“Belfield” or “The Peale House” stands just south the Connelly Library. It is now used for the office of La Salle’s President. Partially built as early as c. 1708 (main house c. 1755) and owned by painter Charles Willson Peale from 1810-1826. William Logan Fisher bought Belfield from Peale in 1826 and owned it until he died in 1862; he, however, never lived there, lending it to his daughter Sarah Logan Fisher.
Sarah Logan Fisher wed William Wister in 1826. Her father-in-law allowed them to live in Belfield Mansion, but he retained title to the property until his death in 1862. Sarah Logan Fisher Wister ran Belfield house and farm; her own family augmented by domestic and farm workers, and kept the farm's books. There is a strong family tradition that Sarah, a formidable Quaker presence, was also active in the Underground Railroad, helping escaped slaves to avoid capture. Despite their Quaker heritage, all of Sarah’s six sons fought in the Civil War. Read more in the gallery: Residents of La Salle’s Property in the Civil War.
This gallery features a 35” square white cotton table scarf, which the Wister Family used as a means of registry for Belfield Mansion from about 1893 to 1903 . The visitors signed the cloth in pencil and then one of the family members beautifully embroidered those signatures for posterity. Many of the 110 signatories have Civil War connections.