I recently received a message from another descendant of Richard Townsend (1645-1742), Quaker minister who immigrated to Pennsylvania with William Penn aboard the Welcome. The message was an inquiry into what I knew about the Caleb Pusey House having been Richard Townsend’s original dwelling in the New World. To my amazement, when I delved into researching the topic, I discovered not only that yes, it was, but that the “Caleb Pusey House” is the oldest remaining home in Pennsylvania, and the “only building still standing which can claim documented association with the proprietor, William Penn, and which he is known to have visited on several occasions.”
The Friends of the Caleb Pusey House, Inc., in Upland Pennsylvania have done a fantastic job researching, restoring and preserving this house. On their website is an article called, “A View From 1963” written by Arden Skidmore, which brings to light our Richard Townsend’s confirmed connection to this house. The Archaeological Society of Delaware discovered many clues, including the center wall, of half-timber construction, which historians say undoubtedly was an original outside wall of the house. “Townsend built the original part of the Pusey house, now known to be the left (east) side, after his arrival on the Welcome with Penn in 1682.”
Photo from: Friends of Caleb Pusey House, Inc., Upland, PA.
Photo from: Wikipedia
Apparently, over the years, there was some confusion about this being Richard Townsend’s original dwelling place, as evidenced by the hand-written note on the bottom of this sketch in the Library of Congress:
We descendants of Richard Townsend, and his wife, Anne Hutchins, owe a debt of gratitude to the archaeologists that worked on this sight, and the Friends of the Caleb Pusey house that took such great care to research and restore this part of America’s history, and our family’s history as well.