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La Salle Local History

Little Wakefield


Little Wakefield etching"Little Wakefield" was built by Thomas Rodman Fisher (1802-1861) in 1829. The house was owned by three generations to follow, until 1946, when Thomas Rodman Fisher's great-grandson Sydney L. Wright, Jr. sold the house to the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great. La Salle University purchased the house and the surrounding land in 1989. The house, which still stands, is presently utilized as the St.Mutien's Christian Brothers Residence. During World War I "Little Wakefield" was used as a demonstration center for a local branch of the National League of Women's Service.

Read an essay about the early years at "Little Wakefield" in La Salle's Digital Commons.

Read an essay about the National League for Women's Service in La Salle's Digital Commons.


Pictured: Pennell, Joseph. Little Wakefield. 1881. Etching. Collection of La Salle University Art Museum.

Thomas Rodman Fisher

Thomas Rodman Fisher (1802-1861), son of William Logan Fisher and Mary Rodman, married Letitia Harvey Ellicott in 1829. "Little Wakefield" was built in 1829 for his marriage. They had six children: Sarah Ellicott Fisher (1830-1832), William Logan Fisher (1832-1858), George Logan Fisher (1835-1836), Mary Rodman Fisher (1838-1899), Ellicott Fisher (1846-1908) and Harvey Fisher (1843-1885). Thomas Rodman Fisher is known for his success in managing Wakefield Mills

A significant amount of archival material related to Thomas Rodman Fisher and his family is preserved in the William Redwood Wright family papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

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Little Wakefield


"Little Wakefield" during World War I. Postcard preserved in the Ethel Langhorne Wister Chichester papers at La Salle University.

Mary Rodman Fisher Carpenter

Mary Rodman Fisher Carpenter (1838-1899), daughter of Thomas Rodman Fisher and Letitia Harvey Ellicott, married George Washington Carpenter (1837-1921) in 1860. She lived with her husband and family at "Little Wakefield" during the Civil War era. She had two children, Letitia ("Letty") Ellicott Carpenter (1861-1933), and Elizabeth Rodman Fisher Carpenter (1870-1942). "Waldheim" was built in 1881 upon Letitia's marriage to William Redwood Wright (1846-1914).