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The Barns-Brinton House marks 300 years

07/23/2014 05:14PM, Published by Lev, Categories: In Print, News, Arts+Entertainment

The Barns-Brinton House is the focus of a year-long celebration for its 300th anniversary.

By Gene Pisasale


This year is a very special one for the Chadds Ford Historical Society and local history buffs.

The society has several events scheduled to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Barns-Brinton House (circa 1714). This structure, which sits near Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, has been attracting attention from drivers for many years as they pass by. The striking Flemish bond-style red brick home also served as a tavern before our nation was in its formative stages.

The story of the Barns-Brinton house began when blacksmith William Barns foresaw the need for a tavern on “ye Great Road to Nottingham,” then a major thoroughfare between Philadelphia and Maryland. In 1714, Barns constructed a large building that was to serve as his home and also as a tavern. Barns received his tavern license in 1722 and operated the business until his death in 1731.

The house changed owners several times after Barns’ passing. In 1753, the house and farmland were purchased by James Brinton, grandson of one of the earliest settlers in the region.

After the Historical Society began operations in 1968, members noted that several local structures were threatened with closure and demolition. Both the John Chads House and the Barns-Brinton House were purchased by the society and restored to their Colonial-era splendor.

The latter structure was made famous in more recent years when artist Barclay Rubincam painted “Hessians Marching Past the Barns-Brinton House At the Battle of Brandywine” in 1976. This masterpiece now hangs inside the Chadds Ford Historical Society and will be a centerpiece of the celebration.

The society will have an exhibit dedicated to the Barns-Brinton House, where visitors can learn more about its heritage. There will be a lecture panel at the Brandywine River Museum on Sept. 27 which highlights local artists who have portrayed the Barns-Brinton House in their work. Throughout the fall, a series of Colonial dinners with authentic foods are planned at the house. All these events are open to the public.

For more information, contact the Historical Society at 610-388-7376 or visit

Gene Pisasale is an author based in Kennett Square. His books are available on For more information, visit or e-mail

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