Newtown Square Historical Society


Newtown Township Welcome Sign


Newtown Township is fortunate to have an active, energetic and committed Historical Society, who have become the caretakers and teachers of our rich and proud local history. The main purpose of the Society are to protect, preserve and promote the historic resources of the Township, and to tell its story to all  of its residents and visitors. Each year, children and adults find a full schedule of activities, events and opportunities to visit our historical sites. The Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) community organization. 

Purpose

John Battista and Doug Humes, the current and the past president of the Newtown Square Historical Society, will give a brief history of their Society, and explain the various programs and events which it sponsors. They will also talk about the issues faced by all community organizations in seeking the involvement of new members, and how community groups can work together to maintain the activities and events that make a community more than just a place to live.

Meetings

1st Wednesday of every month 

Members 

Name Position 
John BattistaPresident 
VacantVice President
Larry FischerTreasurer 
Karen BottgerSecretary 
John CusterSolicitor 



  1. What do we do in the community
  2. What's in store for future
  3. What help we need

What do we do in the community?

  • Monthly programs:  movie The Sheik next week at Dunwoody
  • Annual Colonial Day (started in 1995 – next year is 20th anniversary)
  • Program book for Colonial Day – our biggest revenue source – funds all that we do;
  • Annual Wassail party:  1st Saturday in December
  • Annual school tours:  since 1995 – 4th graders
  • Ellis Scholarship Award:  $500 each year 
  • PMH & Museum – weekend openings in summer – always need more guides
  • PMH maintenance and repair:  we do day to day work and raise money for larger projects
  • Archeological dig:  mill ruins and mill community
  • Preservation ordinance:  1999-2003; recommended by Planning; tabled by Supervisors
  • Website:  historicnewtownsquare.org
  • Newsletter:  monthly – sign up at website
  • Writing on local history:  in local newspapers and blogs
  • Published 3-4 books; most recent History of Bartram Bridge – for sale today
  • 4th of July Parade float
  • Gift Shop:  at PMH, online, and we bring items to events like this – Bridge Book

Brief History of Newtown Square

  • 1681:  William Penn – real estate developer; Penn’s first planned inland New Town west of City – Holmes map
  • Settled by Welsh Quakers
  • Father of American painting, Benjamin West, lived at Tavern. 
  • Was a crossroads of the Revolution – Wayne lived up the street, British raiding parties visited several times, one of          Washington’s spies, Major John Clark, operated from the Lewis farm on Goshen Road.
  • The outlaw Sandy Flash reportedly had a connection to the Tavern

Crossroads of history – Ben West, Sandy Flash, British raids, Major Clark – all at crossroads – get photo from tavern window

After Revolution, West Chester Turnpike was built – new hotel built up there in 1793 or so, and slowly the town gravitated to that intersection and away from the Goshen Rd intersection.

National Register Site 

Five Buildings on National Register of Historic Places:

  1. 1715 St. David's Church
  2. 1742 Square Tavern
  3. 1828 Crosley
  4. 1842 Hood Octagonal
  5. 1860 Bartram Bridge

1715 St. David's Church and Graveyard:

 The second oldest church building in the community, the old stone church that was standing at the time of the American Revolution is still there, Longfellow’s “little church among its graves”, the final resting place of General Mad Anthony Wayne.

Newtown Square Historical Society

Visit the Newtown Square Historical Society website for a history of our Township, view many historical images and maps and find other history- related links.