Marking Time highlights one of the more than 2,500 markers that have been installed throughout the state since 1914 as part of the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program, operated by PHMC's State Historic Preservation Office.

William Penn (1644–1718), who joined the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, in 1667, believed that the freedom of conscience, as it applied to religion, would ultimately result in political and economic advantages. By 1680 at the age of thirty-five he concentrated on establishing his own Quaker colony in America for which England’s King Charles II granted him the land the following year. Many Pennsylvanians for years believed that members of the Religious Society of Friends, an appellation used by a range of independent religious organizations tracing their origins to mid-seventeenth-century England and Wales, predominantly settled in the Commonwealth’s southeastern counties, particularly in and around Philadelphia. However, Friends settled throughout the Commonwealth.

Quakers settled the only village in Lycoming County’s Muncy Township — first known as Pennsville, later Hicksville, then Penn’s Dale and, finally, Pennsdale — where they built a stone meetinghouse in 1799. According to writer and historian John F. Meginness (1827–1899), editor of History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, published in 1892, the building “succeeded a log building which had been used several years for a church and school house, and occupied nearly the same site. The first meetings of the Friends in this township were held at the house of Samuel Wallis, and it is said that he built the log meeting house. William Ellis, father of Hon. William Cox Ellis, was active in promoting the erection of the Penn’s Dale house of worship. The names of some of the earliest members are yet recalled. Jesse Haines, a minister of that meeting, was frequently heard in preaching and prayer to the close of his long life, which was only six days short of a century. Mercy Ellis, who, according to the belief of the Friends, that women as well as men are commissioned to preach the Gospel, was also a minister, and continued to exercise her gift up to the eighty-seventh year of her age.”

Pennsdale’s early Quakers were industrious and influential. Samuel Wallis (circa 1730–1798), a surveyor who earned the title of “Land King,” acquired more than seven thousand acres in the region. William Ellis (1751–1806) served as land agent for Wallis, and his wife, Mercy Cox Ellis (1761– 1848), was a prominent Quaker preacher. Their son, William Cox Ellis (1787–1871), served in Congress, as well as in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and was a lawyer and banker. Jesse Haines (1756–1856) was a well-known Quaker minister and school teacher.

During the nineteenth century, the meetinghouse served as an assembly point for fugitive slaves making their way north along the Underground Railroad to Canada.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) installed a state historical marker commemorating the Pennsdale Meeting on May 1, 1947. PHMC has adopted “William Penn’s Legacy: Religious and Spiritual Diversity” as its annual theme for 2011