Chronology of Upland, PA from 1681 through 1939 and

A Chronology of the Chester Mills from 1681 through 1858. . .

Land in the area of today’s Upland was entirely taken up in the 1600’s by Swedes, and laid out in “plantations”. Swedes and Finns had settled on the west bank of the Delaware River as early as 1650.

The Swedes called this area “Upland”. Peter Stuyvesant, Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam (now New York), forced the Swedes to capitulate and named the area “Oplandt”.

September, 1664 – English Colonel Nichols captured New Amsterdam, it became “his majesty’s town of New York”. The Swedes decided it was “Upland” again.

Local Indians were of the Lenni Lenape tribe – The Turtle Clan.

An old Indian trail ran from Darby along the general route of the present MacDade Blvd. into the Chester area, where it followed today’s 24th Street to the present Upland Avenue. Here it turned down the hill passing the current Kerlin Street, and on to the area that is now Front Street where it turned right, following close to Chester Creek across the land which later would become Caleb Pusey’s plantation, and then made a crossing to the higher land on the opposite side of the creek.

Dr. Paul Wallace, the Indian expert, sites this Indian trail; “The Indians could here cross over on stones and keep their moccasins dry”. The Indian name for the Chester Creek was “Meechaoppenachklan”, which meant. . . . Large potato stream, or the stream along which large potatoes grow.

From 1681 .

William Penn, being a man who learned from the experiences of others, was intent on providing a vital infrastructure for the settler/land owners in the new colony. Penn and nine partners organized a stock company to build one or more water mills to be erected in the province. Caleb Pusey received one share and was selected as the manager of the enterprise; the “Keeper of the Mill”.

Early deeds, which recited the setting up of the partnership (stock company) by twelve Friends in London, the whole divided into 32 shares, remained with the various owners of the Caleb Pusey House and Chester Mills until the time of the Crozers (circa 1845). (These deeds were copied and are on file in the Chester County Courthouse in West Chester, PA.)

Caleb Pusey purchased 250 acres of land as one of William Penn’s 450 First Purchasers. 100 acres of this original purchase were laid out along the Chester Creek in present-day Upland.

1681 In London – Caleb Pusey signed himself as a Last Maker when he married the widow Ann Stone Worley at the London Friends meeting. A “last-maker” made and carved the wooden forms around which shoes were assembled.

1682 – Caleb Pusey, before leaving London, was entrusted with the responsibility of being the manager and agent of the grist and saw mills [the first proprietary mills in the new Pennsylvania].

It is believed that Caleb Pusey may have come out ahead of the ship “Welcome” in order to select the site for the new mills and to arrange for their building. There is some confusion here as recent developments of “The Welcome Society” have accepted Caleb Pusey as a passenger aboard Welcome.

The ship “Welcome” was a wooden vessel; square rigged, 300 tons, about 150 feet long, high in the bow and higher still in the stern. Robert Greenway was the Master. There were 102 passengers aboard, and not all of Penn’s company could come as the passenger list was full. Others were compelled to wait for later boats, which numbered about 21 vessels in all over the next few years.

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