“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Peach Bottom Township in York County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown

Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten
1. Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown Marker
These unique stone cottages are identical to those found in the slate quarrying regions of North Wales. They are owned and maintained by the Old Line Museum of Delta, Pa. Purchased in 2006, they are being restored by volunteers and various contractors to their original appearance when they were built, 1850-1860. They are built from a beautiful stone quarried from the ridge to your right known as "Cardiff Conglomerate" (derived from the neighboring community of Cardiff, Md.) by Welsh immigrants from North Wales, who came to this area to quarry the world famous Peach Bottom slate.

Most slate produced was used for roofing purposes. These cottages still have their original slate roofs. Peach Bottom slate is considered to be the "best roofing slate in the world.", and was awarded a medal for its durability at the London Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851.

Houses built mainly of wood are a predominant American construction method. The Welshmen being from Great Britain where wood construction is a rarity, knew only how to build a house out of stone. It also helped that rock quarrying was their livelihood.

The interiors of these cottages

Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten
2. Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown Marker
are virtually original, having been changed little over the years. They are also typical of those found in North Wales. The fireplace was used for cooking and heat. The kitched was the main gathering place for the family. The small room on the right first floor, was the adult's bedroom and served as the parlor for special occasions. The two rooms upstairs were bedrooms for the children.

We do know that David Williams and family were the first occupants of the cottage on the left, No. 28. He emigrated from Peachyndeudraeth to America in 1851 and worked as a slate quarryman all of his life. His story was typical of the Welsh Immigrants who came to the Peach Bottom slate region.

They were in search of a better life, desiring to escape from the rule of the oppressive English aristocracy who controlled most of Wales at the time and also religious freedom, as most of them did not wish to conform to the Church of England. Unemployment, starvation and disease were rampant in Wales at the time as well.

It was a hard life here in America, but they found a land of plenty along with opportunities not fund in Great Britain. Wales, lie all of Great Britain at the time was possessed of a strict class structure. In America, hard work and preseverance usually gained them a better life for themselves and their children.

Horrible injuries and death were common occurances in the quarries

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but they persisted and forged a legacy that still survives today in the forms of our enduring slate roofs, the Rehoboth Welsh Church, these cottages and symbols of their skills, such as the intrically carved slate tombstones found nearby in our local cemetaries (Slateville, Slate Ridge and Mt. Nebo). The cottages are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Old Line Museum
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 43.488′ N, 76° 18.479′ W. Marker is in Peach Bottom Township, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is on Green Road 0.1 miles east of Ridge Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 28 Green Rd, Delta PA 17314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Slate Splitters (here, next to this marker); The Welsh Immigrants (here, next to this marker); The World Famous Peach Bottom Slate (here, next to this marker); Mason-Dixon Line (approx. 1.9 miles away); Peach Bottom Slate Region (approx. 2.3 miles away in Maryland); The Canal Community (approx. 5.2 miles away); The Canal Boats (approx. 5.2 miles away); The Locks (approx. 5.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Peach Bottom Township.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 26, 2020, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Last updated on November 11, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 26, 2020, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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Feb. 27, 2021