Lynn Sinclair lived in Kennett Square until she was 2 years and didn’t return until 2005. Still she insists that one can have only one native home and she identifies with Kennett Square. She has had relatives who stayed in the area, which also echoes “home” to her, with an ancestor, Samuel Sinclair settling in Kennett in 1794.
Lynn has been undertaking a formidable town project. She has had the dream of having a physical space that celebrates Kennett Square’s 300 years history and this dream is moving forward with the Kennett Heritage Center to be located at 120 North Union Street, Kennett Square, PA, which is also owned by her.
When Lynn moved back to Kennett she became a member of the existing Historical Commission. This group was a steward of the town’s history and historic resources, along with the Architectural Review Board. When the two groups were merged into one in 2015, Lynn Sinclair saw this as an opportunity to move forward with a physical space to celebrate Kennett’s history.
Securing town artifacts, studying the details, rallying interest, and finally forming a 501C3 non-profit in January 2020 with an 8-member board, things have started to roll along. It was an opportune time, because the Brandywine Battlefield Interpretive Plan hopes to have four or five Heritage Centers across the county that will include information about the Brandywine Battle on 9/11/1777.
Kennett Heritage Center will be modeled after the first heritage Center in Marshallton which opened in 2018. Kennett’s Center will include static and interactive displays of the history of the Kennett area during the time from the Lenape Indian until after the First World War.
What also will be unique about Kennett’s Heritage Center is that it will house the Kennett Underground Railroad Research & Education Center.Our town only recently has understood the significance of this history and how the philosophy of the land, which has been expressed through the phrase---peaceful, progressive, inclusivity was lived out by the Quakers, who hid run-away slaves in their homes and are part of our country’s history of “freeing the slave.”
Lynn Sinclair feels strongly that the Kennett Heritage Center will evoke an even greater pride in our town.The mission of the Kennett Heritage Center is to research, document and celebrate Kennett’s unique history, through tours, special events and a permanent exhibit. The Center will foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the development of our community and its contributions to the history of Pennsylvania and the United States.
For now, to bring attention to the town’s history, there will be a commemoration of Kennett Occupation Day on 9/10/2020 at 4pm in the 100 block of E. State Street, Kennett Square, PA. With the streets blocked off for dining, one can see 20 British Revolutionary War re-enactorsalong with Quakers and speeches by prominent 18h century residents. It will be a lively and engaging experience.
The Board of Directors is fundraising and has the goal of $31,000 to complete the design, which is being created by Miller Designworks; the same firm that worked with the Marshallton Village Heritage Center.
When speaking to Grace Pfeiffer, a member of the Board of Directors, she commented, “I am thrilled to be a part of preserving the history of the town where I grew up. Our history has impacted our country’s evolution and it is wonderful to bring it back to life for our residents and visitors.”
Donations may be sent to: Kennett Heritage Center, 120 N. Union St. Kennett Square, PA 19348