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 The History of East Whiteland Township

White Horse Tavern - Flag

The first European settlers, who were Welsh, arrived in Whiteland Township about 1621. Founded in 1704, Whiteland Township was made up of what is today known as East and West Whiteland townships. The name Whiteland originates from Whiteland Gardens, Flintshire, Wales. Whiteland Township was divided into two townships in 1732. East Whiteland covers more than seven thousand acres.

Native Americans called the area “The Dark Valley” because of the tree and undergrowth that once blanketed the land. During the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington and many of his troops camped at Malin Hall, Malin Road, in preparation for a Sept. 16, 1777 encounter with British Gen. William Howe. The Continental Army also camped near White Horse Inn on Swedesford Road. Because of inclement weather, however, “The Battle of the Clouds” was never fought.

Sean Moir, a resident of Tredyffrin township has created an animated map showing the troop movements surrounding the battle locally referred to as the Paoli Massacre.  Watch and see the troops move along roads that we still use today.  As a guide, the blue shapes represent Continental soldiers, red represents British soldiers (the red coats) and the green shapes are Hessian mercenaries who fought for the English.   Here’s the link...

 Historical Sites

Gunkle Spring Mill
Gunkle Spring Mill
Gunkle Spring Mill is a nationally registered historical resource.

Michael Gunkle built Spring Mill, his first mill, in 1793. The structure represents post-Revolutionary development in the Great Valley. During this period, trails became wagon roads - then turnpikes - as stone houses, manors and stone barns began to replace earlier log structures because of increasing affluence. By 1872 the mill processed 1,800 tons of flour, feed, corn and oats yearly. At the peak of its productivity, the mill ran 18 hours a day.

Today the land and residential areas on Michael Gunkle’s original property still are called Spring Mill Farms.
Lapp Log HouseLapp Log House
The house, built in 1700, continues as a residence today. Owned by the Chester County Historical Society, the house was open for educational tours during the Bicentennial Celebration in 1976.
St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley
St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley
The church originally was built with logs in 1710. It was rebuilt with stone in 1744. During the Revolutionary War, the congregation was split between Whigs and Loyalists. According to speculation, St. Peter’s Church escaped damage because of the divided loyalties of its membership.
General Warren InnGeneral Warren Inn
Built by George Ashton, a prominent member of St. Peter’s Church, General Warren Inn was owned by the Penn family at the time of the American Revolution. Operated by Peter Mather as the Admiral Warren during the Revolution, the tavern gave Warren Avenue its name. Mather, a Tory, was credited with informing the British of the position of Gen. Anthony Wayne’s troops before the Paoli Massacre in September 1777.

White Horse Tavern

White Horse Tavern

At the end of the Revolutionary War, the Admiral Warren seriously was considered as a site for the county seat of Chester County. Because Mather and the Penn family were Tories, however, the matter was dropped.

Established in 1721, the White Horse Tavern was built along Swedesford Road - the oldest road in the state. It was a drover’s tavern, used as a stop for farmers who drove their livestock to market in Philadelphia.

During the American Revolution, the tavern was a busy site because of its location between Lancaster, where the Continental Congress was meeting, and George Washington’s encampment at Valley Forge.

William Latta House
William Latta House
This house, also known as the Long Pull Farm, traces its original construction to 1729. With 19th and 20th century additions, the house still is used as a residence today.
Three Bottles TavernThree Bottles Tavern
Built in 1720, the tavern is a private residence today. Because the majority of 18th century colonists were illiterate, the tavern used pictures on most of its signs.
Malin Hall
Malin Hall
George Washington slept here. The Continental Army general used Malin Hall as his headquarters the night of Sept. 15, 1777. The army was deployed along the Swede’s Ford road between Malin Hall and the White Horse Inn, 3-1/2 miles to the west.
Wayne Tavern
Wayne Tavern
This tavern later was called Linden Hall for the row of Linden trees that stood in front.

Lock AerieLock Aerie

William Lockwood, a successful Philadelphia manufacturer, acquired the property in 1863. He hired noted Philadelphia architect Addison Hutton to design the Victorian villa. The property also included a water supply system, gas works and a small lake and fountain.

Municipal Building
209 Conestoga Rd
Frazer, PA 19355

P: 610.648.0600
F: 610.648.0388

Office Hours:
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
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