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Baldwin’s Book Barn burglarized, rare books stolen | News

EAST BRADFORD — Baldwin’s Book Barn, a Chester County landmark and one of the most unique used book businesses in the country, was broken into over the weekend, and several valuable books stolen, the store’s manager said Monday.

The thieves were apparently well aware of what they were after, said manager Carol Rauch, taking the most expensive items and leaving behind the rest.

Rauch said that workers were in the process of installing a modern security system and a new lock on the front door.

“A little after the horse got away, or left the barn, so to speak,” she said in an interview. 

William and Lilla Baldwin established their used book and collectible business in 1934 in nearby Wilmington, Del., but in 1946 they moved to “The Barn,” a building from 1822 that sits just south of West Chester on Route 52. 

The old milking house was converted into a residence for the Baldwin family and the stone barn became the bookshop and for some years, a country store museum. 

Rauch said the Baldwins now live in Florida, and were notified of the burglary on Sunday. She said they were distressed, and immediately ordered the new security system installed.

According to Rauch, store staffer Fred Danoway arrived at the barn around 10 a.m. to open up and found the glass on the front door broken. The thieves were able to reach in and unlock the door, she said.

Inside, they went right to two glass cases near the cash register that contained the store’s most prized possession. They broke the glass and loaded the contents of the cases, then escaped while also taking with them an oil painting of the barn done by local artist Sherry McVickar that hung on the wall near the register.

“It’s a mess,” she said of the store’s interior. The thieves had also broken

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