Christian Sanderson Museum – Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Christian Sanderson Museum

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

An unusual and eclectic collection of local historical memorabilia. 


Christian C. Sanderson was a local schoolteacher in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in the early 20th century, and a prolific collector of historical memorabilia, particularly from his hometown. This included many unusual artifacts related to the American Revolution, especially the 1777 Battle of the Brandywine fought at the creek near town.

Sanderson also collected letters from Civil War veterans, and some very unusual Abraham Lincoln curios. After his death, this impressive but highly eclectic treasure trove was carefully curated by friends and reinstalled in Sanderson’s lifetime home at the center of the bucolic village of Chadds Ford. The collection also includes many objects related to the renowned 20th-century American painter Andrew Wyeth and his family of artists, who were personal friends. 

Some examples of this off-beat assemblage include the bandage put on Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated, the pocketbook Jennie Wade was carrying when she was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg, and a number of autographs including those of Sitting Bull, Helen Keller, Basil Rathbone, and Shirley Temple. Sanderson’s own eccentric life as a much-beloved local schoolteacher is also documented with many unusual curios.

Know Before You Go

The Sanderson Museum makes an interesting add-on to a visit to the famous Brandywine River Museum nearby, aka the "Wyeth Museum." The John Chad House across the street is also well worth a visit.

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June 13, 2019

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