Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: January 1993 Volume 31 Number 1, Pages 39–40

Notes and Comments

Page 39


More about John Vogler

Who was John G. Vogler? What did he find attractive about Berwyn and the "old" Spring House Inn on Lancaster Turnpike when making an investment in 1905? These questions linger after reading the history of Easttown Woods, Berwyn's first post-World War II housing development in the previous issue of the Quarterly, and remain essentially unanswered.

We catch a fleeting glimpse of Vogler five months before he acquired the 25-acre property in Berwyn in the records of the Circuit Court of the U. S. for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. On April 20, 1905, along with George Kessler of Philadelphia, and John Hertzler of Lancaster, he jointly purchased for $200,000 at a receiver's auction the assets of the bankrupt West Chester, Kennett and Wilmington Electric Railway Company. A year earlier an unpaid supplier of equipment to the embryonic trolley line had petitioned the court for the appointment of a receiver.

Obviously, he was a man of means. In the deed for the Spring House property, he is identified as a merchant of Philadelphia. City directories of the era show him as conducting a "dress goods" establishment at 622 Chestnut Street, and he maintained a residence at 4412 Walnut Street. The 1922 city directory, however, indicates that his home had been removed to Atlantic City by that year.

According to another land sales deed, he died on August 3, 1935. (Apparently he was born about the time the Civil War was drawing to a close.) Olga V [ogler?] Kerr was appointed his executor, and it was she who executed the deed that led to the development of the Spring House Inn property.


Page 40


West Valley Road

We had an inquiry from a resident of Strafford. "Why is West Valley Road called West Valley Road?" she asked. "I can understand North Valley Road in Paoli; it runs north, down into the Valley. But why is it West Valley Road in Strafford, which is actually located east of the Valley Road in Paoli?"

The answer lies in what is now Old Eagle School Road, which also runs down into the Valley. It was laid out in 1720, after a petition to the Court of Quarter Sessions in May of that year for a "Road from near the Graveyard in Tredyffrin [the burial ground of the Valley Friends Meeting] to the high road at Margaret Samuels". As shown on maps at the turn of the century, it was apparently then sometimes known as Port Kennedy Road, but more often identified simply as Valley Road.-- and hence West Valley Road, to distinguish the western road into the Valley from the older Valley Road to its east.

On some of these maps, incidentally, West Valley Road is also identified as Strafford Road or as Centerville Road, as it ran between these two villages. Similarly, the section of Old Eagle School Road that runs north from Swedesford Road, between Swedesford Road and Walker Road, was sometimes shown as Meeting House Road.


Club Member Honored

Herbert Fry, the president of the Tredyffrin Easttown History Club, was named a Life Member by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants recently at a dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia.

Life Member status is conferred by the Institute in appreciation and recognition of 40 years of service and dedication to the accounting profession. He holds Pennsylvania CPA Certificate #3293, dated April 21, 1952.


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