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Isaac Manchester House, “Plantation Plenty”

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1799–1815. 52 Manchester Ln. at PA 231, 3 miles west of West Middletown
  • Isaac Manchester House, "Plantation Plenty"
  • Isaac Manchester House, "Plantation Plenty"

One of the best preserved and most architecturally significant farms in the region nestles into a well-watered scoop of land with space for cultivation and grazing. Isaac Manchester, a carpenter from Newport, Rhode Island, traveling along the Wellsburg Pike (PA 844), spotted the site already called “Plantation Plenty” and purchased it in 1797. The Manchester descendants have farmed it ever since. The house was built by 1815, with the joinery completed by Philadelphian John McGowen. The two-and-one-half-story red brick house has Flemish bond brickwork on all elevations, dressed stonework at the foundation, massive brick chimneys at each gable end, and a captain's walk on the rooftop. The interior has a central-hall plan, with a basement kitchen at the downhill corner and a large single room under the eaves. The farm is sited in its valley not for the aesthetics, but to keep it out of the wind and close to springwater. The Pennsylvania-type timber-frame barn dates from 1803, with some alterations over the years. Outbuildings contained within stone boundary walls house many early farm implements, including carpentry tools used in the construction of the house and barn. Despite its sturdy utilitarian functioning, the house is a sophisticated eastern seaboard transplant far from the shores of Narragansett Bay. Acknowledging his accomplishment, Manchester's initials and the date the house was completed are carved in the stone parapet at the roofline.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Isaac Manchester House, “Plantation Plenty”", [Avella, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-WS15.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 285-285.

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