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Voice mail: (610) 431-6955

A Short & Sweet Summary

Upcoming Events


Sept. 2017  

   Due to popular demand, I will return as a guest of East Brandywine Township on September 27th to  discuss my book-in-progress, The Story of Milford Mills and The Marsh Creek Valley.  The updated book (from a now out-of-print book) includes many more chapters, new maps, and rare photos  of area hamlets that were part of the eminent domain process. 


The presentation, “Talkback of Milford Mills,” begins at 7:30 pm at the township building in Guthriesville and will include a Powerpoint presentation of  the expanded book. An important part of the evening, however, will be time to share stories and photos of the “lost” village of Milford Mills.   

Please feel free to reach out to me prior to the presentation by emailing me or calling my voice mail. 

Come out to share your stories, meet other local residents, and enjoy old photos of the Marsh Creek Valley. Refreshments will be served.     

Guest Speaking


I have many years of experience giving original presentations that are custom-made  to each audience.

Here are a few examples:

 “International Marketing and Branding – how products were sold the “Sharples Way.”  This fascinating illustrated lecture will highlight the marketing genus of Philip M. Sharples (1857 – 1944). Learn the pioneering techniques Sharples used to sell his cream separator to such far-flung countries as Japan and Germany.  

The lecture will appeal to students of marketing as well as early advertising such as illustrated color magazine ads. The success of the famous Sharples Tubular Cream Separator can be seen in its duration – it sold from the 1890s to the 1930s – and the fact that it was considered a life changer by farm women across America.    

A lecture on “Indian Hannah” aka Hannah Freeman. Scroll down below and download my magazine story about the county poorhouse, where Hannah spent her final years. 

From “A Lenape Among the Quakers"  by Dawn G. Marsh  

Hannah Freeman’s story is a history burdened with paradoxes. Peace reigned between Hannah Freeman and her Quaker neighbors as the violent events of the eighteenth century engulfed the region: the French and Indian War, the Paxton Massacre, and American Revolution. Hannah and her neighbors  remained uniquely separate in their cultural histories, traditions, and practices but at the same time had much in common. They farmed, worked, and had families side by side. They healed sickness, shared loss, and buried their dead in ways that created mutual empathy.  

Writing Projects


The subject of many of the images  in the "Photo Gallery" are found in The Story of Milford Mills,  first published in the late 1980s. I am expanding the book with additional historic maps, vintage photos, and interviews. I am thrilled with the response I received at my outdoor lecture "Milford Mills: A Lost Village," hosted by the East Brandywine Township  in June of 2017 at the west boat launch at Marsh Creek State Park.

My upcoming publication, the American Revolution in the Brandywine Valley,  is explained elsewhere. 

I am also working on illustrated book on the early community of Johnsontown – no, not the Pennsylvania town famous for its 19th- century flood.

My subject  – Johnsontown  –  is the historic Italian-American community in the "West Ward" of  Downingtown, Pa.  

The 80-page book  traces the early railroad community from its Irish immigrant beginnings to "founder" John H. Johnson's decision in the 1870s to purchase open land near a town depot as well as coal and lumber yards and to survey building lots. A Roman Catholic church, St. Joseph's, was established more than a decade earlier along what was then Johnston's main street, Bradford Avenue.    

Upcoming Publications


My upcoming publication, the American Revolution in the Brandywine Valley, is scheduled to be published in early 2018 by Schiffer Publishing.

The hardback book is an illustrated history featuring contemporary images by photographer Fred Weyman. It is based on my many years of research and on the work of the Brandywine Taskforce.  Read more about this county group  in my magazine piece available on the "download" section of this web site.   



My services include help with E-publishing, or "on-demand" books as well writing  web site  content and short bios for artists. 

 Visit:  http://quillman-publications.com/services/

About Me

My background


I am  the author of several regional books about the area's artistic and cultural history, including 100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley, which showcases painters, sculptors, and photographers.  I spent more than 20 years writing about the Arts and local history for the Philadelphia Inquirer. My last five years at the paper were spent covering the local dining scene outside of Philadelphia. 

I earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English with a creative writing focus.  

My graduate degree is from Philadelphia's Temple University, where my creative writing advisor was the novelist David Bradley and I won the  Maurice Beebe prize for essay writing, an award connected to an internship at the university press.      

My writing roots


My interest in writing dates back to childhood when I co-produced a rather messy newspaper with hand-drawn columns and fake advertisements that were satirical before I knew the term. 

 I went onto be the first sophomore to live in the “literary” house at  Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.  The college has the largest literary endowment in the nation, thanks to the 1930s novelist Sophie Kerr. 

During my time in “Richmond House,” the Associated Writing Program was based there and the visitors included New Yorker writers and poets,  and  such literary luminaries as  John Barth and Allen Ginsburg, who during their respective visits, ate an oysterman’s lunch and stayed overnight after trying to repeat his 1967 "happening," when he famously  led a group  chanting ancient Aramaic exorcism rites  in an attempt to levitate the Pentagon. Naturally, we were inspired as young writers with Ginsberg's unwavering faith in the power of words. 

The following year, I took a workshop with Ginsberg and heard a rare performance of Howl  when I was a student  at Manchester College, Oxford University.  It was one of many memorable parts of my Oxford "experience," which included studying  in the historic Bodleian library and writing  weekly essays with tutors at different colleges.  My free time was spent exploring Oxford's  book shops, seeing plays in London, and taking part in the  university races as a member of a  women's crew team for Linacre College. 


Other literary honors


My different honors in Arts journalism, creative nonfiction, and fiction typically have been in  the form of grants and scholarships to well-known literary workshops. 

They have included the “Tin House”  (a literary magazine) summer writing program in Portland, Oregon; the Vermont Studio School; the University of New Mexico’s summer program in Taos; and the Summer Literary Seminars (SLS) , an international literary study and cultural organization.  I took part in SLS's  workshop in Vilnius, meeting writers and poets from throughout the world but especially from former Soviet bloc nations  in Eastern Europe.                                         

I have also been accepted into the teaching program of  the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project at West Chester University and  have received funding for writing projects from the Leeway Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.  

As the co-author of  Walking the East End: A Historic African-American Community in West Chester, Pennsylvania, I earned a preservation service award from the West Chester Downtown Foundation. 


Contact Me

about my writing, local history, or any questions

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This web site is an introduction to my writing and services.

For information about my publications and ebook publishing services visit 


Catherine C. Quillman

346 E. Biddle St., West Chester, PA 19380, US

voice mail: (610) 431-6955


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