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Manuscript Group 394
PENNSBURY MANOR COLLECTION
ca. 1930s-1940s
3 cubic feet


Pennsbury Manor is the reconstructed home of William Penn, noted statesman, diplomat, Quaker, and founder of Pennsylvania. Wishing to establish a home in his recently founded colony, Penn purchased this tract of land on the Delaware River from the Indians in 1682. The manor was begun in 1683, and Penn lived there from 1699 to 1701, when he and his family returned to England. The manor fell into disrepair by the 1730s. In 1932, the land was deeded to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the administration of the property was vested in the Pennsylvania Historical Commission. More land was acquired in 1940. In 1936, the Commission requested architect R. Brognard Okie to prepare plans for the possible recreation of Pennsbury Manor, following extensive research on the original design. The contracting firm of Sessinghaus and Ostergard were responsible for the construction of Pennsbury. The buildings were completed in July 1939, followed by the gardening and landscaping work. The furnishing of the mansion was completed by 1946. Today, Pennsbury Manor is one of the numerous historic sites directly operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The collection consists of the records of the contracting firm, Sessinghaus and Ostergard, which oversaw renovation and construction of Pennsbury Manor in 1930's and 1940's. The records detail contractors' negotiations with the state and the architect, relationships with the federal government, and information about the practical and philosophical questions of reconstruction. Included are:
See also MG 8, Pennsylvania Collection (Miscellaneous), 1626-1970. and MG 303, the R. Brognard Okie Architectural Papers, 1793, 1828-1949





PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records