Downingtown, Pennsylvania is located in Chester County Pennsylvania, just about 33 miles west of Philadelphia. It is situated along the Lincoln Highway, or US Route 30, which was the first paved highway in the United states to reach coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
In the early pioneer days, Lincoln Highway was a wagon road, and was known as the Philadelphia-Lancaster Turnpike.
A man by the name of Sam Warren built a historic log house in 1705, which marked the first building in the Downingtown area. The log house remarkably remained intact for over 250 years. It was handed down through the generations, until it became the home of the Downingtown Historical Society in 1988.
A man named Downing purchased the house in 1739 and the house was later left to the city for which Downing’s name was used to name the town.
In 1904 two very well-known black citizens from Philadelphia, William Creditt and John Trower, established the Downingtown Industrial and Agricultural School, in order to train and further employment opportunities for African American young students. Patterned after the famous Tuskegee Institute in the South, the men wanted a similar learning institute in the North. Today, the campus is the home of the Delaware County Community College.
Downingtown has quietly grown into a very pleasant suburb of western Philadelphia, with its pleasant shops and well defined residential areas. The city of Downingtown has continuously renovated its downtown area, and is a good example of updated stores and professional offices, from doctors, attorneys, and other shops.
The residential areas have also spread out over the area, giving way to pleasant and growing living accommodations for its residents. Some of the more prominent businesses include the Downingtown National Bank, the First National Bank of Chester County, and the first place where Auntie Anne’s went into business, and is now a $375 million company.