Town Tours and Village Walks
The Chester County Board of Commissioners through the Chester County Planning Commission; the Chester County Historical Society; Westtown Township; the Chester County Historic Preservation Network; and the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau announce the 21st summer of sharing Chester County's heritage during the annual "Town Tours & Village Walks."
Town Tours & Village Walks is a series of free summer strolls through historic neighborhoods, hamlets, villages and sites. This summer, you can explore Chester County's heritage on Thursday evenings, June 11 - August 20. For all but noted programs, the first tour begins at 5:30 pm and tours continue until 7:00 pm with no pre-registration needed. Each tour is designed to inform, entertain and increase awareness of Chester County's rich heritage and historic landscape. A number of our sites offer a good selection of restaurants and shops to enjoy after your tour. Note: The June 11th Kick-Off Tour requires on-site registration starting at 5:30 pm and the Trolley Tour on August 20th begins at 3 pm and requires pre-reservations. See Tour Brochure for specifics.
Chester County possesses a rich, diverse, and intriguing African American history, ranging from enslaved Africans held by founder William Penn, to Quakers and the Underground Railroad, to the county's role in the American Civil War and later in the Civil Rights Movement. The meetinghouses and homes of Quakers and other abolitionists still stand as silent testimony to the struggles surrounding race in this country. They are joined by our iron and steel heritage which provided work and pay for an honest day's labor regardless of race, religion or country of birth. Across the summer the tours will highlight the homes, meetinghouses, and resting places of the brave men and women who "recognized the Equal Brotherhood of the Human Family" before and after the Civil War. In West Chester, we will visit the homes of Horace Pippin and Bayard Rustin, famous Chester County African Americans. We will explore the industrial communities that offered hope and livelihood in Kennett Square Borough, Phoenixville and Coatesville. We will help East and West Whiteland celebrate their 250th anniversary and explore Civil War era archaeology in Historic Yellow Springs.
Last year, over 2,500 Chester County citizens and visitors enthusiastically endorsed the assortment of historic evening walking tours! In 2005, Preservation Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awarded the program one of two statewide educational awards.