The Welsh Immigrants
Peter Williamson, a Scots-Irish immigrant, took a great chance when he bought property that included the Peach Bottom slate deposits. Not only was transportation a problem, but there was also a great need for skilled slate workers or "slaters", as they were then known.
He also must have been a practical man, because he sent word to Wales, the slate capitol of the world, of an opportunity in the new world. "Come to America", he must have said, "where there is cheap land, good jobs, and freedoms, that you don't have at home. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Come to America, where you will have enough to eat, a decent roof over your head, and no English Lord will have you under his thumb".
They believed and they did come. The first immigrants came in 1845. It was an arduous journey, taking six long weeks in a leaky boat, with diseases such as dysentery and cholera. Many did not survive the trip. But, those that did usually were successful. Almost all who came were skilled slate splitters and quarrymen, accompanied by their families.
They came to this new land with only a few meager possessions such as a Bible, the clothes
By 1890, there were as many as 600 Welsh immigrants living in the area. The slate industry was booming and fortunes were being made. Almost all of the quarries were owned by Welshmen at some time during their operations.
The last immigrants came in 1907. Soon after, the slate industry began to decline. Many quarry workers left to find better paying and safer jobs elsewhere. But as a whole, they realized their "American Dream".
The Welsh Congregational Church built 1857. Virtually all of the people are immigrants except for, maybe, the small child in the front row center. Note the "star-spangled banner" flying at upper right.
The Old Line Museum
Erected by The Old Line Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1845.
Location. 39° 43.487′ N, 76° 18.479′ W. Marker is in Peach Bottom Township, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is on Green Road 0.1 miles from Ridge Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 28 Green Road, 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 World Famous Peach Bottom Slate (here, next to this marker); The Slate Splitters
More about this marker. Left to right:
This ("The Welsh Immigrants") marker,
"Welsh Slate Quarrymens' Cottages at Coulsontown" marker,
"The Slate Splitters" marker.
On reverse side:
"The World Famous Peach Bottom Slate" marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 26, 2020, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on April 16, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 26, 2020, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 3. submitted on April 19, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.