Old Kennett Meetinghouse

Celebrating 300 years of religious freedom

Summer Worship Time Now 9AM

 Updated 7/3/15

 

It's official - 9am Meeting For Worship

  Old Kennett Meetinghouse now opens at 9am for Meeting for Worship on the last Sundays in June, July and August. Kennett Monthly Meeting's Worship and Ministry Committee recommended at the monthly Meeting for Worship for Business to have an earlier worship time to enjoy the quietness of the morning.

 

  It is not known how many years Old Kennett has had 11am worship, but it has been over 100 years as far as we know. The 75 year-old sign in front of Old Kennett was knocked down by a snow plow and is now being repaired and repainted to reflect the new worship time. 

 

 

 For more info email questions to old.kennett1710@gmail.com











Summer Schedule

Updated 5/13/15

2015 Old Kennett Schedule 

Sunday June 28/July 26/August 30

9am: Meeting for Worship followed by light refreshments

11am: Free tour Meetinghouse and Cemetery

 

For more info email questions to old.kennett1710@gmail.com

Old Kennett Meeting - Est 1710


 Photograph by Barry Armer

Old Kennett is Township's only Non-Profit Colonial-era Historical Site

2010 marked Old Kennett Friends Meeting's tricentennial (that's 300 years of religious freedom). Over the past few years monthly inspections have been performed on the Meetinghouse. The cedar roof leaked and was replaced. The new 50-year cedar shake roof was installed in 2010 and cost $22,000. Thank you to everyone who donated money to the roof replacement project

Focus now turns to the historic restoration of the buildings exterior.

 

PHASE 2 – Historically Restore the meetinghouse

Work not started, Cost estimate $30,000-$35,000

 

Scope of Work for Phase 2: 

Shutters and Hardware – All shutters contain moisture due to exposure to the elements. Shutters need to be removed, inventoried and taken to a heated drying room to prevent painting wet wood, when warm weather approaches, the Sun and heat will draw out the moisture trapped in the wood causing the new finish products to bubble, peel and fail. COMPLETED April 15, 2014

Restoration of Shutters – Paint is removed with stripper, where joints are too open for sealers to fill, holes are drilled and counter sunk to draw openings together with screws and wood plugs installed to hide screw heads. Entire shutter is primed with XIM Primer Sealer which has 800 pounds of adhesion, will expand and contract 1400%, forming a 100% moisture barrier, is mold and moisture resistant and which provides a vehicle for adhesion of color finish products. Wood repairs are made where necessary with premium quality wood filler developed to retain it when expansion and contraction occurs during climate changes. All other minor gaps are filled with an oil based geo cell urethane 50-year caulk and adhesive. COMPLETED April 15, 2014 

Shutter Hardware Restoration – Metal surfaces will be cleaned of all loose paint and rust. A special formula is used to turn the rust into carbon, stopping the spread of corrosion. Fasteners are tested to be secure in wood any loose fasteners will be extracted and screw holes restored to install and tighten screws. All metal is primed with zinc base primer and industrial metal lacquer black finish applied to all hinges, pinnacles located on window openings and stays, tie backs, pull rings, slide bolts and receivers.

Copper Caps – Copper caps will be installed to eliminate the issue of shutters, which are continuously exposed to falling moisture, deteriorating. Although the styles and panels are drawn together and sealed, the finish on the tops of the shutters is the first to fail as the water eventually penetrates the bare wood.

Door Restoration – 5 doors are restored, removal is necessary to properly address repairs on lower portion of front doors The outer bottom of the doors are  distressed from water damage due to bottom bare wood exposure to moisture. Repair wood, prime and seal door bottoms where these conditions exist. The hardware will receive the same procedures as noted under shutters. Hinges are buffed; pins cleaned and lubed for smooth bind-free operations, screw mounting holes are reconditioned to assure screws are tight and secure. Bottoms are sealed from moisture.

Window sashes and glass restorations – The wood mullions are in poor condition, the glazing in the majority of the window glass openings is loose or missing, the windowpanes are hand blown glass and they are especially brittle. Breakage will occur during the restorations and re-glazing of the sashes. Several window panes are currently cracked and will be replaced also. Same preparation and application procedure applies to the windows and wood as noted above. All glass is cleaned of old loose paint and dirt, interior and exterior. Unstable glazing is removed, voids and entire sash is primed, new glazing is applied. All surfaces primed and then tow coats of finish applied. It should be noted that the window pane with bullet holes in the attic window shall not be replaced as to keep up the legend (whether it be true or false) that those holes were made by revolutionary war weaponry.

Restoration of Painted Wood Substrates – Loose paint to be removed, sanded, surfaces primed, all openings filled with oil based caulk and finish applied. Wood epoxy and cedar used to fill damaged wood, to include all exterior wood trim.

Gutters – Will be removed where necessary to gain access and properly address replacement of damaged wood or other issues (hidden at this time). The gutter will be reinstalled at the proper pitch.

Masonry Walls – Several areas of the building show signs of efflorescence, this is where the paint is peeling off and chalking, flaking and failure of mortar is evident. This condition will continue to spread if not stopped. Areas will be scraped and a chemical applied to kill contamination; proper masonry sealers will be applied, voids patched and repainting done with a masonry sealer coating. Conditions exist where wood window and door openings meet with unstable wall openings and spot repairs will be done applying permanent oil sealer caulk in the openings. 

 

 

Send Donations to: 

 

Kennett Friends Meeting

PO Box 122

Kennett Square PA 19348

 

Or Contact the Clerk of Old Kennett Committee

Lars Farmer

Email: old-kennett1710@gmail.com

 

Old Kennett in the National Archive

October 10, 2011 

PHOTOS IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE

Click here to see Old Kennett in the National Archive



  • Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
  • Notes:
    • Significance: Old Kennett is one of the oldest extant Friends meeting houses in the Delaware Valley, erected sometime between 1718 and 1731. Its single-cell, central-entry exterior form was typical of the meeting house plans of the early settlement period. At some later date, however, the window and doorway openings and roof structure were altered, and the interior of the meeting house was re-configured in order to support the equally sized apartments for men's and women's business that was indicative of the "doubled" or two-cell form that became the standard for meeting house design in the Delaware Valley by the late eighteenth century. Among the evidence for the relocation of the partition is its somewhat awkward mounting on the post that separates its two doors of the front entry. This and other modifications were made in the effort to adapt an earlier building to the changing American Friends Program. Despite some reconfiguration of the meeting house, it is of exceptional overall integrity and includes many noteworthy eighteenth-century features of Quaker meeting house architecture including pegged floors, paneled partitions, facing benches, and simple turned posts and carved newels. The structure has been largely unused for the past century and remains in rustic condition, without central heating, plumbing or electricity.

Click here to see Old Kennett in the National Archive

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/pa3607/


Old Kennett's Historic Wall

April 29, 2012

 

In 1777 invading British forces had come ashore in the Chesapeake at Elk Head Maryland and marched towards Philadelphia. George Washington decided to stop the British in the high ground in Chadds Ford. On September 10th, 15,000 troops camped in Kennett Square overnight. In the early morning hours of September 11th, 1777 there was a heavy fog around Kennett Square, as the invading forces started the march north, up Old Baltimore Pike (then known as the Great Nottingham Road).

At the same time, our Revolutionary forces, led by General Maxwell, were gathering outside the Old Kennett Meetinghouse. There  were very few trees around the meetinghouse or on the surrounding farmland and our brave freedom fighters knew they had a clear shot at the British troops as they came over the crest of the hill in old Hamorton. As the Brittish approached they were relentlessly fired upon from behind the wall surrounding Old Kennett, starting the Brandywine Battle. Although the Americans were outflanked and the Brittish eventually took Philadelphia, one Brittish soldier wrote in his journal,"The Queen's Rangers and Ferguson's riflemen fell in very early with large Bodies of the Enemy who form' d upon ev'ry advantageous Post & behind Fences fired on the Troops as they advanc'd - This galling fire was sustain'd the whole way by the Queen's Rangers…” 

Originally, the old stone wall surrounded the entire property. Today there is only about 70 linear feet of the wall left. Originally it was a ‘dry set’ wall, with no mortar. Eventually it was filled with smaller rocks and debris, including horse hair, as filler. Over 300 years it has seen many repairs and attempts to keep it intact. It's now been repaired again and should be ready for the next revolution.

 

Learn more about the Battle of the Brandywine:

www.ushistory.org/brandywine/thestory.htm

 

Learn more about local quakers:

www.kennettfriends.org 

 

The Historic Wall is Repaired...(UPDATED)

Updated 6/19//12  

Work is finished fixing the old wall. The part the was falling down has been rebuilt and the top has been replaced in many areas. Great work by Chris Ruane, Ruane Contracting and thanks to our many donors who helped pay for the work. 

 

 

Joan Nicholson still a staple at Old Kennett Meeinghouse

Joan Nicholson, shown here protesting war, is a regualrar in front of the Old Kennett Meetinghouse. She's traveled extinsively on her mission to object to war. Her latestmission is to protest against drone missles. She's chaning her signs, seen here, to speak to the attrocity of drone warfare. If you pass by the meeinghouse, stop and talk, or at least honk your horn and wave to support her.

New Roof Completed December 31, 2010

The new 50 year historically correct cedar shake roof was installed in December 2010. The cost was 22,000 and was paid in full through donations and other funding. 

 

Old Roof

 

New roof

 

Tours Available

Email here to request a free tour of Old Kennett. Tours are offered by request and take about 30-40 minutes. Donations are appreciated to keep up with the restoration project. 

Email your tour request here: old.kennett1710@gmail.com.The best times are in the afternoon's around 4pm weekdays or Sunday afternoon. 

Use of Metal Detectors.

Use of metal detectors is not allowed in the burial ground area, please respect our ancient burial ground.

Metal detectors may be used on the property around the Meetinghouse. Please be sure to refill any holes that are dug and replace grass when digging for artifacts. Let us know what you find. 

A Tribute to "Old Kennett"

Written in 1910 on the occasion of Old Kennett Meeting's Bicentenial


Two hundred years ago, they say,

These walls composed of stone and clay,

Were built by men whose faith and zeal

Greatly aided our common weal.


We who are gathered here today

To honor those who have passed away,

Have but faint idea of the patient care

And trials these men were compelled to bear.


Their work was good—they built to endure,

Each stone was laid to be secure,

How well they toiled we can see today.

For nothing has crumbled or gone to decay.


The seats and benches were quite plain;

Few people at that time were vain;

No cushioned pew was given thought—

The grace of God was only sought.


The meetings were earnest, though members few;

The members were scarce, for our land was new.

Around these historic grounds where the pine trees nod,

Sincere was the praise they gave to God.


Let us all resolve to take greater part

In helping those of heavy heart;

To assist each other and worship the Lord,

And there can be no doubt of our heavenly reward


by S. Hammer Benson.1910