Serendipity...genealogical discoveries with a little help from above.

An Unexpected Open House

by Linda Garrett

My e-mail address is
and I live in Livermore, CA.

This really happened to me We had found ourselves with an extra day while staying in King of Prussia, PA located near Valley Forge. I decided to visit a local library to see if they had any information on my Anderson family.

Patrick Anderson had served in the Rev. War and I'd found a pew in the chapel at Valley Forge dedicated to him. At the library, they suggested I go to the local Historical Society. Fortunately, they had the book that contained the information on Patrick and his family and the helper there told me I was in the wrong county.

But not to worry, it was a good thing I came there, because the one I wanted was closed that day! She wrote down directions to the little rural church where Patrick was buried and we took off. We had to go through Phoenixville on our way and there were directions to St. Peter's Church on a sign.

We found when we got there, it was a different St. Peter's Church and the one we wanted was in Paoli Valley and was very hard to find. The rectoress came out to the car and drew on our map exactly the route to follow. She warned us that it was easy to get lost.

For some reason on the way, I told my husband to take a left fork off the road we were on. I immediately realized I was mistaken and we should have stayed straight. So my husband pulled into a driveway so oncoming traffic could go by.

I looked up at the stone house the driveway led to and thought to myself, "That's the kind of house I'd like to live in." There was a stone fence near the road and on either side of the driveway we were in it ended at stone pillars. I looked at the bronze plaque on one of the pillars and it said, "The Anderson Place, Est. 1713"

We were at the original homestead of Patrick Anderson! The house was built by his son, Isaac and added onto, making it the beautiful house it is today. We did make it to the church, but never did find Patrick's grave. But that's OK, he must have wanted to show off the house instead!

Submitted:  Jan 28 2001

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