An Early 18th century home legendarily owned by ”Margret,” Blackbeard the pirates supposed mistress who he visited while in the town of Marcus Hook.

Plank House

My Name is Michael. My wife and I recently purchased a house from her cousin Jen. This house has been in my wife’s family for about 80 years. It is known on the Historic Register Eligibility List as Blackbeard’s Mistress’ House. We bought the house for two reasons, the first being that the house we live in now is too large for two people after all our girls grew up and had girls of their own. The second is that Jen told us that the local town wanted to buy the house and tear it down in order to build a new home in it’s place. We couldn’t let this happen even knowing the house needed work, we decided to buy it.

Jen let us start cleaning the house before we went to settlement. My wife really wanted a new kitchen so I started gutting the old one. Much to my surprise I fell through the kitchen floor. There was no crawl space and the dirt was half way up the side of the beams. I started looking through the dirt and found many pieces of plates. The artifacts looked old, so I suspected that there might be something to the legends about the house. I called up a local historian that I knew. He came to the house about an hour later with two other men who, after taking a brief look, asked to poke a hole in the wall. I said “ok” and the next thing I know I was buying a plank house from the early 18th century. After settlement we started opening up and exploring the rest of the house. To my amazement the old Plank House was still intact.

Since that time (2004), many important people have come to see the house as well as many volunteers.West Chester University Archeological Department professor Dr. Heather Wholey taught us how to grid and screen. So far from the kitchen floor alone my wife, granddaughter, sister and I have discovered over 1000 artifacts including hundreds of bones. John Milner of the Netherlands Barn Museum, Bernie Herman of the PA Historic Museum, the Delaware County Historic Commission (just to name a few) have come to visit the plank house.

Bernie Herman even found the mark of the British Crown on one of the walls. He indicated that this may be a pre 1720 house. We were also told that this was the most historically significant house in PA at this time.
Since we have removed mostly all the drywall, the house is starting to “dry out”. Since my wife and I donated the house to the Marcus Hook Preservation Society, and they are now the caretakers of this historic property – the goal is to restore the plank house to museum quality and provide tours and educational opportunities for the schools, community, the county and beyond.