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Winterthur Estate Stone Walls

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Late 19th century. Brandywine Creek State Park

For many years following the arrival of the utopian-minded Pierre Samuel du Pont to America, the du Pont family held land in a kind of communistic arrangement. But “Boss Henry” du Pont broke with tradition, seizing for himself huge tracts out of the common holdings, to the dismay of some of his kin. As if forever to mark the landscape as his own, he (and later his son, Colonel Henry A. du Pont) had Italian masons build extensive stone fences around their far-flung estate, using rock from Brandywine Granite Quarry (BR24), which the family partly controlled. The walls at today's Brandywine Creek State Park are good examples—solidly built and with capstones so level on the top that one can easily walk on them. The park property was bought by landscape architect Robert Wheelwright in 1951 and auctioned after his death, at which time developers proposed a housing tract for the 433 acres. Concerned citizens pushed the reluctant State Park Commission to buy the property instead, and today it is cherished open space.

Writing Credits

Author: 
W. Barksdale Maynard
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Citation

W. Barksdale Maynard, "Winterthur Estate Stone Walls", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DE-01-CH11.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 64-64.

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