The lands of Goshen were purchased in 1681 from William Penn as part of the Welsh tract of Westtown. By 1704, Goshen and Westtown had become separate townships. In 1788, the formation of the Borough of West Chester reduced the size of Goshen. Finally, in 1817, the Township divided into East and West Goshen Townships. At the time of the 1820 census, West Goshen’s population numbered 757.
West Goshen was primarily a farming community in its early history. Before long, many different businesses began to appear, including several women-owned enterprises. Trades such as cabinet-making, tailoring, weaving, clock-making, and wool-making characterized the area. The completion of railroads in the 1830’s and 1850’s facilitated the delivery of goods and services to the Township, and marked the migration of many Philadelphians seeking country residences.
By 1930, West Goshen’s population had risen to 1,958. The farming community had grown into a suburban neighborhood. In 1950, the population was 3,500. The Township experienced its most explosive growth during the 1960’s and 1970’s, and today can boast over 20,000 residents and a balanced mix of residential, business, office, retail, and industrial uses.
West Goshen Township has been named since 2007 as one of Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” six consecutive times, most recenly in 2017. Money Magazine ranks the top 100 “Best Places to Live” every two years and West Goshen Township has been in the top 100 “Best Places to Live” for 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Government & Demographics
Form of Government: Second Class Township
Millage & Taxes
Municipal Millage: 2.00
Township Services: Full services, including police, sewage collection and treatment, solid waste collection, Code Enforcement, construction and maintenance of streets, Subdivision and Land Development and parks and recreation programs
Services Provided by Others: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA); Aqua America Pennsylvania; fire protection provided by Fame, Good Will, Goshen, and West Chester Fire Companies; EMS provided by Goshen Fire Company and Good Fellowship Ambulance Company
Services Provided to Areas Outside the Township: The Sewer Authority and the Township have entered into agreements with East Goshen, Westtown, West Whiteland and Thornbury (Chester County) Townships to accept flows from these municipalities into the West Goshen Sewer system
Public Schools Serving West Goshen Students: East Bradford Elementary School, Exton Elementary School, Fern Hill Elementary School, Glen Acres Elementary School, Hillsdale Elementary School, Mary C. Howse Elementary School, Sarah W. Starkweather Elementary School, Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School, J.R. Fugett Middle School, E.N. Pierce Middle School, G.A. Stetson Middle School, B. Reed Henderson High School, West Chester East High School, Rustin High School
Public Schools Located in West Goshen Township: Fern Hill Elementary School, Glen Acres Elementary School, Fugett Middle School, E.N. Pierce Middle School, West Chester East High School