushroom cannery known as Edward Jacobs Co. (later Grocery Store Products) and the Hoopes Bros.& Darlington Wheel Works, in operation from 1866 to 1973.

B&B Mushroom Factory

The book also documents the Civil Rights era: Bayard Rustin, famous as the chief tactician of nonviolent action and the organizer of the March of 1963, was born and raised in the East End.

To read an excerpt from the walking tour, click here.

100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley (Artists List)

The following is a book excerpt showing the contents page of my “100 Artists” book

Section I: Classic Realists

J Clayton Bright
Allen G Carter, Sr
Caroline Chen
Beth Clark
Linda Clark
Casey Eskridge
WO Ewing, III
Michael Kahn
Tara Keefe
Sarah K Lamb
David Larned
Anna B McCoy
AJ Obara, Jr
Charles Park
Jon S Redmond
Holly Silverthorne
George A Weymouth

Section II:Contemporary Realists

Laura Barton
Claude William Bernardin
Kathleen Buckalew
Susan Curtin
Terry DeAngelo
Cheryl Decker-Sauder
Andre Harvey
Janice I Houck
Robert C Jackson
Jeff Moulton
Dennis Park
Jeff Schaller
Peter Sculthorpe
Dorla Dean Slider
Lin Webber

Section III:
Impressionists & Romantic/Poetic Realists

Annette Alessi
Carolyn Anderson
Mary Beaumont
Roy Blankenship and Lois Showalter
Richard Chalfant
Mark Dance
Lisa Tyson Ennis
Mary Page Evans
Janet Hammond
Peggy Hartzel
Phillip Jamison
Phillip Lang
Ilse-An Munzinger
Susan B Myers
Elise N Phillips
Rea N Redifer
Matthew W Reinert
Shela Roberts
Kerry Sacco
Paul Scarborough
Signe Sundberg-Hall
Sarah Yeoman
The Delaware Art Museum

Section IV:
Magic Realists & Storytellers

Bo Bartlett
Timothy Barr
William M Basciani
Fred Danziger
Jean E Diver
Rob Evans
Michael Green
Karl J Kuerner, III
Ken Mabrey
Adrian B Martinez
Lynda Schmid
Gretchen Shannon
John Suplee
Ed and Ellen Vander Noot
In Memoriam Carolyn Wyeth
Jimmy Lynch

Section V:
Modernists & Colorists

Anna Bellenger
Jacqui Cornette
Bernie Felch
Janis Galbraith Fitch
Barbara Grant
Dennis E Haggerty
Sutton Hays
Greg Layton
Ed Loper, Jr
Judith McCabe-Jarvis
Barbara Neville
David Oleski
Gus V Sermas
Paul Skibinski
Robert Roger Stack
Dane Tilghman
Timlyn W Vaughan
Mary Ann Weselyk
The Howard Pyle Studio

Section VI:
Neo-Realists & 
Symbolic Artists

Margo Allman
LA Bartolozzi
Diane Cirafesi
T Mark Cole
Kirsten Fischler
Bill Freeland
Cris Staley Hutchinson
Clifford W Lamoree
Carla Lombardi
Jeremy S McGirl
Antonio Puri
Brian Richmond
Nancy Rumfield
Donna Usher Valetta
Brett Anderson Walker
Carson Zullinger
In Memorian Tom Bostelle

Follow the Artists In The book, 100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley

100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley Book CoverSince the publication of  100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.),  I have either promoted the activities of the artists in the book or have been part of joint book signings and art exhibits.

One on-going joint venture is my participation in the annual Chester County Studio Tour.

Hope you join me and 53 participating artists May 18th and May 19, 2013.

According to the organizer, Jeff Schaller – whose

Jeff Schaller's studio
Jeff Schaller’s studio

backyard art studio  shown here is practically a neighborhood landmark –  the annual tour grew out of several years of discussions when  the group held monthly meetings at their studios to critique one another’s art work.  

The artists came up with the idea of grouping several artists in two locations, Schaller’s studio and that of David Oleski, located on a property featuring a large pond, a short drive away through  scenic woods and rolling hills.  

For this year’s tour, there will be a considerable expansion –  53 artists in 23 studios across Chester County. .

For a complete list of the tour’s exhibiting artists,  click here

Academy Students at Yellow Springs, encaustic on board
This painting was created using a multi-step process that included a silkscreen print made from a pen & ink drawing and securing the image to a board with encaustic paint.

Another annual event is the Historic Yellow Springs Art Show .
Join me at the opening reception, April 26 from 7 to 10 p.m.  The exhibit continues through May 12th.

Household Help, collage by C . Quillman
My collage, “Household Help” was accepted into the “Reigning Cats And Dogs” art show at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA. Opens April 5 and continues through May 4, 2013

Historic Yellow Springs is featured in  100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley.
Although I have had book signings at the event in the past,  this is my second year participating as one of the exhibiting artists.

Click here to view my work and that of the other exhibitors.

100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley

100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley Book Cover100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley, (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.), the first comprehensive guide to the artistic history of this scenic region, birthplace of an important realist tradition known as the Brandywine Tradition.

As this comprehensive guide unfolds, you see that this scenic valley near Philadelphia is also a microcosm of major art trends in America. Explore works and lives of 100 contemporary painters, sculptors, and photographers that include magic realists, impressionists, modernists, and more. With more than 400 images, the book features nationally known artists, graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (the nation’s oldest art school), and self-taught artists who have built successful careers with compelling, story-filled paintings.100 Artist Collage

Between the Brandywines

Between the Brandywines Book

Between the Brandywines: A History of West Bradford is a 417-page hardback book, written in the popular history style, of a region of Chester County, Pennsyvlania that is located between the branches of the historic Brandywine River. 

It is the only book of its kind in that it documents, in 16 chapters, a region once known as the “breadbasket of the early colonies,” then a day’s drive, by stagecoach, from the capital of Philadelphia.   Inspired by the book, Loosening the Bonds, Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750-1850 by Joan M. Jensen, the book included many chapters documenting the lives of early rural women including the Quakers, Lenape Indians, poorhouse residents and mill workers.

The Copes Bridge near Marshallton, Pa. Photo taken in 1890 by Gilbert Cope

Published privately by West Bradford Press in 2005, the book was commissioned project and completed with the help of the West Bradford Township Historic Committee. Still, I consider Between the Brandywines to be part of my personal agenda to write about Chester County’s “hidden” history, which includes the development of small towns and 19th century attitudes towards industry, the landscape, and village commerce.  

 The book took five years of personal interviews (with local residents in their 80s and 90s) as well as extensive research at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania, including the use of its early newspaper archives.   I also illustrated the book with pen & ink drawings and obtained more than 200 early photographs and postcards from local residents.

The book is available in two limited edition formats including a “textbook” version and a hardbook with a dust jacket and a pull-out map that was based on research complied in 1912  by Francis D. Brinton, who traced all the William Penn grants in East and West Bradford Townships. 

The book is sold locally at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, the Chester County Book & Music Co,. and at the West Bradford Township building.  

 In the years since it was published, the book has received numerous endorsements and has been sold through several preservation groups such as the Friends of Martin Tavern.

Click here to read an account of  the village of Marshallton, Pa. which includes several excerpts from the book.

What people are saying about the book: 

Between the Brandywines by Catherine Quillman tells the story of West Bradford Township by capturing the spirit of its land, waterways, buildings and people. Congratulations to the author, the Township, and its residents for a remarkable accomplishment. It makes me proud to live in Chester County!”

 —John D. Milner, architect and recipient of the 2005 James Biddle Award for Lifetime Achievement, given by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

Walking The East End, Part Two

Spences Restaurant before restoration, Photo courtesy of CCHS
Spences Restaurant before restoration, Photo courtesy of CCHS

Part Two includes two additional tours: 

 The “Uptown” Tour  

 The 21 sites on this tour can be generally divided into Civil War-era sites such as the Lincoln Building and the former offices of an Abolitionist newspaper as well as sites related to black entrepreneurship in the 19th century and in recent times. 

 As it is described in this booklet’s introduction,  West Chester’s most successful black-owned enterprises – Burns’ Great Oyster House, Spence’s Restaurant, and  the Ganges’ Ice Cream and Confectionary Shop – thrived at a time of explosive growth,  in the 1850s and the 1900s.  Even then, they could not be described as part of a “colored aristocracy.”  They served a clientele that included judges and Court House personnel yet they typically saw their fraternal and civic lives as rooted in the black community.

Spences Restuarant, 1920s Courtesy of the Spence family
Spences Restuarant, 1920s Courtesy of the Spence family

 “Uptown,” as residents of the East End still call it, includes one residential area: South Walnut Street.  The beautiful Victorian homes are representative of those built by craftsmen for the artisan and working classes including black residents. Part of the area was developed in 1844 by Robert Mercer, who came to West Chester as an orphan bound to a Swedish shoemaker.  The region’s first  Presbyterian church built for African-Americans is also located here. 

 A third category of sites might be described as those associated with Civil Rights activism including the  movie theaters and restaurants where Bayard Rustin challenged West Chester’s white community to uphold its liberal heritage.

The Spokes Works. Courtesy of CCHS
The Spokes Works. Courtesy of CCHS

The industrial Tour

The 13 sites  on this tour includes “Mechanics Alley,” where a former crayon factory is open to the public (now Rose Valley Restorations) as well as 8 sites along East Union Street.   The buildings at E. Union and S. Franklin Streets have been occupied since the 1870s when they included a grist mill and metal foundry.  These buildings overlooked West Chester’s largest brick yards.

 Owned by one of the Civil War’s most celebrated veterans, Henry R. Guss, the brick yards extended to Bolmar Street. They were later occupied by Hoffman’s Lumber Yards, but the area still shows glimpses of the past: a row of brick homes Guss constructed for his workers still stands.   At the corner of Union and Adams Streets, one can see the original buildings of  a  long-standing mushroom cannery,  E.H. Jacobs Company, which became nationally known as the producer of “B&B” mushrooms and other products.  

 The “Industrial” tour is the longest tour in the booklet, extending to Lacey Street and the boundary  of an early Irish community known as “Riggtown.”  Within the same neighborhood, the West Chester Railroad Heritage Association keeps its trains in a yard 

that recalls a busy era when the Pennsylvania Railroad  maintained its largely freight switching yard near the same spot.  The railroad turntable is documented on the map in this booklet, but no longer remains. 

 In fact, the former vestiges of an industrial presence—the mushroom factory, the National Phone Co. and old 30-acre Wyeth Lab site—have disappeared.  Hopefully, this part of the East End will have a positive future.