“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chester in Delaware County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Historic Downtown Chester

Historic Downtown Chester Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Carl Gordon Moore Jr., November 4, 2020
1. Historic Downtown Chester Marker
Inscription.  The Old Civic Square
Chester's old court house (pictured above) was built ca. 1724, making it the oldest building currently standing in downtown Chester, and one of the oldest remaining public buildings in the nation. The structure served as the Chester County Courthouse until 1786, when the county seat was moved to West Chester. When Delaware County split from Chester County three years later, the building was put to use as the Delaware County Courthouse, until the seat was moved to Media in 1850. The building then served as City Hall until it was replaced in the 1920s by the building pictured below. The 1724 courthouse is now maintained by the Chester Community Improvement Project. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Postcard Views of Market Street
Imagine today's Avenue of the States as it existed in its heyday -a bustling shopping district where trolleys passed by, going south through the location of today's City Hall. Travel back a bit farther, and you may see Gcorge Washington ride through town on his horse to stay at his favorite local inn. Every building
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has a story to tell, and those in downtown Chester are full of stories. These postcards show downtown Chester as it appeared from about 1905 to 1930.

Left: Postcard 5 shows the Washington House, one of downtown Chester's most important landmarks for over 200 years. The 1747 building is documented as being the hotel where George Washington stayed after the Battle of Brandywine, and where he wrote his account of the battle for Congress. Originally named the "Pennsylvania Arms,” it was renamed for its prestigious guest.

Market Square
Market Street (today the southern end of Avenue of the States) was named for the old market house which stood near the present day City Hall. Though the market house (seen in the drawing, left) was gone by the 1860s, the Market Square remained for decades to come. It is pictured in the postcard, right.

1724 Courthouse lithograph is from A History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania by Charles Palmer. Old Market House drawing is from the Anna Broomall scrapbooks at the Delaware County Historical Society. Postcards courtesy of the Keith Lockhart Collection.

Department of Environmental
Erected by Industrial Heritage Parkway, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Topics. This historical marker is
Historic Downtown Chester Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Carl Gordon Moore Jr., November 4, 2020
2. Historic Downtown Chester Marker
Facing south to the apparently current Chester City Hall. Marker is to right. 401 Avenue of the States is off camera to left.
listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraWar, US Revolutionary. A significant historical year for this entry is 1724.
Location. 39° 50.852′ N, 75° 21.58′ W. Marker is in Chester, Pennsylvania, in Delaware County. Marker is at the intersection of Avenue of the States and E. 4th Street, on the right when traveling south on Avenue of the States. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chester PA 19013, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Washington House (within shouting distance of this marker); Chester Fire Department (within shouting distance of this marker); Swedish Colonists (within shouting distance of this marker); Viet Nam (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonial Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Christofer Columbus (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Swedish Burial Ground (about 400 feet away); John Morton (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chester.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 5, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. This page has been viewed 403 times since then and 247 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 5, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 29, 2023