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History​

White Clay Creek Preserve is part of a larger tract of land sold to William Penn in 1683 by Lenni Lenape Chief Kekelappen. It is thought that Kekelappen lived in Opasiskunk, an “Indian Town” which appears on a survey map of 1699 at the confluence of the Middle and East branches of White Clay Creek.

This area is now part of the preserve.

Opasiskunk was a large settlement, covering several acres. Archeological evidence points to habitation in the area from the early Archaic Period up through the early 18th century. Frequent flooding during the past two centuries obliterated all surface evidence of this once important settlement.

There are several points of historical interest in the preserve. The Yeatman Mill House is probably the oldest dwelling in the area. It was the hub of a very prosperous milling and agricultural complex in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Built during 1729, the London Tract Baptist Meetinghouse is at the intersection of Sharpless and London Tract roads. In its stone-walled cemetery rest many of the area’s earliest settlers including Dr. David Eaton, whose home across the street in the preserve, is a classic example of a double door Pennsylvania stone farmhouse.

Two further points of interest are the tri-state Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Arc Corner monuments marking historical points along the Mason-Dixon Line.

During 1984, the DuPont Company donated land to Pennsylvania and Delaware for the purpose of preserving the diverse and unique plant and animal species, and the rich cultural heritage of the area.

Today, these lands form the bi-state White Clay Creek Preserve -- the only land designated as a preserve in DCNR's Bureau of State Parks.

Because White Clay Creek posses outstanding scenic, wildlife, recreational, and cultural value, it has been designated by Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River, and shall be preserved in free-flowing condition for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Detailed information about the geology of the area is available from the:

Trail of Geology - White Clay Creek Preserve Guide (PDF)