Bird Mansion – Birdsboro, PA

Bird Mansion – Birdsboro, PA

William Bird c 1706-1761
In 1751, William Bird, pioneer ironmaster, built the stone mansion which now houses the Birdsboro Community Memorial Center. The home which faced the Schuylkill River, was conveniently situated across from his iron forge, and the mouth of Hay Cree as it enters the river. Throughout the years, it has served as the ironmaster’s residence and office, a hotel, and also a company store.

Mark Bird 1739-1812
Mark Bird, son of William, recognizing the need for additional pig iron for three forges he operated, built Hopewell Furnace, circa 1770. The furnace was located on the North fork of French Creek, Union Township. Appointed Assistant Deputy Quartermaster during the American Revolution, Colonel Mark Bird produced cannon, shot and shell, and armaments for both the Pennsylvania and Continental governments, and he sent 1,000 barrels of flour from his mill down the Schuylkill River to feed George Washington’s troops encamped at Valley Forge in 1778.

James Wilson 1742-1798
In 1771, Rachel Bird, Mark’s sister, married James Wilson, an attorney, patriot and statesman. Wilson maintained law offices in Philadelphia, Reading, and Carlisle. The wedding took place at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Douglassville, and the reception was held at the Bird Mansion. Wilson is perhaps best remembered as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and as an early Supreme Court Justice, appointed by President Washington.

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