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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania

Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania, (population 29,026), is the most populous of Chester County’s 73 municipalities. Incorporated in 1707, it was part of Pennsylvania’s “breadbasket” serving the colonies.  

During the Revolution, the American Army spent the winter of 1777-78 here at Valley Forge, and many of the early farmhouses served as quarters for both British and American generals. In the early 19th century, agricultural innovations resulted in increased output, and produce was shipped to Philadelphia via the Lancaster Turnpike and later by the Pennsylvania Railroad.  

After the Civil War, Philadelphians began purchasing summer homes in the suburbs. New villages lured the upper middle class to Tredyffrin. Township growth accelerated after World War II, culminating with the planned community of Chesterbrook in the 1980s. Today Tredyffrin is centered in a high technology corridor and is home to Unisys, Vanguard, Johnson Matthey, Shire Pharmaceuticals, AmeriSource Bergen, and Tyco Electronics. 

Tredyffrin Township boasts important architecture from the early 18th through the mid-20th centuries, from generals’ headquarters to former country estate mansions. In 2004, the township opened Wilson Farm Park, which preserved the 90-acre Elda Farm, built in 1836.  

Among the town’s attractions is the Wharton Esherick Museum, a National Historic Landmark. Sculptor Esherick began building his home in 1926 and spent 40 years working on the stone building. He carved the doors, forged the hinges, shaped the copper sinks, and sculpted the andirons, door latches, chairs, and kitchen cabinets.  

Other historic buildings include the Diamond Rock Octagonal School House, built in 1818; General Howe’s 1777 headquarters; and the Jones Log Barn, an 18th century structure, which is being rebuilt at Wilson Farm Park for use as a local history center.  

For more information

Tredyffrin Township: www.tredyffrin.org

Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust: www.tredyffrinhistory.org

Posted March 16, 2009

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