Stony ruins of Delaware Valley

Lonely, old homes and stony ruins fascinate me. They’re hauntingly mysterious in their abandoned state and I always wonder about their stories. The Brandywine Battlefield is nearby, which played a part in the Revolutionary War.  Did soldiers of that time use these sites for encampments?  Did these structures make up a homestead or a mill of some kind?  No historical marker stands nearby to tell of who lived there or what happened long ago.

Some of these forgotten buildings are along familiar routes, while I’ve stumbled upon others on road trips. That’s how I first saw this old mass of partially remaining stone walls, located in the West Chester area. A gravel-covered space allowed for pulling off of the road to take a few photos. Who knew if it would still be there in the near future. Would it be found worthy of saving for history’s sake? I always hope that will be the case. But if not, I like to capture images of the places that are a part of the area’s past.

Stone Ruins WC

I spotted another crumbling structure along a side road just off of 202 northbound, several miles prior to reaching West Chester. No historical marker here, either. This was only a lucky moment of viewing a gem from long ago. I’d love to find out more about so many old buildings from Pennsylvania’s early days. At the same time, I love the mystery they hold for me until then.

Stone Ruins CF

I hope all of these old ruins stand for a long time. Maybe they’ll even get a historical marker as more of their past is discovered.

Ridley Creek State Park has several crumbling old long-ago homes, only part of a wall or two left to be viewed by modern visitors. In this case, however, there are information boards revealing the history of these homes and the park.  An artist’s rendition is included, showing how the structure may have looked when it served as a village residence.

Stone Ruins RC

Just outside the edge of a small lot, caution tape is strung across the remains of an unstable chimney.

Stone Ruins Chimney 1 RC

Stone Ruins Chimney 2 RC

Visitors have to follow a wide trail to admire the other ruins of homes. Many times as I went through the Ridley Creek, there were no available parking spaces. It took quite a while to finally take in the hidden history. However, as people head south from the lot, in cars or on bicycles or on foot, they can easily see this lone wall standing in the woods.

Stone Ruins Rd RC

It’s been a curious site to me ever since my high school years as my bus passed by along the park’s winding road.

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at - and my literary blog at
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