Located in Chester County, Downington, Pennsylvania is a small borough located just west of Philadelphia, and the small community has a population of 7,891. Housing in the borough is significantly higher than other regions in the United States. However, it is fairly reasonable for the state. Most of the housing in the area is made up of smaller townhomes and row houses followed by a significant number of single-family homes.
Originally named Milltown, Downington was home to a variety of mills located on the banks of the East Branch Brandywine Creek. Later during the American Revolution, the name was changed due to the arrival of Thomas Downing, a prominent business owner who owned many of the local mills. The town was quickly established as a prominent wagon stop on the Westward road. Also known as the Lincoln Highway it was one of the first paved roads to cross the nation, and this greatly impacted the town’s development. Downington’s original log cabin is still a prominent fixture in the town and can be visited by both locals and tourists. In 1904, the town became the home to the Downington Industrial and Agricultural School, founded by William A Creditt and John S. Tower who felt that the area needed a vocational school for young African American students.
Today many of these historical sites remain, and the borough is dedicated to preserving its roots. However, there are many efforts to renovate some of these older areas and to further develop some of the residential areas. Downington is the birth site of Auntie Anne’s pretzels and is also home to a number of other nationally recognized businesses including the First National Bank of Chester County and Victor Brewing Company. While many residents work for these companies, a substantial number of individuals commute to Philadelphia. The small historic community of Downington is the perfect small community within reach of Philadelphia.