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A Brief History of Downingtown, PA

downingtown personal injury attorney near downingtown log house

The personal injury attorneys in Downingtown, PA, sponsor this article to present some detailed information about the community.

Downingtown is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The borough spans 2.22 square miles and hosts an approximate population of 7,897 with a population density of 3,557.20 per square mile. Downingtown belongs to ZIP codes 19335, 19372, and area codes 610 and 484.


Daniel Butler founded Downingtown, which was originally named Milltown after the numerous mills within the area. The Butler family was the largest contributor to paper mills within the town.

During the American Revolution, the town was commonly referred to as Downingtown after Thomas Downing, a well-known Quaker immigrant from Bradninch, England.

In 1705, Sammi Warren built the Downingtown Log House, a 1 1/2-story, round log structure. By 1713, the house was sold to Thomas Downing and belonged to the family until 1940. Following Thomas Downing's death, he left the log house to the borough of Downingtown, and it is still open to the public today.

The Downingtown Log House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

By 1812, the town was officially named Downingtown after Thomas Downing.

The town continued to develop and prosper. By 1904, John S. Trower and William A. Creditt founded the Downingtown Industrial and Agricultural Society, a school for African Americans in Chester County. The school was built on a 100-acre campus and was originally a private non-denominational school.

The school became popular amongst students in Northeast cities, and by 1907, the school became state-supported. The school was open until 1933 until Delaware County Community College acquired the property. The college built a new facility on the property and became the Chester County campus location for the college.

Downingtown remains an area of rich history and has continued to develop, particularly in the downtown area.

Historic Landmarks

With such rich history, it should be no surprise that Downingtown has several historic landmarks. Within the borough, you will find several historical places including,

General Washington Inn

  • The historic inn and tavern were built in 1761, reflecting a mix of Georgian and Federal architectural styles. The building was the site of the first post office in Chester County in 1796 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places list in 1979.

Roger Hunt Mill

  • The mill grist complex was built from 1740 to 1759. The complex's contributing buildings include a mill, the main house, a two-story Queen-Anne-style carriage house, and a Greek-Revival-style tenant house. The mill complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

East Lancaster Historic District

  • Within Downingtown is the East Lancaster Historic District along E. Lancaster Ave. The district has 121 contributing buildings and 1 contributing site. Many of the buildings within the district encompass Georgian, Federal, and Victorian architectural styles. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

If you're looking to visit an area with rich history and plenty of historic landmarks, consider Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Want to learn more? See the related: Altor, PA: A Local Guide

Our Local Office

If you or someone you love has sustained personal damages from an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Allow the Downingtown, PA, personal injury attorneys to fight for the justice you deserve. Contact our legal team today for a free consultation.

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Exton, PA 19341
(484) 214-4985

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David Petrone
Date Published: June 11, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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