Last night, Chester County's Town Tours and Village Walks met in West Whiteland Twp. , Pennsylvania. Shoppers know it as the home to the Exton Mall, but historians know that this area of Chester County has long been known as the "Great Valley." (Richard Thomas house, left)
On the morning of September 15, 1777, the "Battle of the Clouds" began and just as quickly ended with a torrential rainstorm that left combatants, both British and Continental, up to their knees in mud. (Re-enactor speaks to crowd at Thomas house, right)
At the time, one of the area's most prominent citizens was Richard Thomas III, and our tour last night visited two Thomas family homes which are now on the edge of a parking lot for a large strip mall. The good news is that they are preserved, with one being a private home and the other housing a hair salon (left).
My main point here is that West Whiteland had historic properties that needed to be preserved and even though they were located on busy Route 30, they found a way to save these historic sites but still allow commercial development. I'm not saying it is the ideal situation, but at least shoppers may be curious enough to find out the story behind these pieces of the past.
Interested in learning how to preserve historic area properties? Talk to Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource. Saving homes in Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania for 30 years.