For me, the Brandywine refers to three things: a river, the surrounding area, and my home.
The Brandywine River (technically, it’s a creek, but everyone around here disagrees) runs through both Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania and New Castle County in Delaware.
Arguably the most notable event in the history of the area occurred during the Revolutionary War. On September 11, 1777, the river played a pivotal role in what is now known as the Battle of Brandywine – an unfortunate defeat for the Continental Army which saw the wounding of the Marquis de Lafayette (who survived and went on to become a hero of both the American and the French Revolutions) and temporarily doomed Philadelphia to occupation by British forces.
A few decades later, the gun powder plants of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) were established a few miles south of the battlefield area on the bank of the river outside of Wilmington, Delaware. More than any other company, DuPont and the namesake family who built and ran the business for generations left an indelible mark on the broader Brandywine region – with former estates including Longwood, Winterthur, Nemours, and Hegley having been turned into world-renowned oases of the horticultural arts, among other things.
The Brandywine River and surrounding area is also closely associated with several of the country’s most well-known artists: Howard Pyle (who founded the Brandywine School), N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth (the Brandywine River Museum of Art houses much of the respective Wyeth collections).
Replete with flora and fauna, covered bridges, and vintage barns, the Brandywine is the inspiration behind my collections, creative, and branding – and it’s been the area that I call home since 1986.
In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing a new blog series with you which explores the history, people, landmarks, and natural beauty of the Brandywine River and the surrounding area.