Detailed Timeline

1681.  William Penn land grant to Vernon brothers, including Rose Valley and what is now Nether Providence Township.  Robert Vernon owned the land that included Old Mill Lane.

1789.  Nicholas Stimmel builds a snuff mill along Ridley Creek, now known as “the Old Mill.”

1850.  A. J. Downing publishes the first American book about architecture entitled, The Architecture of Country Houses, Designs for Cottages, Farm Houses, and Villas.  See Resources.

1859.  Washington Irving (1783-1859), America’s first successful author, dies in his home, Sunnyside, along the Hudson River in upstate New York.  Due to his extensive writing about his beloved cottage, it was the third best known private home in America—behind only Mt. Vernon and Monticello.

1861.  Quaker Antrim Osborne buys the abandoned Old Mill and converts it for the manufacture of woolens.

1862.  Osborne builds a stone farm house on the hillside above his mill.  The floor plan is taken from Design VIII of A. J. Downing’s book, The Architecture of Country Houses, which is termed “A suburban Cottage in the Italian style.”   He names his house “Sunnyside” after Washington Irving’s home in New York.

1879.  Osborne also buys nearby Hutton’s mill, built in 1840 (and now Hedgerow Theatre), to make shipping crates for his woolens.

1890.  Osborne dies at home and the mills are again abandoned.  William Morris publishes his utopian novel about a socialistic village in England, News from Nowhere.  See Resources.

1890s.  Quaker architect William L. Price travels to England, visits with William Morris, and returns home talking about “strange red roofs of crockery”.  He is also committed to founding an experimental community along the lines of William Morris’ writings.

1898.  Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930) establishes the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, PA.  William Price and his Rose Valley Association were among Mercer’s early substantial customers.  The present tile works, which remain operational, were built in 1911-1912.

February 17, 1899.  Schoen Pressed Steel Company combines with Fox Solid Pressed Steel Company to form the Pressed Steel Car Company in Pittsburgh, with Charles T. Schoen (1844-1917) as president and Diamond Jim Brady as lead salesman.  Andrew Carnegie is said to be one of its largest shareholders.

January 25, 1901.  Schoen is forced out as President of Pressed Steel Car Company at age 57.

1901.  Osborne’s widow dies and 78 acres of land, including Old Mill, are purchase by William Price for his utopian Arts & Crafts Community, based on Morris’ idealistic community described in News from Nowhere.  Original shareholders of Rose Valley Association, which was capitalized at $25,000, include Edward Bok, publisher of the Saturday Evening Post, John O. Gilmore , president of the Colonial Trust Company, and Charles Schoen, railroad industrialist.  Hutton’s Mill becomes known as Guild Hall.  Schoen’s daughter is married to Hawley McLanahan, William Price’s architectural partner in Price & McLanahan.

1902.  John Maene comes to Rose Valley as foreman and head carver for the Furniture Shop.  He does all the wood and stone carving for Schoen Haus, as well as work at Princeton, Wellesley and the University of Pennsylvania.  He carved the choir stall figures at Valley Forge Chapel and did extensive work on Hearst Castle in San Simon, CA.

1904.  Schoen relocates to Rose Valley to be near his daughter.  He purchases Osborne’s stone farm house and has William Price totally envelope it to create his home, Schoen Haus (“beautiful house” in German).  Price’s design includes extensive wood and stone carving by John Maene, as well as use of Mercer tiles inside and out.  Over time, Schoen assembles 400 acres into a working farm of some 4,000 apple trees, which he calls Rose Valley Farm.

June, 1906American Homes and Gardens publishes an article on the creation of Schoen Haus.  See In the News.

c. 1908.  A series of post cards is printed by Philip H. Moore in Media, PA, which include at least three of Rose Valley Farm.  A separate series is printed by Architectural Post Card Company, including work of Price & McLanahan.

1909.  Rose Valley Association goes broke and its mortgage is assumed by Charles Schoen, who then uses the Old Mill for the manufacture of carburetors by the Schoen-Jackson Works.  There is an ad for their innovative FEPS carburetor.

1910.  Schoen builds an office between his house and the Old Mill, in which he claims to have developed the pressed steel railroad wheel at a cost of $1.5 million, which he manufactures in Pittsburgh in a new company, the Schoen Steel Wheel Company.  He is eventually bought out by Andrew Carnegie.

August, 1913Sine Nomine, a local magazine, publishes article on Rose Valley Farm.  See In the News.

December 19, 1914.  Schoen hosts a dinner at Schoen Haus for Pennsylvania Senator Boies Penrose.  Schoen’s handwritten invitation to Judge Norris S. Barratt of Philadelphia has been preserved.

October 14, 1916.  Will Price funeral, which is described by renowned Chadds Ford artist N.C. Wyeth, who attended.  See History of Rose Valley, p. 35.

1917.  Charles Schoen dies at his home in Rose Valley.  He is survived by his wife Lavinia and three daughters, two of whom also live in Rose Valley.

March, 1921.  The law firm of Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul is founded in Philadelphia, with Maurice Bower Saul as lead partner.

1921.  Maurice and Adele Saul purchase Rose Valley Farm from the Schoen estate.

December 23, 1923.  Official chartering of the Borough of Rose Valley.  Maurice Saul is elected its first president.

October 24, 1926.  First of two landscape proposals by Exley & Kite are prepared for the Saul property.

1925.  Maurice and Adele Saul retain architect Howell Lewis Shay to expand their dining room, enclosing a former porch and adding a patio.  Shay utilizes Enfield Tiles and extensive iron work by Samuel Yellin.  There is substantial correspondence documenting Yellin’s work.

1927.  Saul offers Jasper Deeter, founder of the oldest continuously operating repertory theater in America, the use of the Old Mill for annual rent of “a rose at mid-summer”.  Eventually, the Old Mill burns and the Hedgerow Theatre is moved to its present location.

1934.  Maurice and Adele Saul loan the use of an orchard for the experimental Rose Valley School, at the annual rent of “a rose at mid-summer”.  They donate this land to the school in 1953.

1947.  Maurice Saul steps down as President of Borough of Rose Valley, a position he has held for 24 years.

1956.  The Rose Valley Folk purchase the Old Mill from Maurice Saul for $15,000, payable over 15 years at no interest.

December 23, 1973A History of Rose Valley is published by the Borough of Rose Valley on the 50th anniversary of its founding, dedicated to Maurice Bower Saul, “one of the men most responsible for organizing the Borough” and its president from 1923-1949.

1974.  Maurice and Adele Saul complete their donation of twelve acres of land along Ridley Creek for use as a wildlife sanctuary.

June, 1974.  Maurice Bower Saul dies at home, leaving the Saul Estate in trust, in which it continues until 2005.

1986.  Brandywine River Museum hosts extensive exhibit on Rose Valley’s history as an Arts & Crafts community.  See Resources for catalogue reference.

1988.  Adele Scott Saul dies at the age of 101.

1995.  Volume I of The Cunningham Collection, a compilation of original compositions by Phil Cunningham, renown Scottish musician and master of early Celtic music, is entitled “The House in Rose Valley”, dedicated to the memory of Adele Scott Saul, and containing a song of that name.  Cunningham had stayed with Adele at Rose Valley Farm on his visits to America.

2000.  Publication of George Thomas extensive biography of William L. Price.  See Resources.

February, 2005.  Main Line developer Chip Vaughan purchases the remaining twenty-six acres of the Saul Estate for $5 million.

December, 2006.  The Borough of Rose Valley approves the zoning changes necessary for the construction of Traymore, an age targeted development to be constructed on the Saul Estate by Vaughan and Sautter builders.

January, 2007.  Geoff and Saundra Shepard purchase Lots 44 and 46 from Chip Vaughan, consisting, respectively, of the Manor House and Schoen’s Office on the former Saul Estate.

August, 2007.  The Shepards move into Schoen’s Office, which has been completely renovated.

March, 2009.  The Shepards move into the Manor House, which has been completely renovated, and use Schoen’s Office as a guest house.

February, 2010Old House Journal publishes cover story on restoration of Rose Valley Farm.  See In the News.

May 12, 2010.  The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia recognizes the restoration of Rose Valley Farm with its Grand Jury Award.

June 4, 2010Philadelphia Inquirer publishes article on Rose Valley Farm.  See In the News.

July 19, 2010.  The Rose Valley Historic District is approved by the U.S. Department of Interior and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  123 buildings, sites and structures are specifically identified, including four on Rose Valley Farm:  The Manor House, Schoen’s Office, the Water Tower, and the Ice House/Well Ruins.

Summer, 2011Arts & Crafts Homes publishes an article on the gardens of Rose Valley Farm.  See In the News.

Fall, 2011Style 1900 publishes an article on Rose Valley which includes a picture of Schoen Haus.  See In the News.

2012.  150th anniversary of the construction of Sunnyside by Antrim Osborne, which has subsequently become a part of Schoen Haus, Rose Valley Farm, the Saul Estate, the House in Rose Valley, and, again, Rose Valley Farm.

September 21, 2012.  Reception is held for attendees of the 13th Annual Arts & Crafts conference held in Philadelphia.

December 3, 2012.  Stoney Bank Nurseries receives the Gold Medal Award for Landscape Excellence by the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association for its restoration of Rose Valley Farm.

May 5, 2013.   Garden tour planned in connection with Swarthmore College’s Scott Arboretum Garden Day.