On August 14, 1682, two months prior to William Penn’s landing, John Sharpless came to our area. Penn had given Sharpless a thousand-acre tract. Sharpless chose to settle on a section of that tract near Ridley Creek in Nether Providence. Finding a large rock adjacent to the creek, he built a log cabin around it, using it as the back wall of the fireplace. The cabin is gone, but the rock with carved initials J. S. and the date of 1682 can still be seen in its original location. Sharpless’ house, which he named Wolley Stille, was completed in 1700. It is the oldest occupied house in the township. There were fourteen major mill complexes in Nether Providence — six on Crum Creek and eight on Ridley Creek. The first, a cotton mill along Crum Creek, was started by Thomas Allen in 1763. Mr. Allen came from Wallingford, England and named his mill for his hometown. Because of the mill’s prominence, the locals began to call the entire area Wallingford. Wolley Stille, the Joseph Sharpless House, is a rare gem that initially was built as a settler’s cottage dating to 1685 with three additions (1701, 1751, 1914.) As the oldest occupied house in Nether Providence, it is an exquisite example of pre-Revolutionary vernacular architecture with Swedish and English influences. Once part of a thousand-acre William Penn land grant, it offers a rich history and is on the National Register of Historic Places. But don’t let its age make you think it requires vintage or traditional furniture; someone with an eye for modern could also make this home the ideal mix of richly textured historic and clean-lined modern with stunning results. And no matter your aesthetic, the history that comes with this property is fascinating. With its placement just over the Mason-Dixon Line, its abolitionist owners provided safe harbor to escaping slaves on their way north via the Underground Railroad and tunnel leading to nearby Ridley Creek. The house itself has nooks and crannies that make early homes so interesting and unique. Its inviting interior showcases phenomenal early hardware, cabinetry, fireplaces, extra-wide plank wood floors, exposed-beam ceilings and early glass in its windows. The 1685 part of the house features a corner fireplace and still has hooks on the wall that originally were used for weaving. By 1701, the house expands to include a “great room” with a kitchen with a large fireplace and a sitting area with a smaller fireplace. By 1751, a room with an even larger, walk-in fireplace is added, surely a sign of the owner’s growing wealth. The final addition in 1914 is where the current kitchen is. Updated more recently, it is filled with natural light and has a casual dining area, an island with a gas range and bar seating, stainless appliances and a tile backsplash. Private quarters include five bedrooms and 4.1 baths, all unique. Its 1.47-acre setting is mostly level ground and has a raised-bed garden ready for your herbs, flowers and vegetables. Wolley Stille also offers a detached four-car garage with storage above. The location is midway between Philadelphia and Wilmington and is also convenient to local towns with much to offer, including Media and West Chester, and Swarthmore College and the Philadelphia International Airport.
Listing courtesy of Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty.