Caln Historical Commission works to preserve, improve Spackman Farm

Spackman Farm

For the Caln Township Historical Commission, not all was lost in 2020-2021. While the world struggled with Covid, this small but dedicated group of historic preservationists got busy working to save one of their township’s Crown Jewels – the barn at Spackman Farm.

Spackman Farm may not be a household name to many in Chester County, but anyone who’s travelled Bondsville Road between Edges Mill in Caln and Bondsville Mill in East Brandywine is familiar with the pastoral beauty of its rolling hills and marvelous historic structures. To look out across its 91 acres of tranquility is like travelling back in time to a world untouched by modern growth and expansion. And the Caln Historical Commission is determined to keep it that way.

Caln Township purchased the property in 2002 and in recent years have allowed a local farmer to work the land. But over time its 18th Century farmhouse, barn, and springhouse have fallen into disrepair. By 2020, the barn roof was in such a state that it appeared the building might not survive. That’s when the CTHC turned their attention to this forgotten masterpiece and lobbied the Board of Commissioners to invest in a new roof. Their efforts did not fall on deaf ears, and after a year of Covid related construction delays, the installation of the roof was completed in Fall 2021.

They’ve now turned their focus toward blowing the dust off the “The King’s Highway Park Master Plan” – a potential project first vetted by the Township in 2007. The plan’s vision of transforming Spackman Farm into a beautiful open space for the public to find peace, calm, and serenity is now being amplified to possibly include converting the barn into an event space that would generate funds to support the restoration of the farmhouse and springhouse.

And it keeps getting better. Just weeks ago, the Board of Commissioners allocated funds from the 2022 Paving Program to rehab the Spackman Farm driveway and parking area with grass pavers. Thanks to their generosity, a section of the Spackman grounds will soon be open to the public for the very first time.

Spackman Farm dates back to 1785. It remained in the Spackman family for a single lineage record of 220 years, and its history includes ties to the Underground Railroad. Thanks to the preservation efforts of the Caln Township Historical Commission and the Caln Township Board of Commissioners, Spackman Farm has much more history just waiting to be written.    

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