Significant Owners & Residents


Significant Owners & Residents

This list is compiled of information primarily derived from the property’s deeds. Additional information was gathered from census data, other primary source materials from the Grundy Family Archives, as well as a few secondary and tertiary sources.

Throughout the 18th century, the property was leased to various persons, possibly for agricultural or shipping purposes. It may have been rented through much of the 19th century as well. The property itself also changed size and shape numerous times. The current 610 tract of land is much smaller than it was at various points in time and it is very likely that no house stood on the property until sometime between 1818 and 1834.

At the time of Bristol Borough’s charter in 1681, this tract of land was outside the town’s limits.

Chain of Title

Pre-1720: William Fishbourn, John and Mary Peace

  • William Fishbourn was a Philadelphia merchant. John Peace was a miller in Bristol Borough. It is unknown when they took possession of the property.

1720: John and Elizabeth Elfreth

  • John Elfreth was a shipwright who lived in Bristol Borough and later in Philadelphia.

ca.1734: Richard Jarvis

  • Richard Jarvis was also a Philadelphia shipwright. His ownership of the property is not clearly worded in the 1744 deed.

1738: Thomas Sugar

  • Thomas Sugar was a carpenter from Philadelphia.

1744: John and Hannah Rouse [later John and Hannah Caldwell]

  • ​John Rouse, a Philadelphia blacksmith, died around 1778 and his widow, Hannah, later remarried. In 1818 her husband was John Caldwell, Esquire, of New Castle County, Delaware.

ca.1818: William and Rachel Heiss

  • ​William Heiss, a coppersmith from Northern Liberties, likely built the original, rectangular Federal-era house on the property.

1834: Captain Joseph B. Hutchinson and Wife [First wife: Maria Cheston Hutchinson; Second wife: Selina Hutchinson]

  • The 1834 deed is the first to specifically mention a house. In 1848 Capt. Hutchinson, a “gentleman” of Bristol Borough, bought the adjacent tract of land from Sarah Cope and Ann Buckley, which currently makes up the grassy area roughly between the house and Penn Street, as well as additional land that was later parceled off and sold. It is believed that Hutchinson rented out the house at 610 Radcliffe after he moved his family to Hatherstone Hall, an Italianate mansion that once stood near Beaver Street in the Borough’s present-day North Ward.

1884: William H. Grundy

  • The Grundy family originally rented the home from Captain Hutchinson and didn’t acquire the deed to the property until 1884. William Grundy made major changes to the home. 

1893: Mary Lamb Ridgway Grundy

  • Upon the death of William Grundy, the property passed to his widow Mary and their two children. Joseph and Margaret Grundy transferred their interests in the property to their mother Mary.

1923: Joseph Ridgway Grundy

  • The title to the property was transferred by Mary Grundy to Joseph, her only son.

1961 – Present: The Grundy Foundation

In his last will and testament, Joseph R. Grundy directed that “my home on Radcliffe Street shall be maintained by the Foundation as a museum for the free use of the public in memory of my late sister, Margaret R. Grundy…”