Lynne and I took advantage of a conference in Philadelphia to visit some Wilcox sites in the area. Mainly a trip out to Ivy Mills, the paper mill built by Thomas Willcox,.
Thomas is Lynne, Carol, Leigh, Marianne, Kelly, Jane and Gail’s 5th great grandfather. He married Elizabeth Cole in Olde Sweed Church (Gloria Dei) in 1727.
I have posted pictures from Ivy Mills, Old Saint Thomas the Apostle Church [and graveyard] and Olde Sweedes Church.
Ivy Mills – Located at the corner of Pole Cat RD and Ivy Mills RD in Glen Mills, PA, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. The main house, which I did not get a picture of, is on the site of the original house. It was rebuit after fire in the early 1800’s. The owner of the property is Mark Willcox, a distant cousin of our beloved southern Wilcoxes. Property has been in Willcox hands for over 280 years.
Ivy Mills was the premiere paper company of its time and produced the paper for the currency of the early colonies and then federal government during the fight for and after independence. The mill also produced the “rag” for most of the currency in Latin America and many other nations in Europe and Asia.
The ruins of the mill are on the west side of Pole Cat RD. The residence, former chapel and other buildings are on the east side.
Old Saint Thomas the Apostle Church – Can trace its roots to 1720’s when a few Catholics gathered for mass in the nearby home of Thomas Willcox. Jesuit priests from Maryland, traveling by water and horseback on old Indian trails, established mission stations in areas where Catholics lived. The Willcox home, Ivy Mills, became a regular stop for the priests on their way to Philadelphia. In the 1840s the number of parishioners outgrew the chapel in the Willcox home. In 1852, James Willcox donated the land for St Thomas the Apostle Church and construction began that year.
Old Swedes Church – Now Gloria Dei. It is currently an Episcopal Church. Located in south Philly, near the Delaware River. It was built between 1698 and 1700 for Swedish settlers. Old Swedes was a Swedish Lutheran Church for 150 years becoming a part of the Episcopal Church in 1845. Thomas Willcox married Elizabeth Cole in the church on June 3, 1727.
Old Saint Thomas the Apostle
Old Swedes Church