Located in Chester County, the communities of Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania offer some of the best in Main Line living. Rich in history, Tredyffrin Township was part of the land originally settled by Welsh Quakers in the 17th century. The name Tredyffrin comes from the Welsh words for town, tre and a descriptive word meaning “wide, cultivated valley,” dyffryn.
Modern-day Tredyffrin Township is in the heart of the Main Line communities, and shares facilities with other adjacent townships. On Tredyffrin’s northern boundary one can find the Valley Forge National Historical Park, where George Washington encamped during the American War of Independence. Often towns and villages themselves are spread between Tredyffrin and other townships. Unincorporated communities within Tredyffrin Township include Berwyn, Devon, Paoli, Chesterbrook, Strafford, and part of Wayne. Tredyffrin is bordered by Easttown, East Whiteland, Willistown, Charlestown, and Schuylkill townships.
The area that is now known as Tredyffrin Township was part of the area the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, set aside for Welsh settlement. Though this “Welsh Tract” was meant to give the Welsh Quaker settlers autonomy and the promise of retaining their unique language and customs, eventually the area was absorbed by Chester County and Philadelphia.
The first mill in the area was established in 1710, and Swedesford Road, one of the first roads in Tredyffrin Township was completed in 1718. As the population of the area grew, so did the number and variety of churches. Through the 1700’s, Baptist, Presbyterian and Anglican congregations joined the existing Quakers to serve the area.
Tredyffrin was an important winter encampment for American forces at nearby Valley Forge from December 1777 to June 1778, with many of Washington’s generals making their quarters in the homes of Tredyffrin farmers during that winter. Many of these houses still stand and are listed historic sites in the Township. As Tredyffrin borders Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and includes part of Valley Forge National Historical Park, there are many other American Revolutionary War-related sites in the township.
Construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad or “Main Line” in the 1830’s created some of America’s first suburbs and made commuting to Philadelphia much easier. By the later that century, Tredyffrin Township became one of the communities to experience growth due to the advent of the Main Line.
Though Tredyffrin experienced modest growth in the early part of the 20th century, the township boomed in population in the period immediately following World War II. With returning GIs seeking to start families in the suburban areas surrounding Philadelphia, many chose to build their homes in Tredyffrin. The population of Tredyffrin has increased to 29,062 (2000 census) and the Great Valley is now known as the high technology corridor.
With approximately 345 acres of parkland, Tredyffrin Township Department of Parks & Reccreation maintains many parks and open space areas for the enjoyment of its residents. Preserving unique ecosystems and wildlife are priorities in Tredyffrin. In these areas, residents enjoy passive recreational activities such as nature exploration and walking. Tredyffrin’s recreational facilities include ballfields, basketball courts, tot lots, and picnic areas. The Township also sponsors recreational programs like their Basketball League and Summer Day Camps.
Jenkins Arboretum is one of eastern Pennsylvania’s major horticultural and environmental assets. With its living collections of flowering plants and trees, the Arboretum serves as an educational tool for children and adults for the stewardship of this woodland ecosystem. A habitat for many varieties of native wildlife, the Arboretum provides visitors an opportunity to see species such as green herons, foxes, king fishers, red-tail hawks, owls, flying squirrels, turtles, and 108 identified bird species. Jenkins Arboretum is open to the public 365 days a year from 8:00am to sunset with free admission.
Valley Forge National Historical Park commemorates more than the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation; it honors the ability of citizens and their leaders to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.
“Did George Washington sleep here?” is a question often asked by visitors to The Great Valley House of Valley Forge Bed and Breakfast. Older than the house George Washington stayed at during the Valley Forge encampment, this 300 year old stone farmhouse is a five minute drive to Valley Forge National Park. The house retains original fireplaces and random-width wood floors. Note the hand forged iron hinges and other historical features which your hostess, Pattye Benson, will be happy to describe.
The Devon Horse Show is one of the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competitions in the United States. Top riders from all over the world will compete at Devon; many riders compete at Devon, many of whom go on to compete in the Olympics