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George Washington slept here – or was it over there? p2

12/16/2014 | Real Estate Blog

Before developer Edgar Scott III’s proposal went before the Radnor Board of Commissioners for approval, a group of residents moved to block the project for an unusual and perhaps unexpected reason. The Ardrossan Farm property apparently has historical significance. The residents want plans to pause while archaeologists assess just how significant the site is.

The first claim is that George Washington slept there — at least his army did from 1776 to 1777. According to one resident whose property is adjacent to Ardrossan, people in the area often find small artifacts, like buttons from the colonial period, in their backyards. There are more bits of history out there; those things tell an important story and must be preserved, the argument goes.

The area’s history also includes the Lenni-Lenape Indians. Visitors to the property have found artifacts like a stone knife, hinting at a treasure trove of other hidden objects that would enhance our understanding of the Lenni-Lenape culture. Construction on the site would forever destroy any chance to learn more.

The preservationists also contend that the property may be “pre-qualified” for the National Register of Historic Places. According to the National Register’s website, though, designation as a historic place has no bearing on what a private property owner does with his property. There are only restrictions when federal money is involved.

The developers don’t seem too bothered by the attempt to authorize an archaeological dig. In response to this round of objections, Scott’s representative said that their camp has consulted with a historian and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Those experts say that Washington’s camp was east of Ardrossan Farms.

On someone else’s private property.

Source: MainLine Media News, “Radnor residents want archaeological dig at Ardrossan,” Linda Stein, Sept. 17, 2014