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Old Chester, PA: Eddystone
Baldwin Locomotive Works (Baldwin, Lima, Hamilton)
Eddystone was named for the Eddystone lighthouse in the English Channel.
The community was founded in December 1888.
In December 1999 the borough opened a new community center which also houses a collection of old photos and documents that trace the history of the community.
The following historical sketch of Eddystone is taken from an early (pre-1900) Chester City Directory:
Where the village of Eddystone and the print works now stands was a few years ago a corn field. In 1874 the well-known firm of Wm. Simpson & Sons, manufacturers of calico, removed from the Falls of the Schuylkill, Philadelphia, where Wm. Simpson located in 1844, to what is now Eddystone, built large works and began tile printing of calicoes. In 1877, the Eddystone Manufacturing Company (Limited) was formed, and addition after addition made to their works, until now they are second to none in the country.
The Messrs. Simpson purchased a large tract of land on Ridley creek, in the township of Ridley, laid a portion of it out in streets and public parks, and built neat, comfortable brick houses for the use of the employees. There are fifteen buildings devoted to the manufacture of their celebrated calicoes, covering over five acres of ground. The machinery requires 54 engines, 37 boilers, which consume 25,000 tons of coal per annum, to drive it. There are about 800 hands employed, most of them being mechanics. The place turns out 30,000 pieces, of 48 yards each, every week. This vast industry has added greatly to the population of Ridley township, increased the value of property, and pays into the county treasury a large portion of the taxes of the township. The firm, always noted for its liberality, erected on a beautiful square a handsome brick building, gothic style, known as Lighthouse Hall, containing a library of several hundred standard books, a smoking room and a room with a capacity of seating 300 persons for public meetings. This building is kept in repair, heated and lighted at the expense of the firm, and the employees have free use of it at all times. Eddystone has an admirable water system, well kept streets, and its comfortable homes make it one of the pleasantest places hereabouts. Following will be found a list of names of the employees occupying houses of the Eddystone Manufacturing Company at Eddystone, and the names of a few others who live elsewhere. The post office address is Chester.
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© 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 10/18/05