Established in 1799 in one of the three original counties in Pennsylvania, the borough of West Chester is steeped in history. West Chester serves as the county seat and is the home of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, once known as West Chester State Normal School. Two hundred years of memories vital to Pennsylvania’s renowned history will be celebrated in the year 1999, West Chester’s bicentennial. Much of this history is brought to life in West Chester. A collection of over two hundred images which were generously lent by West Chester residents make up this journey back into the
borough’s past, covering the years from the dawn of photography up to 1920. Many of the images within have never before appeared in print, and they vary from authentic photograph postcards of the community to the photographs taken between 1875 and 1910 by
Gilbert Cope, the co-author of The History of Chester County (1881). Also among the illustrations are old broadsides, one of which is the oldest existing Chester County broadside. The first newspaper printed in Chester County, dating back to 1794, and a sketch of one of West Chester’s oldest homes round out this fascinating visual history.