The current, sorry state of the Garret Brodhead house—“Wheat Plains”

I was very saddened to come across a March 2012 photo on the website Flickr showing the sad state of “Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead homestead located in Pike County, Pennsylvania, 14 miles below Milford. The original home was built by Garret Brodhead (1733-1804) after he finished serving in the Revolutionary War, and it was added to over the years. To view the photo, click here.

Just two years previously, the home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, seemed to look quite a bit better:

2010 photo from Wikipedia (photo in public domain)

“Wheat Plains” was once a vibrant and busy farm. In 1791, Hon. Richard B. Brodhead Sr., one of Garret’s sons, moved to the farm and he resided there until a few years before his death in 1843. Richard’s son Albert Gallatin Brodhead was born on the farm in 1799, and purchased it in 1838 from his father, and Albert lived there until 1865, when he moved to Bethlehem where his only son Charles resided. The property left the Brodhead family in 1871 but came back into Brodhead hands when Robert Packer Brodhead bought the property in 1894. He was the son of Andrew Jackson Brodhead and Ophelia Easton, grandson of Garret Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman, great grandson of Hon. Richard B. Brodhead Sr. and Hannah Drake.

Robert Packer Brodhead

Robert Packer Brodhead

The home remained in Brodhead hands until the 1960s. I recall my parents saying they had met one of the owners at the Brodhead Family Reunion (celebrating 300 years since Captain Daniel Brodhead and his wife Ann Tye set foot on American soil) held in upstate New York in 1964. The house and surrounding land are now within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area which was established by President Johnson in 1965. Though apparently renovated in 2000 by the National Park Service, current owners, I can only assume that its now blighted condition is a result of this bad economy. There must not be any funds available to renovate it. Very sad. Were it in private hands, I suspect it would probably be in much better condition.

For a post showing the property in happier times, click here.

For more information on the house, lands and various structures, click here.

Update: This Flickr photo taken in winter 2013 indicates the house was still in disrepair, sadly.

Categories: Brodhead, Family Homes, Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War | Leave a comment

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