As 2020 comes to a close, the West Goshen Historical Commission would like to cap off the year by taking a look back at some of the significant moments in the history of the township and surrounding area. Over the past three centuries, our township has experienced many monumental events and was home to many influential people. From the Battle of the Clouds during the Revolutionary War to the founding of our modern township in 1817 to the last West Chester Pike trolley ride in 1954. Our township is filled with an abundance of historical recollections. As you explore the township’s past, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and Happy New Year.
1682: William Penn maps the first three counties of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Bucks, and Chester
1704: Goshen Township is established from the Welsh Tract named for the majority population of Welsh-speaking Quakers.
1710: Goshen Road is mapped becoming the first major road to Philadelphia.
1727: Collins Mansion is built along Goshen Road. Oldest surviving house in West Goshen Township.
1765: Boot Tavern opens for business at Boot Road and Phoenixville Pike. Tavern used to conduct township business.
1769: John Hoopes opens a new Turk’s Head Tavern located at present-day High Street and Market Street, West Chester Borough.
1774: First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia consisting of representatives from each of the thirteen colonies. They discuss their opposition to new taxes imposed by England.
Sept. 16, 1777: Battle of the Clouds: General Washington and the American troops prepare to battle against General Howe and the British Army. Before they could engage in battle, a torrential rainstorm causes each side to retreat.
1786: The country town of West Chester becomes the seat of Chester County.
1789: Delaware County is established from the eastern portion of Chester County producing the present day county borders.
1790: Bishop’s Lodge is built along Goshen Road.
1799: West Chester Borough is formed from Goshen Township.
1806: Roger-Hoopes House is constructed by Mary Rogers along Fern Hill Road.
1817: Goshen Township divides into two creating West Goshen Township and East Goshen Township.
1861: Green Mount Cemetery is formed along Westtown Road.
Sept. 20, 1862: Charles Edwin King of West Chester dies at age 13 as the youngest solder to be killed during the Civil War. He joined the Union Army as a drummer boy. King’s body is not recovered, but a monument in his memory is placed at Green Mount Cemetery.
1872: Daily Local News newspaper company is established.
1898: John Shimer establishes The Philadelphia Castle Rock and West Chester Railway. A trolley line that travelled along West Chester Pike between West Chester and Philadelphia.
1907: Greystone Hall is constructed for Philip M. Sharples (1857-1944). The inventor of the Sharples Tubular Cream Separator.
1954: One of the last West Chester Pike trolley rides on the tracks once located along West Chester Pike. Photo location: US 202 overpass looking east towards Philadelphia.
Author: Kevin Pistiner, Historical Commission Chair