Archiver > 74TH_REGIMENT_OF_FOOT > 2004-11 > 1099888028

From: Historic Glasgow Park <>
Subject: Imminently Threatened by Development: The LaGrange (Barczewski)farm in Glasgow, DE
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2004 00:27:08 -0400

Imminently Threatened by Development: The LaGrange (Barczewski) farm in
Glasgow, DE

Christina School District and several private firms are aggressively
attempting to purchase and then immediately develop the entire Barczewski
farm (also known as the La Grange or Dr. Samuel Henry Black farm).
Christina S. D. wants to buy almost 30% of the property, including the
historic manor house and granary, so that a mega-school incorporating
elementary and middle school facilities can be built.

The Barczewski farm's 236 acres contain two documented Native American
Indian camps, earthen works from the British and Hessian occupation of
Aikentown (Glasgow), remnants of the Benjamin Latrobe feeder canal from
1804, and several structures on the National Register of Historic Places
(Dr. Samuel Henry Black). General Lafayette named the farm "La Grange"
while a visitor there in October 1824. The Federal US Censuses of 1810 and
1820 for DE/NCCo/Pencader Hundred, show that there were three FREE
African-Americans (unnamed - husband, wife, and daughter) who were part of
Dr. Samuel H. Black's household.

The farm is located near the northwest corner of Routes U.S. 40 and Del. 896
in Glasgow (New Castle County, Pencader Hundred), and is comprised of a
single tract of 236 acres. Approximately 100 acres are pastures, and
approximately 136 acres are wooded. The Muddy Run creek and some of its
tributaries run through and form the northern boundary of the property.

This property contains the historic home and farm of Glasgow's early
physician, University of DE trustee, and state politician, Dr. Samuel Henry
Black. The land, however, had been farmed for over 100 years before Dr.
Black acquired it. The property has a carefully restored historic home and
preserved granary, each dating to 1815, and more recent barns and
outbuildings dating to the property's days in the 1940s through 1960s as the
West End Dairy farm. Other family names associated over time with this farm
include Middleton, Frazier, Leasure, Congo, Cooch, and Veach.

Dr. Samuel H. Black built the property's granary. The building incorporates
consolidated storage and processing functions and wheeled vehicle access.
This building is the earliest documented example of a drive-through granary
of the type that was to become popular throughout the Northeastern U.S. in
the mid-19th century.

In July 1974, the large manor Federal period home and the granary were
incorporated into the National Park Service's National Register of Historic
Places (NRHP #74000601). Areas of NRHP significance of this property
include Health/Medicine, Architecture, Social History, and Agriculture.

In 1985, the La Grange granary was incorporated into the highly selective
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) / Historic American Engineering
Record (HAER) conducted by the US Department of the Interior and maintained
by the US Library of Congress (Survey # HABS DE-216).

There are two archeologist documented Native American encampment sites on
the La Grange farm (the Butterworth and the Barczewski sites). These sites
date from 10,000 BC to 6,500 BC. Many authentic Paleo-Indian and Early
Archaic periods' arrow points, axe heads, and other stone implements have
been found on the farm.

In the farm's woods there are authenticated, intact remains of British and
Hessian earthen trenches from the September 3, 1777, Revolutionary War
battle of Cooch's bridge. The trenches run parallel to the remnants of a
historic and ancient, but now abandoned road, of which the last remaining
vestiges exist on the LaGrange Farm. The earthworks are also parallel Rt.
40 West from Glasgow, DE, to Elkton, MD, and face Iron Hill.

There is also documented evidence on the farm of Benjamin Latrobe's venture
to build a feeder canal in 1804 (New Castle County Historical Marker NC-59).
The feeder canal remnants are intact. The canal was to be built from the
Elk Creek to the Christiana River, with the ultimate goal of the canal
connecting the Delaware and Chesapeake waterways. The project failed,
however, because the state of Delaware ran out of money before the canal was
completed. The remnants of the feeder canal run from Rt. 40 West through
the La Grange farm.

In 1996, Anne Barczewski was honored with a prestigious historic
preservation award from the New Castle County Historic Preservation Review
Board. The Board placed a protective Historic Zoning overlay upon the
entire 236 acres of the La Grange farm.

On June 27, 1997, Anne Barczewski told preservation advocates, "If it was my
last word, my last breath, I'd say 'no' to a developer."

If you would like to help protect this property from development and
permanently preserve its historic, cultural, and natural resources for
future generations, please contact The Friends of Historic Glasgow, ATTN:
Nancy V. Willing, 5 Francis Circle, Newark, DE 19711. Telephone: (302)
366-1855. E-mail:

A petition focused on saving the Glasgow Historic Area, including the
Barczewski farm, is located at

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