Beginnings of Pocopson Township (1870-1900)

Marshall's Mill

Marshall's grain and sawmill was shown on Northbrook Road at the West Branch of the Brandywine, still within the Pocopson boundaries.  However, in 1889, Marshall’s Mill was burned.  It was described as a stone structure built in 1796, three stories high and measuring 50 by 80 feet.


Power House at Lenape

The West Chester Street Railway organized in 1890 and began operation in that borough by September of 1891.  Almost simultaneously, a route to Lenape was being graded and by November of 1891 the first trip to Lenape was accomplished.  The trip was 4.2 miles and took about 25 minutes first along Sconnelltown Road, open countryside, and what is now the area of soccer fields in East Bradford Township.  It ran at a speed of 7 mph and cost 5 cents.

Diary of Caleb Wickersham

We have an intriguing insight into life in early Pocopson because of diaries maintained by some young Pocopson residents shortly after the township was formed. There was a good deal of writing around the time of the Civil War.  The following is a summary of a diary of Township resident Caleb Wickersham.


Pocopson Township Schools and Education History, 1850 through 1923

The Locust Grove School documented history from December 1855 through 1923 overlaps two major periods in Pennsylvania education history: The Rise of the Common School System, 1818-1867[1] and The Long Progressive Era, 1867-1930. [2] School construction, reform, and oversight characterized the 1840s and 1850s; this period benefited from standardization in general, including teacher traini

1870 Construction Clues

The construction history of the Locust Grove Schoolhouse is still a mystery. Although there is documentary evidence that the Schoolhouse existed before 1870, it is not verified when it was originally constructed or what the building looked like prior to 1870. The Pocopson School Board minutes use a variety of descriptions to record the 1870 building period: building, rebuilding, construction, and renovation. Architectural clues from the roof and cellar shed light on the 1870 “renovation.”

Roof Construction Clues (Text)

Locust Grove Schoolhouse Architecture

The Locust Grove Schoolhouse is a typical example of a rural southeastern nineteenth-century Pennsylvania schoolhouse. A date stone above the Locust Grove Schoolhouse portico reads 1870; this date refers to the rebuilding of a preexisting schoolhouse, which expanded the original foundation and extended the front façade, adding two cloakrooms, a belfry, and portico entry to the prior design.

Pocopson School Board Members & Teachers

The Pocopson Township School Board managed three one-room schoolhouses from the time of the Township formation, 1850, until 1923 when the schoolhouses were closed, and residents transferred to the newly established Unionville Vocational Joint Consolidated School. The school board continued to serve the residents after the closure of the local schools. One resident of Pocopson, Robert W. Caldwell served three terms on the Pocopson School Board. He lived very near the Locust Grove Schoolhouse and sent his eight children to the School. 

Evaline Midcalf

Some students lived in another family’s household and held a job while attending school.

Evaline Midcalf

Born: ca. 1857
Race: White
Student in 1870

Abraham James Brice and William Henry Brice

Some students were from large and growing families.

Abraham (Abram) James Brice
Born: ca. 1860

William Henry Brice
Born: ca. 1861
Race: African American
Students in 1871