Downingtown Log House (1701) - Downingtown, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 00.387 W 075° 42.268
18T E 439872 N 4428710
Quick Description: Some say this is the oldest dwelling in Chester County. Built in 1701, this very simple 1½ log home over 300 hundred years old! Where else could a site like this be found but the Lincoln Highway.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 1:01:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMDET6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Saddlesore1000
Views: 1

Long Description:
** The complete 13-picture gallery for this log home can be found HERE. **

The log cabin is well cared for by the local historical society. It is painted white, has windows up in the attic on the eastern and western exposures, two windows each side. A chimney extends from the roof. The shingling looks new. There is an additional entrance on the eastern or right side of the house. There is an NRHP plaque on the front which reads

Log House
Has Been Placed On The
National Register
Of Historic Places
By The United States
Department of the Interior

Surprisingly, only Wikipedia has any information about this home. About 1705 Sami Warren built what has become known as the Downingtown Log House. . In 1713 the next owner Hickman sold the 1½ story, 21' 9" × 25' structure to Thomas and Mary Moore. Thomas Moore moved from the Log House in 1729 and died in 1738.

Thomas Downing acquired the Log House in 1739. It remained in the Downing family until 1940, when Thomas W. Downing died and left it to the borough of Downingtown. The borough did some restoration work to the Log House in 1947. It served as the home to the Downingtown Chamber of Commerce from 1950 until 1988. But the Log House was deteriorating as Route 30 had been built close to it. Located 18 inches (46 cm) below street level, the house suffered water damage due to runoff from Route 30 and vibration from traffic weakened the structure.

From 1988 until 1990 the Downingtown Historical Society relocated the house and did an extensive restoration with money raised for the project. It now sits approximately 70 feet (21 m) west of its original location, 22 feet (6.7 m) from the Route 30 sidewalk, and slightly above street level.


The Log House is open the first Sunday of each month from May until October from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Special tours can be scheduled by contacting the Downingtown Borough office at 610-269-0344.

This part of the Lincoln Highway has some additional history. Before becoming part of the Lincoln Highway system, this road was (and is still called) the Philadelphia & Lancaster Turnpike, first used in 1795 and has the distinction of being the first long-distance paved road built in the United States, according to engineered plans and specifications. The road was an early westward route in the wagon days.

Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1701

Additional Dates of Construction:
The borough did some restoration work to the Log House in 1947.

Architectural Period/Style: Pre-Colonial/Log Cabin

Architect (if known): Sami Warren

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Log Cabin

Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
Oldest House in Chester County

Listed Building Status (if applicable): NRHP Site

Main Material of Construction: Logs

Private/Public Access: Private

Related Website: [Web Link]


Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

Admission Fee (if applicable): Not Listed

Opening Hours (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Tell us about your visit with any details of interest about the property. Please supply at least one original photograph from a different aspect taken on your current visit.
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