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Source: April 2003 Volume 40 Number 2, Pages 69–70


from The Jeffersonian May 13, 1882

Page 69

Paoli, one of the few remaining hostelries in Eastern Pennsylvania of early Colonial days, is situated in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, on the old Lancaster Turnpike, west 18 miles from Philadelphia. It has shared to some extent the enterprise of later days, and in place of the farmer's wagon with its rumbling, the iron horse now halts panting at its door.

Paoli afforded food and shelter to the hardy traveler who braved perilous roads in the provincial times. It afterwards furnished the same good cheer to the tired and hungry who came by lumbering stagecoach when the turnpike was the favored route and Conestoga wagons rattled continually over its well beaten road bed.

The venerable building is still in good condition. Since 1719 it has been in the hands of one family, the original deed which conveyed it to William Evans being until recently in the possession of John D. Evans, Esq., a lineal descendant of the old Welshman. It was named after the Corsican Patriot Pasquale Paoli about [1769], and its modest signboard was familiar to both Redcoat and Continental during the Revolution. Knyphausen marched past it with his insolent Hessians on the 18th of September 1777, when they stole good old Mrs. Baugh's doughnuts out of the sputtering pan in which she was cooking them, and Col. Musgrave's two regiments rested near it awaiting the result of Grey's murderous attack on Wayne's devoted band on the dark and gloomy night of September 20 in the same year.

Page 70

Many stories of those stirring days – stories that have never been told – might its old walls narrate could they but speak? They were old when the Republic began; they saw its birth, have witnessed each year of its growth, and last September – fitting circumstance – Gen. Hancock's Artillery, on [its] way to celebrate the centennial of the American victory at Yorktown following the identical route taken by Washington 100 years ago, halted within its shade and some of the officers were regaled within its portals. But its doors that have stood open so long seem destined soon to be closed alike to guest and stranger, for new owners with new purposes have just now come into possession.

The above excerpt was copied from The Jeffersonian of May 13, 1882. This periodical was published in West Chester by W. H. Hodgson, Editor and Publisher. It earlier appeared in the Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 3, April 1965. It is of current interest because [of the preceding two articles in this issue about Paoli and because] the new Paoli Post Office, opened March 1, [1965], was erected on the site of the Paoli Inn, which [burned in 1899 and] was torn down some years [thereafter].

Illustration from page 70


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