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History's People: Warren Mercer was County's Santa Claus

If you look in the history books to read about Santa Claus, you'll discover a tale that is millennia old and involved countless people in the making.  Harkening from fourth-century Turkey, a monk named St. Nicholas became legendary for his kindness. His name morphed into the Dutch “Sinter Klaas,” and eventually “Santa Claus.”  In the U.S., poet Clement Moore forged Santa's modern tale with his 1820s poem Twas the Night Before Christmas and cartoonist Thomas Nast helped put a face, beard, and cap with the story.

History's People: Fueling the Scientific Revolution

When most people think of Chester County's history, they think of rolling fields, the Underground Railroad, and the American Revolution.  But Chester County is not just farms and cannonballs. Its heritage includes a vast technological revolution that influenced the modern world. At the heart of that revolution was Kennett Square resident Aaron Martin and F & M Scientific in Avondale. 

Washington's Furniture Maker Owned Chester County Home

Washington never slept here, but his furniture maker did.       

Most people know that George Washington's connection to Chester County is through the Revolutionary War. He led continental troops at the Battle of Brandywine, oversaw the Valley Forge encampment and travelled to various parts of the county in between. 

History's People: Hazel Johnson-Brown, First Female Black General

As we approach the Fourth of July, between the fireworks, barbecues, and parades, stop for a moment to remember Hazel Johnson-Brown.  On June 14th, 33 years ago on Flag Day in 1979, she became the first black woman general in the entire history of the U.S. military. Brown, who passed away in 2011, was born and raised right here in Chester County. It's safe to say her home and her childhood shaped her life and values.

History's People: Remembering Bayard Rustin

As we celebrate Black History Month, a number of  well-known Civil Rights figures typically come to mind - Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and many others.  Although they deserve their acclaim, February 2012 is the perfect time to reflect on Bayard Rustin, Chester County's own Civil Rights hero, during the centennial of his birth.

History's People: Owen J. Roberts, Man of Justice

The naming of institutions after individuals is a powerful thing. It ensures that we don't forget the great people of the past. In the case of the northern Chester County's Owen J. Roberts School District and associated schools, it worked. The former West Vincent Township resident and Supreme Court Justice's name is revered in perpetuity.

History's People: 235 Years Ago Gen. Anthony Wayne Defeated at the Battle of Paoli

If you lived in Chester County 235 years ago, you might have witnessed key moments of the American Revolution. Huge swaths of the county saw troop movements, encampments, and even battles through September 1777 and beyond. And exactly 235 years ago today, the Battle of Paoli rattled the Continental Army as one of the American Revolution's darkest points.  At the center of it all was General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.

History's People: Visionary's Created the Chester County Archives

Visionaries Created the Chester County Archives

On August 27, 2012, the county and region will celebrate thirty years of the Chester County Archives. The archives, housed in the Government Services Center, is administered by the Chester County Historical Society (CCHS). The collection contains government records that document over 300 years of county history. Without the efforts of many dynamic people, those records undoubtedly would have all but disappeared and been forgotten.

History's People: Chester County's Uriah Hunt Painter, Civil War Correspondent

Nearly 150 years ago, Chester Countian Uriah Hunt Painter was exactly where he wanted to be –in the middle of one of the biggest battles in American history, the Battle of Gettysburg.

History's People: Atglen's Schiffer Publishing Company Making History

When it comes to the materials of our past, one Chester County publishing company has had it figured out for decades.  From furniture and textiles to toys and Christmas ornaments, for nearly forty years, Schiffer Publishing has produced thousands of books that teach us our history through objects. The business, a true family affair, has always had its roots planted firmly in Chester County.

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