Phase two Strode’s Barn preservation complete

The Strode’s Mill Barn following July 2017 select demolition. Photo courtesy of Timlyn Vaughan Photography

East Bradford Township, with support from the Friends of Strode’s Mill, has recently completed the second phase of a multi-year effort to preserve and restore the historic Strode’s Barn, a contributing resource to the Strode’s Mill National Register Listed Historic District, located at the intersection of Lenape and Birmingham Roads, along the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway, in East Bradford Township, Chester County. The structure was in disrepair when purchased by the Township in 2015 and a late winter storm this past March worsened conditions by causing partial collapse of the roof over the old Strode’s Sausage Plant.

Select demolition took place the week of July 17. The less historic and heavily damaged sausage plant portion of the barn was strategically removed. What remains is the most historic portion of the structure.  “Together with  the Strode’s Mill on the opposite side of Birmingham Road, restoration of this remaining structure will evocatively work to remind passersby of the site’s important status as a circa-1720 historic village, memorializing the role of the agricultural industrial village in the pre-revolutionary era in East Bradford Township,” explains Mary Sue Boyle, Chair of the East Bradford Township Historical Commission.

Additionally, the site of the Strode’s Mill complex bore witness to British troop movements that immediately preceded the Battle of the Brandywine on September 11, 1777.  It was at the bucolic crossroads where the Strode’s barn sits that British General Cornwallis paused to arrange his troops before sweeping south into Birmingham Township on that fateful day which would result in the largest and longest single-day battle of the American Revolution.

With the select demolition phase now complete, the Township and its partners can begin focusing on the next phases of work, which entail making repairs to critical elements of the structure, such as its gabled roof, and assembling a vision for historical interpretation and future public use on the surrounding land.

The Friends of Strode’s Mill, a 501(c)3 non-profit group formed and led by local citizens, has actively been raising funds for the restoration of the barn. A donation to the Township towards demolition costs and the offering of in-kind skills and services in support of the effort has helped the project advance.

“The Friends of Strode’s Mill is proud to be a working partner with East Bradford Township. We look forward to seeing our important and rich history saved for future generations to enjoy and invite all who are interested to support us by visiting our website and befriending us on Facebook,” says Linda Kaat, President of Friends of Strode’s Mill.

To learn more about the history of the Strode’s Barn or if you would like to support the preservation effort, please visit www.friendsofstrodesmill.com or contact Assistant Township Manager Mandie Cantlin at mcantlin@eastbradford.org or (610) 436-5108 x102.

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