Brandywine Creek (Christina River)

Brandywine Creek (Christina River)

Geobox River
name = Brandywine Creek
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =

image_size =
image_caption = Hagley mill race on the Brandywine
country = United States
country1 =
state = Pennsylvania
state1 = Delaware
region =
region1 =
district =
district1 =
city = Chadds Ford, PA
city1 = Wilmington, DE
length_imperial = 17
watershed_imperial =
discharge_location =
discharge_imperial =
discharge_max_imperial =
discharge_min_imperial =
discharge1_location =
discharge1_imperial =
source_name = West Branch Brandywine Creek
source_location = Honey Brook Township
source_district =
source_region = Chester County
source_state = Pennsylvania
source_country =
source_lat_d = 40
source_lat_m = 06
source_lat_s = 51
source_lat_NS = N
source_long_d = 75
source_long_m = 55
source_long_s = 35
source_long_EW = W
source_elevation_imperial =
source_length_imperial =
source1_name = East Branch Brandywine Creek
source1_location = Honey Brook Township
source1_district =
source1_region = Chester County
source1_state = Pennsylvania
source1_country =
source1_lat_d = 40
source1_lat_m = 07
source1_lat_s = 09
source1_lat_NS = N
source1_long_d = 75
source1_long_m = 53
source1_long_s = 15
source1_long_EW = W
source1_elevation_imperial =
source1_length_imperial =
source_confluence_location = East Bradford and Pocopson Townships
source_confluence_district =
source_confluence_region = Chester County
source_confluence_state = Pennsylvania
source_confluence_country = USA
source_confluence_lat_d = 39
source_confluence_lat_m = 55
source_confluence_lat_s = 21
source_confluence_lat_NS = N
source_confluence_long_d = 75
source_confluence_long_m = 38
source_confluence_long_s = 58
source_confluence_long_EW = W
source_confluence_elevation_imperial = 174
source_confluence_length_imperial = 17
mouth_name = Christina River
mouth_location = Wilmington
mouth_district =
mouth_region = New Castle County
mouth_state = Delaware
mouth_country = USA
mouth_lat_d = 39
mouth_lat_m = 43
mouth_lat_s = 55
mouth_lat_NS = N
mouth_long_d = 75
mouth_long_m = 31
mouth_long_s = 53
mouth_long_EW = W
mouth_elevation_imperial = -16
tributary_left =
tributary_left1 =
tributary_right =
tributary_right1 =
free_name =
free_value =

map_size =
map_caption = Christina River Basin, including Brandywine Creek

Brandywine CreekGnis|213697] [United States Geological Survey Hydrological Unit Code: 02-04-02-05- Brandywine-Christina Watershed] (also called the Brandywine River) is a tributary of the Christina River, approximately 20 mi (32 km) long, in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware in the United States.

It rises in western Chester County, Pennsylvania, with two branches joining about 10 mi (16 km) south of Coatesville, between East Bradford Township and Pocopson Township. The combined stream flows southeast through Chester County, past Chadds Ford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania then enters the northern portion of the state of Delaware approximately 5 mi (8 km) north of Wilmington. It flows south through Brandywine Creek State Park, into Wilmington, where it flows through Brandywine Park near the city center. It joins the Christina 1 mi (1.6 km) east of downtown Wilmington and approximately 2 mi (3 km) upstream from the mouth of the Christina on the Delaware River. The mouth of the Christina is on the Delaware River estuary and is the approximate dividing point between the freshwater Delaware River and the saltwater Delaware Bay. The Lower Brandywine (including a number of smaller tributary streams) is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River.


The confluence of the Christina and Brandywine is the site of the founding of Fort Christina, the first settlement of the New Sweden colony, in 1638.

The Brandywine was called Wauwaset by Lenni-Lenape (or Delaware) Indians and Fiskiekylen, or "Fish Creek" by early Dutch and Swedish settlers. The current name may be from an old Dutch word for brandy or gin, brandewijn, or from the name of an early mill owner, Andreas Brainwende.cite web
last =
first =
title =History of the Brandywine Valley
work =
url =
accessdate =2007-04-29

The creek lends its name to the 1777 Battle of Brandywine of the American Revolutionary War. The battle field is in southeastern Pennsylvania on the banks of the creek near Chadds Ford. The Brandywine Battlefield Park covers 50 acres, but British troops marched north of the confluence of the east and west branches during the battle.

The log cabin was introduced in America by Swedish and Finn settlers in the Brandywine Valley. The Conestoga wagon, which later became known as the "prairie schooner" was first built to haul grain from the Conestoga Valley to Brandywine flour mills. Early paper mills were also located along the creek, which supplied Benjamin Franklin's print shop and also supplied the paper to print Continental currency and the Declaration of Independence.cite web
title =History of the Brandywine Valley
url =
accessdate =2007-04-29

A group of painters, including N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth and Howard Pyle, are sometimes informally referred to as the "Brandywine School" especially for their landscape works which depict the Brandywine valley. Many of their works are on view at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford.cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Chadds Ford History
work =
publisher =
date =
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-21


Brandywine Creek (Christina River) has also been known as:
*Bainwend Kill
*Brande Wine Creek
*Brandewyn Kill
*Brandewyne Creek
*Brandywine Kill
*Brandywine River
*Fiske Creek
*Brandiwine Creek
*Brandy Wine
*Brandy Wine Creek
*Brandy-wine River

Milling and Brandywine Village

The Brandywine crosses the fall line just north of Wilmington. The elevation falls from about 300 feet above sea level in Chadds Ford, to just a few feet above sea level in Wilmington. The steep descent provided waterpower to many early industrial activities, including flour milling and the original DuPont gunpowder mills. The nearness of the fall line along the Brandywine to the Delaware river and Delaware Bay, allowed manufacturers to use high powered machinery before the use of the steam engine, and to load ocean-going ships from the same location.

By 1687, a Swedish colonist, Tyman Stidham opened the first mill on the Brandywine, near Wilmington. About 1735, Brandywine Village was founded across the creek from Wilmington. Quakers Elizabeth Levis Shipley, her husband William Shipley, and Thomas Canby were important in establishing the village and its supporting flour mills. By 1743 Thomas's son, Oliver Canby owned 3 mill sites. A dam and a millrace south of the creek had been built.

In 1760 a bridge was built at the current site of the Market Street Bridge, and the north race and two more flour mills were built by Joseph Tatnall.

The millers cooperated in maintaining quality and branding the flour. "Brandywine Superfine" flour was shipped all along the Atlantic coast and to the West Indies before the American Revolution.

Before the Battle of Brandywine, General Anthony Wayne had his headquarters in Brandywine Village and Continental troops camped nearby, on the site of Lovering Avenue. cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Greater Brandywine Village
work =1730-1820 Milling, the Revolutionary War and Industrial Innovation
publisher =
date =
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-21

The first paper mill in the United States was Gilpin's mill, in north Wilmington. This site was later used by one of the largest textile mills in the world, Bancroft Mills which is now closed.

The DuPont powder mills may be viewed at the Hagley Museum and Library. A mill race once used to provide water power is still in working condition in Brandywine Park near downtown Wilmington. This park was designed in the 1890s by Frederick Law Olmsted.


*East Branch Brandywine Creek
*West Branch Brandywine Creek


Further reading

*Henry Seidel Canby, The Brandywine, illustrated by Andrew Wyeth, 1941, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA. ISBN:0-916838-06-04

ee also

*Bancroft Mills
*Brandywine Battlefield Park
*East Branch Brandywine Creek
*Eleutherian Mills
*West Branch Brandywine Creek
*William Lea
*Wilmington State Parks

*List of Delaware rivers
*List of Pennsylvania rivers

External links

* [ U.S. Geological Survey: PA stream gaging stations]
* [ Brandywine Conservancy]
* [ Brandywine School (art review)]
* [ Brandywine Valley Association]
* [ Channel 6 Action News report on Canoeing along Brandywine Creek]
* [ Chadds Ford History]
* [ by unknown artist, attributed to Thomas Doughty, 1793-1856), "Gilpin's Mill on the Brandywine"]
* [ Lower Brandywine Scenic River Corridor]
* [ Scenic Corridor and tributary streams]

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