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Rose Valley

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c. 1780–1930, William L. Price, Price and McLanahan, William Grey Purcell, Howell Lewis Shay, and others. Rose Valley and Possum Hollow Rds., 2 miles south of Media

Among Frank Furness's many apprentices was William L. Price, whose early houses in Wayne ( DE46) show the influence of his teacher's functional representationalism. In the 1890s, Price joined the national trend toward historical revivals in a series of spectacular mansions including Alan Wood's sumptuous “Woodmont” ( MO14). With the founding of his Arts and Crafts community at Rose Valley in 1901, Price would have shared the train to and from Philadelphia with his old master, which perhaps accounts for reemploying some of Furness's modern principles in Rose Valley's architecture.

Rose Valley had its beginnings as a summer escape where William White, founding bishop of the American Episcopal Church, had a modest central-hall, one-room-deepplan stone house off the present Old Mill Lane. According to local history, it was White who named the valley for its wild roses. His house's red tile roof reflects its renovation during the village's Arts and Crafts period. Waterpower from the Ridley Creek and from small tributaries gave the valley a place in the region's industrial history, leading to the construction of a snuff mill and one of the nation's largest woolen mills, with rows of workers’ housing nearby. The shift to steam-and then electric-powered motors ended the industrial use of waterpower and, by the early twentieth century, the mills were abandoned, making it possible for Price to purchase the site and to found the community. Here he would challenge the scientific management processes of Frederick Winslow Taylor then being pioneered in Philadelphia factories.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Rose Valley", [Rose Valley, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 224-225.

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