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The Christian C. Sanderson Museum

A history buff’s astonishing personal collection


The Experience

If there were ever a truly eclectic collector, it was Christian Sanderson, whose 4,000-item collection is packed into eight rooms of his old house. You’ll see things truly historic and valuable, like his autographs of celebrities ranging from President Millard Fillmore to Helen Keller, and Andrew Wyeth’s only pastel drawing.

Then there is the strange debris of history: a penny run over by Abe Lincoln’s funeral train as it sped through Philadelphia, a piece of tile from Eva Braun’s bathroom, and a painting of the Washington Monument made on a piece of its capstone. Other stuff defies classification: sand from the digging of the Panama Canal, a $2 bill signed by both Sanderson and Mae West, a postcard sent to Adolf Hitler, and cannonballs found in Sanderson’s backyard.


Sanderson was a longtime teacher, radio broadcaster and square-dance caller in the area. A lover of history, he was a collector of the pack-rat variety, filling staircases and closets willy-nilly with his treasures. In his handwritten will, Sanderson stated that anything in his house that would help write his biography was to be turned over to Tom Thompson, who is now the curator of the collection.

Other Information

Open weekend afternoons and by appointment

Insider Tip

Don’t miss the Lincoln memorabilia, like a piece of the bandage from his fatal wound and a log chip from his boyhood home.

Some Kids’ Stuff

Sanderson’s wooden toys, baby shoes, school papers and other boyhood items show what childhood was like in Chester County in the late 1800s.


Route 100 and U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

(610) 388-6545

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