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Londonderry Township


Londonderry Township municipal offices are located at 103 Daleville Rd, Cochranville PA 19330. Phone: 610-869-2138.

The township was settled by Irish Protestants. There was also a small settlement of Papists (Catholics) which was rare for Penn's times.

National Register of Historic Places

Londonderry has three properties listed on the National Register: the Moses Ross House, the John Ferron House, and Saint Malachi Roman Catholic Church.

St. Malachi's Church

Situated high on the rolling hills of Doe Run Valley, St. Malachi Church is visible for miles around. For nearly 150 years it has been a familiar and cherished landmark in this very rural area of Chester County.

The church and adjoining cemetery occupy about two acres of land in Londonderry Township above Doe Run, a major tributary of the West Branch Brandywine River. Enclosed by an iron fence, the cemetery is found on the north and east sides of the church. Generally, the tombstones are marble and rather small, and are placed in approximate rows. There are no planned walkways or formally landscaped areas. There are however, a few shrubs and a lone cedar tree. Although the present church dates from 1838, the earliest tombstone in the cemetery bears the date 1771 and the name Thomas Maguire. Other Irish names in the cemetery include Dougherty, McKlee, MaGee, Kelly, Duffy, McLaughlin, and Ferron.

Outside of Philadelphia, St. Malachi Church is the oldest Catholic mission church still in use in southeastern Pennsylvania. Its establishment in the 18th century in this remote area of Chester County is an indication of early Irish Catholic settlement, a rarity in Penn's original counties.

John Ferron House

This small stone house sits high on the rolling hills of Doe Run Valley, as does St. Malachi Church which is just across St. Malachi Road. Its setting is remote and picturesque, unbroken by other buildings. At the base of the hill flows Doe Run, a major tributary of the West Branch Brandywine River which meanders through the countryside toward the villages of Springdell and Doe Run.

Given its proximity to St. Malachi's Church and the absence of other houses in the immediate vicinity, it is of no surprise that the John Ferron House is associated with the church. According to its chain of title it was the property of the church's carpenter-builder, John Ferron, and his heirs for 64 years. Ferron had obtained the property by an unrecorded deed from May Lloyd. Between 1821 and 1838 it changed hands four times as 10 2/4 acres of "land only."

Although records of the St. Malachi's Church are scant, it is known that Ferron was its carpenter and that a Henry Ferron was its stonemason. Probably it was John Ferron's father, James, who with his wife Penelope landed at New Castle (Delaware) in 1791 and were among St. Malachi's first parishioners. At the time John Ferron's heir put the property up for sale in 1907, it was described as a "6 room dwelling house" with a frame barn, wagon shed, corn crib, carpenter ship, and other buildings. The barn burned in 1966. Ferron could have had other connections to the church — such as being its sexton — but these records are not available.

John Ferron was also the first postmaster of "Rosenvick" in 1872, a small manufacturing village, nearby on Doe Run, once known as Ogden's Mills. Ferron named the post office for his ancestral Irish home. He died in 1884. Ferron's descendents still live in the general area and a members of St. Malachi.

Another long-term resident of the John Ferron House was William Shank, sexton of St. Malachi for more than 30 years. He owned the house between 1922 and 1978.

Moses Ross House

Situated at the base of Doe Run Valley, the Moses Ross house commands a spectacular view of the rolling countryside. Set well off the road, its only access is across a small bridge over Doe Run and then down a long drive.

The Moses Ross House is the finest example of vernacular Greek Revival architecture in the West Branch Brandywine Scenic River Corridor. Built circa 1850 and in an excellent state of preservation, it has undergone minimal alteration.

The house probably was built circa 1850 by Milton Jefferis, who obtained 94 acres here in 1849. By 1856 Jefferis was advertising for sale "a new 2 1/2 story brick house, 35 feet front by 40 feet back, slate roof, and built in the very best style, with a double porch in front ..." Moses Ross purchased the property for $8,000 and it stayed in his family until 1914. During Ross' ownership, the house was pictured in Futhey and Cope's History of Chester County (1881). Remarkably, the house as it exists today is virtually identical to the house as it appeared in that book. All the out-buildings (which included a Great Barn), however, are gone.

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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