Northbrook Union Chapel


 The village of Northbrook was once the home to a Sunday School, which served the youth of the rural community. The religious education of children was a concern that was addressed on July 31st, 1898 in the home of Dr. Edward Marshall when 16 interested local residents discussed the formation of a Union Sabbath Sunday School. Throughout the balance of the year there was an enrollment of 78 scholars and on Christmas day 1898 there were 56 in attendance at the service. The early years of the school, services were held in the tenant house of Dr. Marshall, which became referred to as Cottage Chapel. There was no heat or light so the school typically was run from spring until when the weather prevented travel and comfortable conditions in the old dwelling.

In the meantime there was an effort made to get subscribers to fund the erection of a new chapel near the Northbrook Station.  A building committee was formed and through the spring of 1900 has secured estimates on their specifications. The bids of four contractors had been received and the contract was awarded to Richards and Owens of Toughkenamon for the price of $935.

A suitable piece of ground had been purchased by Lewis Larkin and presented to the committee. The cellar excavation was begun and an arrangement was made for all of the children to be present for a ground breaking ceremony in July of 1900. The men of the neighborhood were asked to come with their teams to aid in grading of the grounds. The ladies provided a wholesome dinner for those who worked.

The cornerstone was laid on September 25, 1900 with the appropriate ceremonies. Dr. Francis Harvey Green delivered the address after a tin box containing the names of the building committee, the name of the first superintendent, a copper penny bearing the date, 1900, and that days’ copy of the Daily Local news had been placed in the space left of the stone. The building finished as per contract.

The first superintendent for the school was Bird T. Baldwin. Several other administrators served in that role until 1954 when attendance had dwindled to a point it was apparent that a school was no longer needed. At the time, chapel membership was 19, and attendance was 8 to 14 weekly. Northbrook Union Sunday School closed April 11, 1954.

The building was purchased by Marshallton Grange #1394 on May 2, 1954.  

From 1908 to 1911 the Marshallton Grange met at the Mechanic's Hall belonging to the Order of Independent Americans. There were approximately 100 Charter Members, and the membership soon grew to nearly 200 members. During a thunderstorm following a June meeting in 1911, lightning struck the O of IA hall, burning it to the ground. The Grange then met in the nearby Marshallton School until the hall was rebuilt. The Grange continued to meet in the rebuilt hall for the next 42 years. In 1954, the Grange purchased the Northbrook Chapel in the nearby village of Northbrook. Within a few years, an addition was built on to the Chapel to accommodate members in their efforts to raise funds to benefit worthwhile charities, organizations, and State Grange approved pleas for financial help. On September 15, 1958, Worthy State Master J. Collins McSparran was present to dedicate the new addition and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Marshallton Grange. Marshallton Grange had many fund-raisers over the years, including peach festivals, ham suppers, roast beef suppers, chicken barbeques, pig roasts, luncheons and card parties. They also served private luncheons and suppers to various organizations in the Marshallton and West Chester areas. In the early 1960's the Grange was legally incorporated. Over the years the members have presented many entertaining programs at other Granges, exhibited farm products they raised and fruits and vegetables they canned, and also participated in a pageant at the Unionville Fair. Several Marshallton Grange members have proudly served their country in different branches of the Armed Forces. In addition, during the Second World War, some members served as penpals, writing v-mails to other members serving overseas. In September 1991, the members sold the hall in Northbrook and met in a room at the West Bradford Fire Company in the Village of Marshallton.

Since 1991 the former chapel and grange building has served as a private residence.