Historical Site in Chadds Ford Offers Glimpse into Popular School Design in 1800s

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Archie's Corner
Image via Atlas Obscura.

Archie’s Corner in Chadds Ford is a hidden wonder that offers a glimpse into the past and provides a connection to Andrew Wyeth, one of America’s greatest artists of the 20th century, writes Atlas Obscura. 

The ruins at the site were originally Bullock Octagonal School, constructed in 1838. The eight-sided design was popular in the 1830s as it placed teachers at the room’s center, offering them oversight of the entire class. 

When a new schoolhouse was built on the neighboring property in 1875, Bullock Octagonal School was sold. In 1891, the property was acquired by Lydia A. Archie, a Black preacher who built a church on the site. 

The church was a meeting place for “Mother” Archie’s African Union Methodist Protestant (A.U.M.P.) congregation until she died in 1932. There is still a cemetery next to the ruins of the building, but only some of the markers remain visible. 

The name Archie’s Corner is derived from a painting made in 1953 by Wyeth. The Chadds Ford native frequently visited the ruins to draw. 

A historic marker was erected at the site by Chadds Ford Township, which now owns the land.

Read more about Archie’s Corner from Atlas Obscura

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