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Sankanac Village was built in the late 1880s to house workers to mine granite from a nearby quarry. The village consisted of a church, cemetery, train station, houses, stores, etc. The village was abandoned in 1914.   

Sankanac and surrounding area - Jonathan Hoppe



Prepared by Robert Houck





Train schedule


abandoned RR tracks

courtesy of The Wandering Woodsman

I have been scanning articles prepared by Robert Earl Houck (1919? - 2004) who grew up on Northside Road near Trythall.

Dan Barringer



Attached are a few that reference burial sites at or near Sankanac.


1. “Black Slaves Living in Warwick Township Chester County PA.” Some of the narrative is in Robert Houck’s voice, some is from Myrtle Care Styer. She describes visiting graves near Sankanac Village, those of workers killed at the quarry, marked with stones with initials. It seems like all sign of them had been obscured years ago when she returned to look for them. That area was behind (on the slope above) the “Trythall Farm” of the era when Sankanac was active (Myrtle Care Styer was a granddaughter of John and Susan Trythall). Trythall Farm was on the east side of Trythall Road, now all woods, some owned today by Wade’s Christmas Tree Farm and some part of State Game Lands #43.


2. “Disappeared Homes” (letter to Estelle Cremers). In #12 on the list Robert Houck refers to the Mose Graddis cabin, one of three that he has mapped as being on the west side of Trythall Road, in what is now part of Crow’s Nest Preserve. The vegetation is very thick there, but in the winter you can see stone walls or foundations, as well as one incredible dry-laid well that I only discovered this year (after 20+ years of crawling around there; photo attached). He also could not find the grave markers near the Trythall Farm when he looked, probably 40 years ago. Also see  #15, Sankanac Boarding House, torn down to provide stone for Mauger Undertaker Home. The David Potts mansion (#14) must have been nearby to the west of Trythall Road (difficult to believe today—no visible sign). Robert Houck places the Frances Pottery (#21) near the top of the hill on Trythall Road, probably the east side. Robert Houck writes that these three Black families are also buried near the Trythall Farm but he could not locate the graves.


3. Map of Houcktown (not to scale) prepared by Robert Earl Houck. This is labeled with Sankanac, David Potts mansion, Mose Graddis Cabin, Trythall Station, etc. It also shows an “Indian Graveyard” at the location that is known locally as the “Chief’s Grove” at Crow’s Nest Preserve—thought to be a burial site of at least one Lenape man. That’s about a mile from Sankanac but may be what Houck refers to in “Disappeared Homes,” in the penultimate sentence in paragraph for item #21.


Much of the land west of Trythall Road is now part of Crow’s Nest Preserve, including the former Warwick Woods campground, and open to the public. It is incredible to me to read about the density of industry and settlement in this area when it looks so natural today.


Here’s a link to vintage weblog entries I wrote on January 6 and 11, 2006 on this area: There’s not a lot of new information there, and mostly based on the original documents from Mr. Houck that are attached here (we always called him Earl Houck, but he wrote his name several ways).

In March of 2024 Sankanac village was listed as an archaeological site by Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey, (PASS).

The ID Number is 2024RE00481 and the name is 36CH1093 : Sankanac Village.

There are 142 archaeological sites in the OJR school district.

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