Originally built as housing for workers of the Simsville Cotton Factory in 1814, this is the last remaining house of the 40 houses that once surrounded what is currently known as the Walker’s Mill today. The building was partitioned into eight units to house up to eight families. In 1840 the site was acquired by Alfred DuPont and continued to house workers of the cotton mill and also the DuPont powder mill across the Brandywine River. The area was renamed after Joseph Walker who operated the mill from about 1850 to 1880. Ownership of the property bounced from DuPont to Hagley Museum and then back to Dupont from the 1950s to the 1990s.
The only reason the house wasn’t razed along with the others in the past was because of Madeleine Ferraro who declared that she “was born in the house and will die in the house.” She died at the age of 97 in 1977.
Generous preservation tax credits were received for the rehabilitation of the Walker’s Mill into offices in the last decade. Unfortunately, the Walker’s Bank House seemingly has no value to its present owner, Walker’s Mill Associates. Sadly , the owners have been unwilling to make any repairs or even attempts to mothball the building for potential future use.
This building must be saved!