Home : Quarterly Archives : Volume 36
Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
Source: July 1998 Volume 36 Number 3, Pages 77–90
The Village of Spread Eagle
The name "Spread Eagle Village," conferred on a variety of specialty shops clustered together on the north side of Lancaster Avenue in Radnor Township, just east of the Tredyffrin Township line, is all that remains to remind us of the great inn that once stood there, and the nineteenth century village of Spread Eagle. Around 1840, the village stretched along the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike from the Unicorn Inn on the east to the Eagle Hotel on the west. Later in the century, Clayton Lobb's lumber yard defined the western boundary of Spread Eagle.
The Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike road, constructed in 1794, stimulated a convergence of population along its route from the nation's new capital city to the interior of Pennsylvania, much like the growth of commercial enterprise along new highways today. It has been said that, for the accommodation of the constant travel on the road, there were sixtyone inns or taverns in the sixty-six miles between Philadelphia and Lancaster. Often they were kept by men of standing in the community.
Some of the inns had come into existence even before the Revolutionary War along the first road to Lancaster, approved by the colony's Provincial Assembly in 1741. Designated a King's Highway, it was also called the Conestoga Road because it was the favored route of the great Conestoga freighters, and before them, of the hundreds and thousands of pack horses which threaded their way along the narrow track.
Following the Revolution, the need for improved transportation led to the opening of the new macadam turnpike to smooth the trek to the west. The first regular stage, carrying ten passangers, used the new road in May of 1797. It left Lancaster at five o'clock in the evening and reached Philadelphia, sixty-six miles distant, at five o'clock next morning.
The turnpike road often followed the course of the original Conestoga Road. At places a better route was found. The turnpike approached the village of Spread Eagle from the east on a new roadway to the north of Conestoga Road. The two roads met at the eastern edge of the village where the old road (today's Conestoga) crests the hill at the intersection of the new road (today's Lancaster). On the long strip of land between the two roads, on the east side of Conestoga and the south side of Lancaster, stood the Unicorn Tavern.
For the short distance of about 2000 feet past another tavern, the Spread Eagle, and on west into Tredyffrin Township, a common roadway was shared. Then the old road veered off to the right to climb the ridge of the South Valley Hill, and the Lancaster Turnpike had a separate existence for about 2400 feet to what was the western extremity of the village (today's Grove Avenue). There it turned right across the railroad where it also ascended the hill past yet another tavern, identified by the Sign of the Lamb, as it crossed the Easttown Township border.
In total, the length of the village on its east-west axis along the turnpike was about 4400 feet (5/6 of a mile). There was very little but farms to the north and south until about 1 830. It was sort of an amorphous village held together by the presence of the three inns, including the Eagle Hotel, along the Lancaster road (if you counted the Lamb at the top of the hill at the Easttown line, there were four). The village somewhat resembled a cloverleaf on an interstate today, where you will find four (or more) motels collected in one spot.
The pattern of development of the village occurred from east to west, and it is interesting to see how family relationships played a part in shaping its growth. David Pugh was one of the early owners of land along the Lancaster Road in the west end of Radnor, near Tredyffrin. He received a patent for 174 acres as early as 1703 which, on his death in 1738, was split among his sons into two parcels - the one on the west located astride the Lancaster Road near today's Wayne Farmers' Market. It was here some years later that the first commercial building in the nascent village was constructed.
In 1747 James Miles, brother-in-law of the then resident Pughs, petitioned for a tavern license for a house he had "lately built" in the upper part of Radnor, near Tredyffrin, on the Conestoga Road (this was almost fifty years before the turnpike road was constructed). Miles was the son of Richard Miles, one of the earliest inhabitants of Radnor, who had come to America from Wales with his father, brothers and sister in 1683. They were members of the Society of Friends but, following the controversy stirred up by George Keith among the Quakers in the early 1690s, they aligned themselves with the Baptists. Shortly before 1701, Richard Miles and his wife Sarah were baptised at Upper Providence. A meeting held in 1706 at the house of Richard Miles in Radnor led to the formation of the Great Valley Baptist congregation. All five of Miles' daughters married Baptists of note, two of them ministers.
Little is known about James Miles, the youngest of the four sons of Richard, but he and his descendants played an important role in the story of the village of Spread Eagle. He was born about 1705 in Radnor, was only eight years old when his father died, and grew up in the household of his widowed mother. In 1734, about the time of his eldest brother's death, he moved out of the family home inherited by his nephews, and married Hannah Pugh, daughter of David Pugh mentioned above. (There were a least four Miles - Pugh marriages in two generations.)
Where the newly-weds set up housekeeping is not known. There is certainly conflicting information about it. James owned land in Radnor from 1731 to 1752, but they may have gone to Whitemarsh, Montgomery County. James' son Samuel, in his autobiography, states that he (Samuel) was born there. It may also have been in Uwchlan; Irwin and Okie in the Quarterly say "[The] petition [of James Miles] for recommendation for [tavern] license to be heard February 1746/7, ... at West Chester... gives his former residence as Uwchlan." A case can be made for each of these places. There was a house on James' land in Radnor; James' brother Evan, it is said, settled in Whitemarsh; his nephew John was living in Uwchlan when he died there in 1776.
Be that as it may, James Miles built the tavern or inn on Pugh land by the side of the old Lancaster Road in 1747. (He and his brothers were known to be house carpenters and joiners.) He received a tavern license from the court of Chester County the following year, and annually thereafter through 1753. Samuel Miles has written that his father and mother maintained the character of reputable and honest people, but never attained to any considerable influence. He also tells us that his mother (Hannah)
died when he was ten years of age. That would have been about 1750. We do not know when James Miles died.
James Miles was succeeded as licensee of what had come to be known as "Miles' Tavern" in 1754 by Samson Davis, his nephew. Davis was the son of James' sister Abigail, who married Rev. John Davis, the second pastor of Great Valley Baptist Church. Samson Davis married his first cousin, Sarah Miles, the daughter of James and Hannah. [Burns says Davis also kept the store at the Spread Eagle in 1766.]
The inn was then rented to a succession of landlords. Thomas Tucker succeeded Davis in 1756, followed by Thomas Ives, and then it was operated by its owner, Jonathan Pugh, from 1760 through 1765. The inn took the name of the Unicorn about this time, and a new inn, the Spread Eagle, a formidable competitor, opened just down the street.
Samuel Miles, most notorious son of James Miles, was born March 11, 1739 (O.S.) at Whitemarsh. He began a military career at age 16, in the fall of 1755, when he enlisted in a company under Capt. Isaac Wayne, father of "Mad Anthony," which defended Northampton County, from Indian attack. The French and Indian War was underway, and Miles spent over five years in the service of Penn's colony. At the close of the war Samuel returned with a captain's rank to Philadelphia.
He married Catharine Wister, of German descent, in 1761, and entered the mercantile business. His success was such that in 1772 he purchased 9000 acres in the Brush Valley of north central Pennsylvania, embracing nearly all of the arable land in what was later to became Miles Township, Centre County.
In 1774 he withdrew from his Philadelphia business and purchased a farm at Spring Mill, Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County. While there, he took an early and active part in opposition to the colonial policies of the British government. He raised a company of militia in Whitemarsh, Plymouth and Germantown, and in the spring of 1776 was appointed Colonel of a regiment of riflemen. His troops were attached to the regular army under General George Washington, and on August 27, 1776, at the Battle of Long Island, Samuel was captured by the British and held prisoner for twenty-one months before being exchanged on April 20, 1778. He returned to the farm to recuperate, but soon filled the office of deputy quartermaster of Pennsylvania for the Continental Army. He also held other state and local offices.
After the war he returned to business in Philadelphia and, in addition, soon set about making his investment in what is today Centre County profitable. He sold and leased land to German families from Dauphin, Lebanon and Northumberland counties, and made a market for them by building furnaces and mills. Col. Miles took as his partner Col. John Patton, who as a major had served in his regiment at Long Island but escaped capture. In 1777 Patton had been given command of a new regiment authorized by the Continental Congress, and the rank of Colonel. Together they built Centre Furnace on land owned by Miles along Spring Creek, near what is today State College. Samuel's sons Joseph and John came to help in handling their father's affairs. The furnace, along with a store, was in operation under the name Miles, Patton & Miles as early as May 2, 1792, the first iron furnace in the region.
Col. Miles had purchased large tracts of land on Spring and Bald Eagle Creeks, and he and his sons laid out the town of Milesburg on one of the tracts once known as the Bald Eagle's Nest, the residence of an Indian chief of that name. Milesburg, founded in 1793, was to become the heart of the interests which the sons, brothers and cousins of the founder developed in Centre County. Harmony Forge, erected by Miles, Dunlop & Co. in 1795, operated in conjunction with Centre Furnace and, when a rolling mill and wire works were added at the forge, it became known as Milesburg Iron Works. The first post office in what is today Centre County was established at Milesburg in 1797.
Col. Miles visited, but never resided, in Centre County. In 1792 he purchased a farm of 166 acres in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, as a country seat. He died there on December 29, 1805 at the age of 66.
Another son of James Miles to influence Centre County history was Richard Miles, a brother of Col. Samuel. He was a captain of militia in Chester County during the Revolution. Sometime after 1790 he came to Milesburg to help with the founding of the iron works, and to assist his nephews, the Miles brothers. He had a hand in building the first Miles home, and the Harmony Forge mansion. In addition, Richard and his son Evan built Bellefonte Forge, and sold it to John Dunlop, who is credited with opening it in 1795.
Richard had explored sites in Brush Valley as early as 1773 when his brother James moved there. In 1778, he purchased a tract from his brother Samuel. It was located in Gregg Township, and was the westernmost of Col. Miles' surveys in the Brush Valley. He visited there
in 1778, and returned to Tredyffrin when Centre County was deserted in the severe winter of 1779-80.
Richard Miles had been a resident of Tredyffrin Township for some years. As a young man in 1767, he followed Samson Davis in keeping the store at the Spread Eagle Inn. His vocation has been described by one writer as a mason and house carpenter. He purchased in 1782 the property on the south side of the Lancaster Road at the township line which today is the site of Braxton's. Apparently there was no house on the land, but an 1806 map by Robert Brooke describing the route of the new Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike shows the adjoining tract, across the turnpike, as Miles's house. To date, no deed has been located validating that identity.
Montgomery County had been established out of a part of Philadelphia county on September 10, 1784. The new county needed public buildings, and in 1785 a plot of the town of "Norris" was laid out by William Moore Smith, whose father, on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania, held the remaining tract of land. Richard Miles bought lots numbered 11, 47, and 48 in the new town, and was one of those employed to build the county court house. It was a stone building, two stories high, 70 by 40 feet in size, topped with a cupola, and was completed in 1787.
It is said of his marriage about 1768 that Richard Miles eloped with Mary Pugh, of the Radnor Pughs, and a member of the Society of Friends, without her parent's consent. The first U. S. Census in 1790 shows Richard Miles and his family residing in Tredyffrin. Miles, his wife and all of their children, came to the new settlement of Milesburg in 1792. He built a number of business buildings in Bellefonte. By 1794 he was the owner of a saw mill. In 1795, he and his daughter Abigail returned to Chester County to sell their landholdings in Tredyffrin to Adam Siter Jr. Richard Miles was 84 when he died in Bellefonte in 1823.
The eastern edge of Tredyffrin Township, where Lancaster Avenue crosses the county line into Radnor Township, has a unique connection with the Siter family, which operated or owned the Spread Eagle Inn there from 1787 to 1841.
The inn was located in Radnor a few hundred yards east of the county line, having been first licensed in 1764 on what had been the 100-acre farm of Hugh Samuel. Samuel sold to Adam Ramsower, formerly of Pikeland Township, where he had kept a tavern at the Yellow Springs. In his application he mentioned a stone house, 40 by 33 feet, situated on
the Lancaster Road within a mile (actually more like an eighth of a mile) of Jonathan Pugh's tavern.
Jacob Hinckel, owner from 1772-1779, constructed a tanyard in the meadow of the inn property. Two years after the wartime disorder of the British invasion of Tredyffrin, Hinckel sold to Benjamin Penrose of Whitpain, tanner and innkeeper.
Alexander Clay managed the Spread Eagle from 1781 -1786 for Penrose under an agreement offering him an opportunity to gain ownership which he never achieved. Clay advertised the inn for sale in the "Pennsylvania Gazette" on March 23, 1785.
The inn was not sold, but Adam Siter Jr. obtained the license to operate it in 1787. Following Benjamin Penrose's death, his heirs sold the Spread Eagle in 1789 to Siter.
Adam Siter Jr. was a son of Adam Siter who, as a youth in 1736, emigrated with his father from Germany to Philadelphia. The German speech of the bearer of the name led to all sorts of spelling variants by the English
speaking hearers: among those most frequently encountered are Siters, Siders, Syder, Cyder, Citer, etc. The elder Siter appears on Radnor tax lists as early as 1750. In 1760 he purchased a 100-acre farm on the Old Lancaster (Conestoga) Road not far from Radnor Friends Meeting House. Possibly he was encouraged in locating here by the growing German settlement not far away, near what we know today as Old Eagle School. The Siter farm included a tan yard, and when his will was proved in 1798, it identified him as "tanner, aged". He made provision for his wife Elizabeth (they married in 1746, both thought to have been born in Germany), his five sons Adam Jr, George, John, William and Jacob, and daughters Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah.
Innkeeper Adam Siter Jr. lived at the inn and was listed on the 1790 U. S. Census in Radnor, but later was identified in deed documents as an innkeeper of Philadelphia "at the middle bridge on the river Schuylkill". [Chester County Deed Bk 02,175] Martin Holman was taxed for the Radnor tavern. Adam Siter Jr. married Sarah Jones from the neighboring farm on the border of Tredyffrin Township immediately south of the Spread Eagle Inn.
Adam Jr's brother William Siter occupied the tan yard in 1791 and later he took over operation of the tavern. Another of Adam Jr's brothers, John Siter, is credited with having built the handsome new tavern which he and William operated in 1798. It was a magnificant structure, three and a half stories high with dimensions of 80 by 33 feet. The datestone year of 1796 showed that the Siters were ready to serve travelers on the new Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike when the paths of the Old Conestoga Road and the new turnpike joined a short distance to the east and ran as one past their door.
Just as his property was reaching the peak of its acclaim, Adam Siter Jr. died suddenly in Philadelphia at the age of 41 late in 1797, possibly a victim of the recurring plague of yellow fever which afflicted the city each year. His widow Sarah immediately constructed a stone and frame house on the land at the western edge of the inn property, which had been purchased in 1795 by her husband from Richard Miles. Part of the house was in Radnor Township and part in Tredyffrin. It is believed that this is the house we know as the Braxton house today.
Because Adam Siter Jr. died without leaving a will, there were protracted legal proceedings to liquidate his large estate. In addition to his young widow Sarah, he left sons Edward and William, and daughters Hannah, Elizabeth, Ann and Mary. Also Amos and Sarah, who died young. His
properties in Philadelphia and Chester Counties, as well as some in Delaware County, were sold, although the Spread Eagle Farm on which the inn stood was retained.
The Radnor property was divided among his children pursuant to Orphans' Court proceedings of July 21,1807. William received the tannery property which stood near where the Little Darby Creek met Eagle (now Sugartown) Road. Edward inherited the rest of his father's Radnor property, called 105 acres, and including the inn. He married Sarah Taylor, the sister-in-law of his uncles John and William, moved to Philadelphia, ran a prosperous grocery store, and infrequently managed the inn. However, it was during his tenure that the name Siterville (for him) was given to the burgeoning center of activity around the grand Spread Eagle and general store. Edward's uncle, John Siter, who had once run this business, left the tavern for land in Lower Merion, where he established the Red Lion Inn along the turnpike in what is today Ardmore.
Sarah Siter, Edward's mother, died in 1825 in her 67th year. Likely she still resided at the house by the Lancaster Turnpike at the township line. Edward Siter held the inn property until the coming of the railroad reduced turnpike travel and business declined. He sold the 105 acres and Spread Eagle Inn March 31, 1841 to Mordecai Worrall.
Two years before Siter sold the inn, he disposed of what had been his mother's house. Henry T. Evans of Philadelphia bought the 42 acres in Tredyffrin and some adjoining land in Radnor, a total of 47 acres and 60 perches. Evans operated a store there, and the house seems to have been utilized in that fashion by subsequent owners pretty much up to present time.
Evans sold the property, then 47 acres, 38 perches, to Thomas E. Bennett, of Birmingham, and Titus T. Bennett, of Radnor, in 1852. The Bennetts were there only two years. Richard Martin, who operated the Union saw mill and manufacturing complex in Upper Merion on Croton Creek, had the location next. He sold it to Charles Bittle, of Radnor, a carpenter in 1867 who continued to operate or lease the store.
Bittle also sold off 24+ acres on the western end of the tract almost immediately to John Palmer, who remained a neighbor for 25 years. When Bittle died in 1890, the following appeared in the "Daily Local News" of November 29: "Charles Bittle was found dead yesterday about 200 yards from his house, near Strafford station, P. R. R. Davis Gill,
Deputy Coroner, held an inquest .... The verdict was death from neuralgia of the heart." The report concluded, "Deceased was a well-known resident of Tredyffrin township. His age was 79 years. Mr. Bittle was the father of Mrs. George Kendall of Centreville Hotel, and was a prominent and well known resident of his township." The Bittle heirs disposed of the remaining 20.807 acres to Edward A. Stroud of Philadelphia in 1903.
The building on the north side of Lancaster Avenue (which we think of today as the Covered Wagon Inn, although it is now a newly opened John Harvard's Brewhouse) is harder to pin down. The house probably does not date back to the era of the village of Spread Eagle. Robert Brooke's survey map of 1806 shows a building on the north west corner of Old Eagle School Road and the turnpike marked "Miles' House". However, the Miles family had departed these parts for Centre County almost 15 years earlier. The 1798 "Glass Tax" listing for Tredyffrin shows a one-story log building, 29 by 22 feet, owned by Robert Kennedy on this corner, occupied by Henry Wells.
A search of the deed files shows Robert Kennedy, "Innholder" at the Unicorn Tavern, purchased the property in 1791 from William and Ann (James) Donolson. Prior to the Donolsons, the James family were owners for many years. It is possible there is an unrecorded deed lurking in the background, or the Miles' may have occupied the house as tenants, but nothing has yet been found to link the name Miles with this location. Richard Miles did own the land across the Lancaster Road. Perhaps the mapmaker got confused. (When, almost eighty years later, the post office moved to the building for a short stay, just before occupying space at the new Strafford station, it was identified as the "old Pugh store".)
The development of the part of the village lying west of the Radnor Township line got a big boost from brothers John and William Siter around 1804. The Siter brothers married Taylor sisters and held several pieces of real estate jointly. Perhaps they were intrigued by the venture of Robert McClenachan, who laid out lots and planned to build the town of Glassley just over the hill in Easttown around 1800. At any event, the Siters in 1803 bought 74-1/2 acres of land (McClenachan's development was about the same size) which stretched along the turnpike about 2400 feet from "the Road leading from the Baptist Meeting House to Radnor Church (Valley Forge Road at the Easttown line)" east to "lands of Richard Miles (sold by Miles to Adam Siter Jr in 1795)". The Siter brothers began selling off lots the following year. Over the next few years they managed a dozen land sales of about two to six acres each.
One of the purchasers was Isaac Walker, of the Valley clan of Walkers, who bought 6+ acres on the "V" of land lying between the turnpike and the old road (across from today's Devon Acme). Walker's wife died in 1813, and a few years later he married Sarah, widow of Paul Conard. They had a son born in 1817, when Isaac Walker was sixty-four years old. The son, Isaac R. Walker, studied medicine and was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Walker practiced medicine from the Walker house in Spread Eagle during the 1840s and 1850s.
After the completion of the Philadelphia and Columbia Rail Road in 1832, the decline in traffic on the turnpike road had a considerable effect on the inns. One of them, however, the Eagle Hotel of Mifflin Lewis, had the good fortune to be located at the only railroad stop between Morgan's Corner (Radnor) and Paoli.
The hotel was on land purchased in 1813 by Jeremiah Joynt, part of the Siter real estate venture. It had a house on it when Lewis bought it from Joynt in 1835, but neither party was identified in the deed as innkeeper - Joynt as "Yeoman" of Tredyffrin; Lewis as "Merchant" of Radnor. Mifflin Lewis petitioned successfully for a license to keep an inn or tavern in 1836. There is no earlier record of a license issued for this location.
Mifflin Lewis kept the tavern and, after 1841, the post office in the large stone house now occupied by the Rosato family on the old Conestoga Road. A large columned veranda graced the entrance, which originally faced the turnpike. Like many other tavern keepers of his day, Lewis controlled much of the ready money of the neighborhood, and was eager for profitable investments. It is known that he invested in woodlots near the line of the railroad, hired wood choppers to cut wood for cross ties or firewood for the railroad, or for sale as posts and rails and cordwood to local residents.
The "Village Record" of May 27, 1851 reported that, "On Monday forenoon, the 19th, about ten o'clock, the roof and upper stories of the [Eagle Hotel] of Mifflin Lewis on the Railroad, in Tredyffrin ... were destroyed by fire." The news article continued, "Fire originated on the roof and by great exertion of the citizens attracted to the place, was prevented from spreading further than the second story. The roof and wood work of the upper story were completely burnt out. The furniture was removed and saved, but much injured in the haste of removal, as well as the furniture in the lower stories, in expectation that the whole building would be destroyed .... the loss of Mr. Lewis is covered by insurance.
[He] at once commenced repairing the damage to his house and has raised the building one story higher [a fifth story], and will now cover the hotel with a metal roof, rendering it more secure .... The fire is supposed to have been caused by a spark from a locomotive."
The Eagle Station was a two story brick building located just east of the Eagle Hotel. The hotel was a high-class summer boarding home, kept by Mifflin Lewis, and by Mrs. Lewis and her daughters after his death. There was an uncovered bridge connecting the second floors of the two buildings. The first floor of the station consisted of a passenger waiting room heated by a coal stove, baggage room, and later the post office when it moved there from the inn.
Mifflin Lewis operated the Eagle Hotel until his death in 1857 at age 64. His widow, Eliza Castner Lewis, kept the hotel operating through 1861. Thereafter, Thomas D. Serrill was innkeeper until 1866, the last year as a licensed establishment. The hotel closed in 1873.
Mifflin and Eliza Lewis, who died in 1871, were survived by five children, George T. Lewis, Hannah Maria (Lewis) Rush, Edward H. Lewis, Hellen Louisa Lewis, who did not marry, and Harrison C. Lewis.
When Spread Eagle post office was opened in 1804, it was located in Radnor at the inn whose name it took. Innkeeper at the time John Siter was the first postmaster. Later the same year his nephew, Edward Siter, took over the office which he held until 1812. Generally, the innkeeper was also the postmaster.
Of interest, David Wilson Jr., son of David Wilson of the Tredyffrin Wilsons, was innkeeper and postmaster from 1817 to 1824 at Spread Eagle. He had married Eliza Siter, daughter of Adam Siter Jr., in 1811. He owned a farm in Radnor, but in the 1830s, upon the senior Mr. Wilson's death, he returned to the Valley of Tredyffrin to establish Elda Farm (the Wilson tract) which today, although an issue in litigation, is still open space planned for a park adjacent to the Chesterbrook development.
The coming of the railroad in 1832 drew the center of population of the village of Spread Eagle farther west into Tredyffrin along the Lancaster Turnpike to the Eagle Station, where railroad and turnpike intersected. The post office moved there to the Eagle Hotel in 1844, with Mifflin Lewis assuming the duties of postmaster. Eliza Lewis succeeded him in 1857
and Hellen Lewis in 1871. The post office moved to the Eagle Station in 1875, and the railroad agent, Annie M. Bloomer, became the postmaster.
Events were under way which would forever change the Village of Spread Eagle. Very near the close of this period of its existence, Clayton Lobb, of Reeseville (Berwyn), split up the lumber business he and his brother Preston had operated there, and came to Spread Eagle to establish his own lumber yard. Late in 1876 he purchased about three acres at the turn of the turnpike over the railroad at the western edge of the village. A lumber yard is needed when building and change are going on. The rise of suburbia was on the horizon.
John Langdon Wentworth owned a large tract of land located north of the railroad, adjacent to the Eagle Station. In 1857 he had bought a mansion and 138 acres from the White family. Shortly afterward, he traveled to England to visit a relative, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. Upon his return home, Wentworth named his newly acquired estate "Strafford." When a name was needed for the new Pennsylvania Railroad station, opened a third of a mile (1800 feet) to the east of Eagle Station in 1887, the name Strafford was appropriated for it.
The Spread Eagle post office had moved in 1884 from Eagle Station to the "old Pugh store" on the turnpike, and then in 1887 it received a new name when it moved to the railroad station named Strafford. The old Spread Eagle Inn was torn down that same year by George W. Childs and Anthony J. Drexel, the promoters of the new village of Wayne, to make room for modern improvements. The old Unicorn Inn had burned earlier on St. Valentine's night of 1872. Eagle Hotel became a private residence.
A new era was opening, but that's another story.
Ashmead, Henry Graham, "History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania." (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co., 1884)
Bean, Theodore W., "History of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania." (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1884)
Burns, Franklin Lorenzo, "History of Berwyn." (Berwyn: Unpublished manuscript in the Tredyffrin Easttown History Club archives, no date)
Centre County Library & Museum, Pennsylvania Room, Miles family histories and related items. (Bellefonte)
Chester County Archives, Deeds and Wills documents. (West Chester)
Chester County Historical Society Library, Newspaper clipping files. (West Chester)
Cummin, Katharine Hewitt, "A Rare and Pleasing Thing: Radnor Demography (1798) and Development." (Philadelphia: Owlswick Press, 1977)
Faris, John T., "Old Roads Out Of Philadelphia." (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1917)
Futhey, J. Smith and Gilbert Cope, "History of Chester County, Pennsylvania." (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881)
Irwin, Boyle and Howard S. Okie, "The Old Lancaster or Conestoga Road -- Part III." (Berwyn: Tredyffrin Easttown History Club Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1942)
Pleasants, Henry, "The History of the Old Eagle School - Tredyffrin, in Chester County, Pennsylvania." (Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Company, 1909)
Sachse, Julius F., "The Wayside Inns of the Lancaster Roadside between Philadelphia and Lancaster." (Lancaster: The New Era Printing Company, 1915)
Stevens, Sylvester K. (edited and expanded by Philip S. Klein), "The Centre Furnace Story: A Return to Our Roots." (State College: Centre County Historical Society, 1985)
Page last updated: 2009-03-11 at 12:30 EST