My family is notorius for taking interesting pictures without ever bothering to label them, so I wasn’t particularly surprised to come across several old snapshots of an old stone home with a sign declaring it to be Reynolds Hall. I vaguely recalled that Isaac Reynolds, my great-grandfather, had at one point owned land across from what was once the State Normal School in West Chester, but I hadn’t drawn the connection between the old family home and the current Reynolds Hall at West Chester University until I came across an old map section from 1912 showing the property.
The map clearly shows the orientation of the property with the front facing toward what was then Normal Avenue.
Isaac ran a steam luandry business in the early part of the 1900’s and was quite well-off for the times. The picture below shows the old laundry wagon in front of the Reynolds home.
Because the photo does not show much of the house itself, it is difficult to imagine how the same house would look without the porch wrapping around the front, but sometime in the past, that porch was removed to reveal the original lines of the house as it exists now.
Looking above the porch roof, it is possible to compare the newer version against the old though the house looks very different now. I believe the last picture was taken by my grandfather sometime in the 1970′. According to the WCU website, the oldest part of the house date back to the late 1700’s, though it was not owned by anyone in my family at the time.The property is mentioned specifically in Isaac’s will of 1943, so presumably it was sold to the college after his wife died in 1948.