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Chester County Press

Chester County Launches Fascinating Digital Timeline of Local History

08/06/2020 06:00AM ● By Steven Hoffman

Just when your summer needs a virtual boost, the Chester County Archives & Records Services is launching a digital timeline of Chester County history that’s informative, engaging and utterly absorbing.

Chester County Archives & Records Services staff, in partnership with the Chester County Commissioners’ Office, has published the new digital timeline at Chesco.org, reflecting nearly 340 years of Chester County history. Accompanied by richly produced photos and fascinating descriptions, the digital timeline features more than 40 historic events that have shaped Chester County into the place we recognize today. 

“We’re happy to present this engaging visual history that provides a wide range of events that have shaped not only Chester County but also Delaware County and the broader Philadelphia region,” said Laurie Rofini, director of Chester County Archives & Records Services. 

“The timeline sheds light on Chester County’s transition from a remote frontier in William Penn’s ‘holy experiment’ to a county consistently ranked among the top places to live in the U.S.”

Some major events will forever be associated with Chester County history, including the 1777 Battle of Brandywine and the 1989 Open Space referendum. Other lesser-known events, from the county’s first iron forge established in 1717 by Samuel Nutt to the creation of the Chester County Library in 1935, have also had major impacts on the county’s history. 

Rofini notes that condensing more than 300 years of history into a handful of highlights is challenging. Users are invited to share their preferred events via the Chester County Archives Facebook page @ChescoArchives.

The Chester County Archives has also begun scheduling access to its reading room by appointment only. Researchers may call 610-344-6760 during business hours or send an e-mail to ccarchives@chesco.org to schedule an appointment with an archivist. 

Information on obtaining copies of records is available on the Archives website.