East Nantmeal Historic Commission dedicated a historic marker to Revolutionary War hero Col. Thomas Bull April 12.
In attendance were local elected officials. Ceremonies, including remarks and the marker dedication, were at Bulltown Road and Brownstone Lane, just north of Route 401.
The historic marker and the April 12 event were underwritten by Stoltzfus Enterprises, which is emulating historic Bulltown in its nearby residential development.
“This roadside marker recognizing Col. Bull and historic Bulltown is the first of what we hope to be several such markers in East Nantmeal, a township founded in 1717 which today has many historic resources and more than 50 percent of its land area permanently conserved,” said Tyler Wren, Vice Chair of the East Nantmeal Board of Supervisors. “It is important that we honor our history in ways like this, so that our citizens and future generations will better recognize and treasure our historic resources and the ‘great experiment’ that was realized in the colonization of America and the creation of our independent United States.”
Col. Bull acquired more than 500 acres of land in 1783 with the intent of developing a plantation, as well as the grist mill, saw mill and other enterprise assets that would become known as “Bulltown.” Part of a 1682 William Penn grant, the land was first owned by Owen J. Roberts and at the time of the Revolution was part of the Redding Plantation, now Reading Furnace.
During the Revolutionary War, the site became noteworthy following the “Battle of the Clouds” in September, 1777. After their ammunition and weapons had been drenched in a heavy rain, making effective defensive or offensive action impossible, Gen. George Washington and approximately 11,000 Continental troops camped in the vicinity of Bulltown to rearm over a two-day period. While Col. Bull was on a British prison ship at the time, his wife hosted Gen. Washington and his staff at the Redding Plantation, aiding the revolutionary cause.
The Bull Family Mansion House, across the road from the marker, is a significant and well-preserved historic resource. The exterior appointments, as well as the interior attributes, are fine examples of the late Georgian and Early Federal Period in American architecture, brilliantly capturing the transition between British influence and the independent American movement.