History of West Grove Pennsylvania

History of West Grove

West Grove, Pennsylvania, has an interesting and diversified history. West Grove came into existence from a house on Harmony Road where friends gathered to meet. This house was constructed in 1787 in London Grove Township’s western edge. Eventually, London Grove Township and West Grove were separated. In 1893, West Grove became its incorporated borough. Eighty residents all signed the petition of incorporation. In 1893, the Chester County court approved the incorporation. However, it was not until 1894 that the incorporation was recorded. The reason for this was twofold. First, to avoid a special borough election, and second, to avoid confusion with the London Grove Township tax accounts.

Significant population and business growth in West Grove followed, and this was especially true in 1860 when the Philadelphia & Baltimore Railroad began to be developed. In fact, the local newspaper had an article in its March 1885 edition that stated West Grove was now considered to be one of the countries most flourishing villages. The news article related the fact that the village now had the largest rose culture nursery in the U.S., a large casket factory, a number of new larger buildings, and three flourishing flour mills. In May of the same year, there was an additional report about 30 new homes being constructed.

Joseph Pyle was often considered to be the “Father of West Grove.” In 1836, he was born in Penn Township. A brick building was home to both the West Grove Pharmacy and a newly opened general store owned by Joseph Pyle. This brick building is in the center of town and is considered to be the oldest brick structured buildings in West Grove. Joseph Pyle constructed this building along with many other commercial establishments that now exist along today’s Exchange Place. Some of the older buildings he constructed include the National Bank of West Grove, Roselyn Theater (since torn down), and the K&P building. These buildings were built between the years 1867 and 1885.

In 1864, Joseph Pyle was appointed by President Lincoln as Postmaster for the city. For 22 years, he served faithfully in this position. Other accomplishments by Joseph included planning and installing the very first public water system, introducing brick manufacturing, council member for West Grove, Mayor of Burgess, and President of an improvement company for West Grove.

In 1880, a group of concerned citizens purchased and installed the first set of streetlamps. In 1884, a town committee met to select 14 names for the West Grove Streets. The street names were chosen by a show of hands. 1885 was a pivotal year as the village received a telephone exchange. In 1894, Kennett Electric Light Company introduced electric lights into homes and businesses.

However, one of the more important historical facts about West Grove is the many years of success of its rose and nursery business. Not only was the rose and nursery business successful, but it also influenced the names of many other businesses in the area. This included Roselyn Theater, Hotel Roseboro, and the Roseboro Tea Room. In fact, West Grove eventually became known to many as the “Home of Roses.”

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MJK Mechanical HVAC of West Grove
527 Mystic Ln
West Grove, PA 19390
(610) 955-8997

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