Berwyn community holiday party and tree lighting Sunday 12/5 starting at 6.30 pm. The big evergreen tree at the Berwyn Train Station by the east bound tracks always seemed the central hub of the village of Berwyn. Many years ago, Gene Williams remembers saving this area in the parking lot by not allowing commuter parking spaces. The early development of the village was around the train area. In the 19th century, a market car allowed the local farmers in the surrounding area to ship their produce into the city. Other businesses supporting the train line developed between the Lancaster Turnpike and the railroad tracks. Around the station area, businesses like Fritz Lumber, Mack Oil Burns Milling and the Bronze Company all with access to the tracks as well as the bank, post office, livery stables and general stores all centralized around the station area.
The Berwyn Devon Business and Professional Association formed in the 1930's in response to the Lancaster Highway, Route 30 coming through town. Along with Easttown Township and the Berwyn Fire Company they worked together to light up the big evergreen in the center of the parking lot. Electricity came from one of the telephone poles in the lot along the highway. Later, the lights on the tree were sold in memory of residents and businesses in Berwyn and the names were published in the Suburban and Wayne Times.
A Holiday Party at the train station, with a Tree Lighting Ceremony and a visit from Santa became a well loved tradition in Berwyn . Different groups of children from the local schools and churches have provided musical entertainment. Refreshments were often dispensed from Aquilante's Trolley with hot chocolate and cider from Pattymac's and treats from Clay's Bakery. The Berwyn Fire Company would deliver Santa to the tree and raise a ladder for him to climb and touch the tree at the top and the tree would magically light. Then, Santa would sit and listen to all the children tell him what they wanted for Christmas and give them a candy cane when they were finished. It was always a fun evening and a gathering of the community no matter how cold.
The Ansley Family moved to Berwyn in 1950. As a child, Jack Ansley remembers the tree being lit with colorful lights for the Christmas Season. Other fond memories from long time residents have been, "Riding down with my dad in the fire truck to help put the lights up during the day and thinking about what I was going to ask Santa that year."Another resident remembers the excitement of eating dinner that special Sunday and the treat of going to the train station and seeing the chair for Santa...smelling the hot chocolate and being so excited to see the fire truck with Santa coming down the street. When his hand reached to touch the top of the tree, the lights went on and the excitement went through the air. Many of these memories that were developed as a child are now going to be shared with grandchildren.
Years ago, the old Tree began to die and the lighting became harder and harder to manage. Several years ago, the Veterans Association of Easttown and Tredyffrin Townships took down the old tree and planted a new evergreen with the help of Doyle. This new tree is the central point of a garden in honor of the Gold Star Mothers of the Townships. While the tree was growing, the Berwyn Fire Company hosted the event and Santa climbed up to light the Berwyn Fire Station. Berwyn's Evergreen tree is ready for lights. This year, the town of Berwyn is bringing back this old tradition at the train station.
The Berwyn Devon Business Association and the Verterans Association will be sponsoring the Community Holiday Party. The event will take place December 5th. Entertainment will start at 6:30 pm with local performers from Berwyn Montessori, Berwyn Methodist Preschool, Trinity Preschool, Tarleton School and Betsy Daily Dance School of Performing Arts. Santa will light Berwyn's new tree, for the first time, at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be provided by PattyMacs and Clay's Bakery. In addition, many other businesses are helping to sponsor the event: Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ufberg Dental, PC, John H. Ansley, Inc., McAndrew Law, The Targaglio Family, Daeminon Counceling and Doyle and McDonnell. This is a free community event. For more information contact Mary Shultz: firstname.lastname@example.org.