Friends Meeting was established in 1690, shortly after William Penn
founded Pennsylvania. Friends worshipped in the cabin of William
Brinton until the first meetinghouse, a log structure, was completed
in 1722. A school, also made of logs, was built in 1756. A cemetery
was established and a stone wall, which still stands today, was constructed
around it. In 1763, the meetinghouse was replaced by the stone structure
we use today.
On September 11, 1777, the Battle of the Brandywine
raged around the Meetinghouse. In the days before the battle, Continental
soldiers used the meetinghouse as a hospital for treatment of the
sick. During the battle, Continental soldiers used the cemetery wall
as breastworks against the flanking action of the British under General
Howe. After overwhelming the Continental army, the British took over
the meetinghouse and used it as a hospital. Dead soldiers from both
sides are buried in a common grave within the Meeting cemetery.
Since those early days, the meetinghouse has been
expanded to accommodate a growing membership. The meetinghouse was
enlarged in 1818. Similar stone was used and the addition included
two windows, two doors and a porch. The log school house was replaced
by the existing octagonal building in 1819. This was used as a school,
on and off, until 1905. A modern kitchen and education wing were
added to the meetinghouse in 1968.
pdf of “Birmingham History” poster
Download a pdf of “Historic Sites”