Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: October 1996 Volume 34 Number 4, Pages 163–164

Notes and Comments

Page 163


Tredyffrin Condemns 90 Acres to Protect Open Space

Tredyffrin supervisors on June 3 unanimously approved an ordinance to condemn the 90-acre "Wilson" tract, a site once known as Elda Farm. It is today surrounded on three sides by the Chesterbrook development and on the south by Swedesford Road and US Route 202, The supervisors' vote set in motion a process by which the Land could be acquired through eminent domain proceedings. The township will use the property for open space and recreation, seeking to fulfill the promise of their 1992 Open Space, Recreation and Environmental Resources Plan.

The name Elda Farm derivred from Elza [Siter] Wilson and David Wilson who, in 1836-1840, acquired the then 100 acres and built their new home there, moving their family from the old Wilson homestead farm. The property, which later bordered the eastern edge of A. J. Cassatt's Chesterbrook Farm, remained in the Wilson family for over 100 years until the recent wave of development. Present owners James and Raymond Levin, of Wayne, acquired the land at a sealed-bid auction in 1995 after its former owner, Willard Rouse, defaulted on his ownership obligations.

A second property, the 70-acre former Nike missile site at the northeast corner of West Swedesford and LeBoutillier roads, also considered for condemnation was rejected in a 4-3 vote by the supervisors after much public outcry. Bentley Developers, the equitable owners under an agreement of sale from the University of Pennsylvania, had already sold several houses in their proposed Turnbridge development, although none had yet been constructed.

Page 164


Valley Forge Covered Bridge Rehabilitated

The 131 -year old Knox Covered Bridge which carries Yellow Springs Road over Valley Creek at the border of Tredyffrin and Upper Merion townships, reopened to traffic on September 13 after being closed six months for repairs. Crews replaced the wood roof with fire retardant cedar shingles, replaced the wood side boards, installed a wood riding surface, painted the exterior barn white, painted steel support beams, erected new traffic signs, reset guard rails, installed drainage pipes and inlets and planted willow trees along the creek bank. Cost of the project was $193,000.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies were attended by Arthur Stewart, superintendent of Valley Forge National Historical Park, Andrew Warren, district administrator of the state Department of Transportation, and other state and local officials. The 13-foot wide, 65-foot long bridge is located in Tredyffrin Township but lies entirely within the confines of Valley Forge National Historical Park.

It was previously rehabilitated in 1960, but more than 90 per cent of the bridge had to be again rebuilt when a tractor trailer carrying corrugated steel roofing crashed through the floorboards in September of 1967. It is today one of four covered bridges administered by the state highway system in Chester county.


Paoli Boutique Closes

"The Cocked Hat", a woman's apparel shop which became a Paoli institution, closed on July 20 a few weeks short of 34 years in business at 68 East Lancaster Avenue. It was said to be the victim of changed customer buying habits influenced by an economy in transition. Other small specialty shops along the Main Line have been similarly affected. In recent months the Country Cousin in Bryn Mawr shut down, and Nan Duskin in Strafford also closed not long ago.

The Cocked Hat was opened a few days after Labor Day in 1962 by five young women who also worked part-time in the shop. One of them, Pat Grosholz, was soon named manager-buyer. In 1967 she was elected president and placed in charge of buying, merchandising and administration. Mrs. Grosholz was active in local business and civic organizations, and in charitable causes. In 1980, she was named "Business Person of the Year" by the Paoli Business Association, and in 1991 was honored by the March of Dimes as a Chester County Woman of Achievement. Upon her death in 1993, she was succeeded as president by Barbara Black, who had joined her in The Cocked Hat in 1988.


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