Historic Newtown Square Day

JUNE 4, 2016

10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.



Newtown Township was planned by William Penn as one of the first inland “new towns” in Pennsylvania.  It has five sites on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as several others that are eligible for that listing.  Each year we open these sites, and other historic sites, for tours and activities, as we celebrate over 300 years of history in Penn’s New Town.

I Love a Parade!  The Newtown Square Fire Company is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, with a parade of more than 100 fire trucks down West Chester Pike.  They will be staging at St. Anastasia Church before 10:30 a.m., and then will cruise west on West Chester Pike beginning at 11:00 a.m. till about Noon.  They will then go off to assemble on the Main Line Health parking for judging.  Map 8

1742 Square Tavern-Art Show:  Local artists will participate in an art show at the Tavern.  Paintings for Sale! Refreshments served!  MAP 1

Tavern Green:  Bluegrass music, food, vendors, crafters, children’s activities, face painting, the 1st Colonial Regiment of Foot Revolutionary Soldiers, Lenape native demonstration, sheep shearing & blacksmith demonstrations, animals and more.  Map 1

Raffle Baskets:  Our local merchants have donated an amazing collection of more than $2,500 in merchandise and gift certificates that we have divided into eight (perhaps more – still donating!) different baskets of cheer.  Buy your raffle tickets and you choose which baskets you bid on.  All items will be on display at the Tavern Green all day long.  Map 1

1711 Newtown Square Friends Meeting & Cemetery:  Newtown Square was settled by Welsh Quakers.  They built an early meeting house at this site in 1711, and expanded it in 1791.  You can still see the architectural “ghost” of the first building in the second.  Come visit where Newtown Square residents have been worshipping for over 300 years.  Map 4

1828 Paper Mill House & Museum:  This area along Darby Creek was the 19th century version of an industrial park.  Various mills powered by the water flowing from the creek ground our flour, sawed our wood, and made textiles and paper for export.  And a whole community of workers lived there.  In our local history Museum, we have re-created rooms from their homes, and an 1850 general store at the site, and the upstairs rooms have a variety of items of local history on display.  Outside, explore mill ruins.  Map 3

1860 Bartram Bridge:  The last remaining covered bridge in Delaware County, crossing the Crum Creek.  Neglect and vandalism almost did the old bridge in, but history minded residents on each side of the bridge, in Willistown and Newtown, have raised money to keep the bridge in good repair.  Gates keep out the vandals, but the gates open on this day so you can visit and see the inside of the bridge, the Burr Arch, and perhaps sneak a kiss out of sight of prying eyes, as lovers have been doing for over 150 years.  Map 2

1895 Newtown Square Railroad Museum:  Newtown was served by a passenger and freight rail line built in the late 1890’s.  Passenger service was discontinued early on, but the “milk run” brought fresh milk from the Pennsylvania Farm to the Pennsylvania Hospital for much of the 20th century.  The original freight house was moved from its site to the Drexel Lodge property, and a wonderful Railroad Museum has been created with engines, rolling stock, and great photos and fixtures that tell about Newtown’s railroad history.  Map 5

Garrett-Williamson Farm and Home: The local 4-H will show off their farm skills and animals at the Garrett Williamson farm.  A great stop for children of all ages!  Check out and pet the animals, tour the barn, and also see the historic Williamson house of one of the earliest settlers in Newtown Township.  Map 7

Delco Veterans Memorial:  Delaware County has honored its military veterans with a beautiful granite memorial visible along West Chester Pike.  Come out and meet some of those veterans, search the memorial wall and view the statue installed last year honoring “Wild Bill” Guarnere, one of the Band of Brothers.  And, see the most recent addition, the “Hall of Prayers” now under construction.  Map 6

Cost? One $5 ticket for the day allows access to Tavern and Paper Mill House.  All other sites free.  Children always free.  Donations encouraged!  The money that is raised supports education and historic preservation in the Township.  A program book will be available at each site, with more history on the sites that are open this year and street addresses for your GPS.  Guides will be available to answer questions.