Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: Fall 2006 Volume 43 Number 4, Page 136

Then... & Now
Wynburne Inn, Berwyn

Page 136

Illustration from page 136

Photograph by Lucy Sampson, c. 1906. Courtesy of C. Herbert Fry

Illustration from page 136

Photograph by Joyce A. Post, December 2006

The Wynburne Inn [Berwyn back-wards] was built around 1885 between Old Lancaster Road and the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks and was about ¼ of a mile northwest of what would later become the Devon station.

In 1800 the land it stood on part of the site of the planned town of Glassley Commons in Berwyn that was never built. In 1851 the land was developed into a productive dairy farm by Joseph C. Smith.

In 1885 the farm was purchased by Charles N. Thorpe, president of the Keystone Watch Case Company of Philadelphia, and his wife Mary Warren Thorpe. Using a substantial part of the walls of the Smith farm barn they had W. H. Burns build a large building with a frame annex which they named the Wynburne Inn. They advertised their 60 room inn as a summer boarding house.

Advertisements from 1890 and 1896 gave the owners' last name as Dallam and stated that the inn was open from May 15th to October 31st. The rates in 1890 were $10 to $40 a week and in 1896 they were $10 to $15 a week.

By 1913 William W. Downing and his wife had managed the inn for at least 10 years. It was now open year round and they successfully marketed it to Philadelphia businessmen who wished to be with their family and still have them live in the country.

The weekly rate was now between $9 and $15.

Plates 29 and 30 of the 1926 Bromley Atlas of Properties on Main Line Pennsylvania Railroad still list the building as the Wynburne Inn. Plates 1 and 6 of the 1933 Franklin Survey Property Atlas of Chester County, Penna. Complete in Three Volumes give the building the name Lincoln Inn and the location as opposite Littlebrook Avenue going off on the north side of Old Lancaster Road. Plate 1 of the 1950 Franklin Survey Property Atlas of the Main Line, Penna. Volume Two, Chester County depicts the area as a vacant lot.

The bottom photograph above shows the present day house, still facing Littlebrook Avenue, and the adjoining properties on the site where the Wynburne Inn once stood. The current owner, Eric Fox, pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Berwyn, added the second story to an earlier house built on the site which had been purchased by Lou DeLuca Sr. after the Lincoln Inn burned down.


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