THE BRANDYWINE CHALYBEATE SPRINGS HOTEL
MILL CREEK HUNDRED
NEW CASTLE COUNTY, DELAWARE
The spacious and elegant house of the Brandywine Chalybeate Springs Company, which was completed last fall is now open and handsomely furnished for the reception of visitors and boarders under the superintendence of Mr. Charles Stanley.
This 'Watering Place' is finely situated in the high and healthy country five miles northwest of Wilmington commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country , the Delaware River, and neighboring states. The grounds afford pleasant and shady promenades and are bounded by fine streams.
The virtues of the 'Waters' are those of the purest Chalybeate according to Professor Keating of Philadelphia. They are particularly efficacious in bilious and other fevers and are celebrated as a fine tonic.
The vicinity of Wilmington offers access to excellent markets and travel by steam boat to Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Carriages and horses may always be had for delightful rides over good roads to neighboring towns . Horses taken at livery in good hands.
Charges will be moderate. CHARLES STANLEY, June 1, 1827
Abstract from the Thursday , July 19, 1827 issue of the “Wilmingtonian and Delaware Advistser newspaper.
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Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries there were a number of hotels, taverns and inns in Mill Creek Hundred but the one true resort hotel was Brandywine Chalybeate Springs Hotel built in 1827. At that time it was the largest building in the Hundred and certainly the most lavish. It sat at the corner of Faulkland Road and Newport Gap Road
and was owned by the Yarnall family who had operated the Conestoga Wagon Inn since 1800. The property was sold a sheriff's sale to a group of Quaker businessmen who bought it for the foul tasting, reddish water, seeping from the hill behind the old inn and not the beauty of the building. The 'water' came from a chalybeate spring issuing a iron salt water.
The builder was a local, Justa Justice, and the building was on high ground above the spring, a magnificent, gleaming white building with a grand colonnade and wide piazzas. It was first known as New Castle County Chalybeate Spring Company but soon renamed to capitalize on the Brandywine name famous for a Revolutionary War battle in 1777. It was a true resort unlike the many Inn's which dotted the landscape thereabouts. It was not a place where guest stayed overnight on the travels, it was a destination for visits of several weeks or even months, where they had cotillions, balls, and concets . A real French chef prepared what were undoubtedly the most sumptuous meals. It was where you were “seen” morning and evenings when mingling and socializing with other guest. For the elderly and infirm guest the focus was on the “spring” itself.
The chalybeate spring was at the base of a high hill near Hyde Run where stone steps led to the circular stone tower which protected the spring.
It is a sad story that circumstances and a financially unsuccessful life would result in a relatively short life for the Brandywine Springs Chalybeate Hotel.
Abstract from The Mill Creek Hundred History Blog of Scott Palmer.