Art: John Jarvis’ The Pequea Valley

I’m a big fan of John Jarvis’ artwork. You can find his artwork all over the Susquehanna Valley, highlighting prominent Lancaster County locations. Jarvis’ 2009 obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer called him an “educator and preservationist.” Here are just two examples from his long CV. He served as headmaster of Lancaster Country Day School from 1965-1990 and was president of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County from 1995 through 1998.

Here’s your chance to own some of his unique work.

John Jarvis displays his historical map of the Pequea Valley in 1998.

The Pequea Valley Poster

During his tenure as Trust president, Jarvis drew The Pequea Valley poster for the organization. The group, which I’m on the board for, recently uncovered a stack of these 26 x 20 prints and is selling them on their website for the low price of $25, including shipping.

The Pequea Valley Poster by John Jarvis.

The lithograph features a unique perspective on the Pequea Valley and includes colorful and informative historic snapshots that took place in the region as far back as 1686. Here is some of the information the poster highlights:

William Penn received the largest grant of land given to anyone in the history of Christendom by Charles II in 1681. Pennsylvania was to stretch from 40° to 43° North latitude and from the Delaware River west 5°. When Penn arrived in 1682, he found to his dismay, that he had to sail to the site of Philadephia before reaching 40° North.

Lord Baltimore had been given Maryland in 1632 from the Potomac up to 40° North but had never established where his northern boundary lay. Much of Pennsylvania should have been in Maryland.

Penn returned to England in 1684 to influence Charles II to change the boundary line and to find settlers to live in the disputed area. The Pequea Valley should have been in Maryland.

Penn’s Holy Experiment was to be different from New England and Virginia. He would welcome all religions and nationalities, and he could offer not the hardscrabble hill of Massachusetts or the malarial swamps of the Chesapeake but the finest farmlands in North America. Swiss, Huguenots, Palatinates, Germans, English, and Welsh Quakers and Scots answered Penn’s dream for Pennsylvania. The first wave of Penn’s new settlers into what was to become Lancaster County came into the Pequea Valley through Gap in the Hills in 1710. We are the heirs of the dream of William Penn.

Nine years after Penn’s visit to Gap in the Hills in 1701, the first “Swissers” along the Great Minquas Path, west of what was to be Strasburg. They were immediately followed by French Huguenots under the leadership of Madam Ferree (click here to read more about Marie Ferree), who had been encouraged to come by Penn and Queen Anne. She was accompanied by her son, Daniel, and her son-in-law, Isaax Lefevre. She died in 1716 and is buried in Carpenter’s Cemetery.

The Shawnees who gave the Pequea its name arrived in this area in 1698. They had been driven north by colonial settlements in Virginia and the Carolinas. Penn visited King Opessah at Pequea in 1701 and “was entertained right royally in the Kings Palace.” King Opessah traveled to Philadelphia in 1701 when Penn left, never to return.

Other points-of-interest includes:

  • The site of Cartledge Brothers Trading Post
  • Indiantown (Scene of Massacre 1763)
  • The Great Minquas Path
  • Maddam Ferree’s Cemetery
  • The Hans Herr House

Purchase a Copy of The Pequea Valley Poster

Click here to purchase a 26″x20″ print of the Pequea Valley Poster from the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County.

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