Delco helped spark America’s Industrial Revolution

September 2019

The Western Delco Historical Societies produce a fun and informative bus tour every fall that brings history lovers and historians together, traveling to local sites where history is not just about location – but also conversation.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, our nation’s pioneer spirit took the country down 2 paths: one led people west, and one path ignited the development and use of power-driven machinery to produce food products, textiles, and ammunition. Delco was home to thriving mills in each of those industries and many more.

This year’s Bus tour begins at the Concord Municipal Township Building at 43 S. Thornton Rd. From the parking lot, you will visit the Celeb Pusey House (pictured at the top of the story), Heron Art Studios and the Wilcox Mill remains (pictured here) and the historic Newlin Grist Mill.

An interesting mill story…
Heron Art Studios is an example of a repurposed mill. Originally called the West Branch Mills, it was built by Aaron Mattson in 1795 as a stone cotton mill. John Crozer bought it in 1824 and turned it into a cotton factory until the 1843 flood carried much of it away. John B. Rhodes bought it in 1882, and it became Victoria Plush Mills from 1903-1936. Now it is part of the Rockdale Industrial Center with the Heron Studios on one end and Heron Crest on the other end. It is named after the Herons that live nearby and fly over the studio and creek.

On the bus tour you will also visit other mill sites where historians will regale you with stories of their contribution to the growth of our nation. Tickets are $10 per person, and reservations are required. Bring snack or bagged lunch. Bus departs at 9:45 am and returns at 3pm. Checks should be made out to Chichester Historical Society c/o K. Micha, 151 Nottingham Ct., Aston, PA 19014.

On Sunday, the 29th pack the family in the car and can take a six-site self-guided tour of places that have created extensive exhibits on Delco mills. Many include maps, photos, and more. Pick and choose which sites to visit, or see them all and be entered into a drawing for a $100 Gift Basket!

On Sunday, visit these sites between 1 and 4pm:

  • The Delaware County Historical Society
  • Aston Historical Society
  • Middle Historian Society
  • Historic Newlin Grist Mill (Pictured here)
  • Bethel Township Building
  • Concord Township Historical Society

NOTE: Pick up the 2019 Delco Mills Event Brochure at most of the above locations and at our VisitDelco, PA Welcome Center at Rose Tree Park. It lists Delaware County Mill events and exhibits taking place throughout the fall.