Forget Carly, This CEO Was 19th C Quaker Powerhouse

By
Real Estate Agent with Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate
https://activerain.com/droplet/4H2S

This last week the Chester County, Pennsylvania Town Tour was in Coatesville, and the star was a woman who died in 1854.  Rebecca Webb Pennock Lukens’ father would take her to his Federal Slitting Mill as a child, so she was no stranger to Rebecca Lukensindustry. Even today, a cluster of Lukens family homes on 1st Avenue in Coatesville has mills in their back yards, so the family was never far from their business. Her physician husband became involved in the business, but when both he and her father, Quaker Isaac Pennock died within one year of each other, Rebecca had no choice but to take over the family business in 1825.


On January 6, 1994, the 200th anniversary of Lukens' birth, the Pennsylvania Legislature and City of Coatesville declared her "America’s first woman industrialist." She was also honored in 1944 by having a "Liberty Ship" named after her, the SS Rebecca Lukens.

The Lukens family were no strangers to the shipbuilding business because Rebecca's husband developed rolled steel plates which were used to construct the first metal hulled steamboat in America, the Codorus,Brandywine Manor and were later used as boilerplate in steam engines and locomotives.

We were privileged to meet with Susannah Brody, who regularly portrays Rebecca Lukens. She stood in front of Brandywine Mansion, an 18th C home where Lukens once lived and which is undergoing restoration. A 1980's highway widening cut off one end (on the left) of the earliest part of the house, but fortunately, they didn't tear it down. Brody told Lukens story, and answered questions about the 1820's Quaker split between the Orthodox and Hicksite factions of Quakerism. You can learn more about the history of this business which spawned America's first female CEO at the Iron and Steel Museum, which is part of the complex of Lukens family buildings in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Want to learn more about local historic and older homes in Southern Chester County and New Castle and Kent Counties in Delaware? Contact Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Specialist.

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Rainmaker
1,699,076
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

This sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Thanks for sharing the info with us

Aug 09, 2015 07:56 AM #1
Rainmaker
595,388
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Lise--Yes, we had fun and learned some history!

Aug 09, 2015 08:10 AM #2
Ambassador
1,977,866
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Carolyn, this is fascinating local history and very much worth the time. Stories like this bring an entirely different perspective to the selling of historic homes.

Aug 09, 2015 08:54 AM #3
Rainmaker
595,388
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Silvia--Wish the real Rebecca was around to see her house restored--or maybe she is!

Aug 09, 2015 10:08 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,559,196
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

What a fascinating story that is Carolyn!  And, I bet that Rebecca didn't outsource thousands of jobs out of the country like Carly did.

Aug 13, 2015 10:12 AM #5
Rainmaker
595,388
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Myrl--Talk about keeping it in the family! And they all lived next to the steel mills so they didn't have far to travel for work!

Aug 13, 2015 12:12 PM #6
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Rainmaker
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA

Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
Carolyn: Tell me more about buying or selling older homes.
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