The Historic Village of Dilworthtown

I am really lucky to live in an area that is so rich in history. One of my favorite places is the historic town of Dilworthtown, in Chester Country, Pa.

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This is the Dilworthtown Country Store. It was built in the 1700′s, and was once, one of the oldest operating country stores in America. Village founder, James Dilworth, ran a blacksmith shop, and built this store across the road, where he sold a number of essentials, according to documents and diaries.

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In 1758, Dilworth built a brick house, the original section of the Dilworthtown Inn, for his 11 children. Today it’s a popular restaurant.

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After Dilworth’s death, in 1769, his son Charles applied for a tavern liscense. According to legend, in 1777, the first American flag ever carried into battle alllegedly flew from the tavern before it was taken into the Sept. 11 Battle of the Brandywine, the Revolutionary War’s largest military engagement. At the end of the battle, the victorious British occupied and looted and damaged the buildings. The family lost cattle, horses, hogs, sheep, salt, hay, china and pewter, and more. Charles Dilworth noted on a claim sheet, the loss of “time of a servant lad”, Patrick Kelley, 14 years old. He apparently ran off with the British when they left the village on Sept. 16, 1777.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the tavern was restored and opened as a restaurant. Can’t wait to try it!

I think I might have mentioned this before, but I want to say it again. I know that there are some of you that read my blog, but have never left a comment. I know it’s a hard thing to do, putting your words out there for all to read, but, hey, give it a try. It’s not really hard at all, and once you’ve done it, it gets much easier, the next time. Imagine how I felt, starting my own blog, and always hoping that the things I write about will interest others. So, please, don’t leave without saying hello. I would love to hear from you. Really. I would.

Happy day!

13 Responses to “The Historic Village of Dilworthtown”

  1. steph stargell Says:

    CAR, what wonderful history lessons you are giving us. I love all your posts, and will certainy leave MORE comments in the future. Thsnk you for sharing the blessings of your adventures with all your readers. Your writing and your love of all things early certainly resonates with me and many others.
    Steph

  2. Christe' Says:

    dear Carole,
    I love reading your blog and often wish I were along for the day when you are out on your adventures and to be able to see & touch and smell all the wonderful delights of your coutnryside.
    many thanks for all your efforts, it certainly is appreciated . Especially me who would love to be a little bird flying alongside.
    gorgeous photos as always and let us know how the food is in that lovely old tavern.
    xoC

  3. Joanne Says:

    Audrey Julien’s store was one of my premier favorite places, esp. when ready for Christmas. Thanks for the reminder, although it was sad to see the store empty.

  4. Dawn Says:

    Thank you for the gorgeous pictures and story of Dilworthtown. I was born and raised in Dallas TX, and local history and stories dating back to 1700 are not so commonplace around here! :)

  5. Carole Says:

    Steph, so happy to hear from you. It’s been a while. So glad you enjoyed my writings. Come back soon. I’ll have more to tell.
    Christe’, you know I wish you could come along. Don’t we always say that? Yes, I will let you know about the restaurant’s food. If it is anything like the owner’s other restaurant, the food should be wonderful.
    Joanne, welcome to my blog. You know Audrey?! Are you from the area? Where? Shes has a store in Md. now, but it’s nothing like the one she had. Oh, I wish it was back again, it was the best!!
    Dawn, so glad to hear from you. There are other stories of historic towns near me. Scroll back to the other months. There is Smyrna and Old New Castle.

  6. Carole Says:

    Please let me know if any of you have read my response. I never know if i should write one because i always wonder if you come back to look for one. I hope you do.

  7. Joanne Says:

    Carole,
    I live in Hershey,Pa. and have explored the Dilworthtown/West Chester area- I think that I heard about Audrey Julien from Country Living and just loved her style (also Barbara Hood down in West Grove). I did find Audrey’s new shop in St. Michaels and was disappointed. Oh well!. I love your pictures.
    Joanne

  8. Carole Says:

    hello JoAnne. Yes, i do remember when Audrey was in Country Living. We all loved her style, it was the best. I used to do some stenciling for you, and fireboards. i agree, everyone says what a disappointment her shop in St. Michaels is. I understand it’s very touristy. I know Barbara Hood as well, but have not been to her shop for years. i am glad you enjoy my pictures. This is why i made a DVD. I hope you watched the preview. Take care.

  9. Donna Says:

    Seems like the last comments on this were some time ago, but I just stumbled upon your pictures of the Inn and store in Dilworthtown today while looking for other information. James Dilworth was my 5x-great-grandfather! Very cool to see your pictures.

  10. carolemurals Says:

    Hi Donna. Wonderful to hear from you. I would love to know more about your
    grandfather. Hope to hear from you again. You can email me at caroleholt@comcast.net.
    Thanks so much for leaving a comment.
    Carole

  11. Susan Says:

    Nice to find pictures of my 8th Great Grandpa’s house :) My dad came to PA for a ballgame. I told him to go by the old homestead, and see if they’d give him a free dinner, but all he got was a matchbook :(

  12. Thane Plambeck Says:

    Thanks for this article. My mother Marlene Plambeck died in 2003 and was an amateur genealogist. In going over some of her files this evening (I live in Palo Alto, CA), I’ve just found an article from the October 1986 issue of Early American LIfe magazine with the title “Living Over the Store.” It includes a photograph of the building you’ve identified as the Dilworthtown Country Store, above.

    Moreover, I’ve found in her files information about my great- great- great- (just three greats!) grandfather’s discharge from the Revolution War taking place at this store in 1777. His name was William Nicholas, and he died in 1842. His (much younger) wife Hannah received a revolutionary war pension at about that time.

    Best wishes Thane Plambeck
    tplambeck@gmail.com

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