Penn Township

Penn Township is located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, minutes from Newark, Delaware, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Elkton, Maryland.  Located roughly thirty miles southwest of Philadelphia, Penn Township is a convenient home for many businesses and organizations. Penn Township is a second-class township comprised of a five member, elected Board of Supervisors, who governs the township.

Chester County is one of the original three counties established by William Penn in 1682 on land purchased from the Native Americans. It is bordered by West Grove Borough, London Grove Township, New London Township, Upper Oxford Township, and Londonderry Township. Officially organized in 1819, Penn Township is the hub of commercial activity regionally and the home to numerous educational, health, and commercial facilities as well as several top notch senior living communities including Jenner’s Pond, Ovations at Elkview, Villages of Penn Ridge, Luther House, Jennersville Farms and another that is currently being developed next to the Jennersville Hospital.

In the heart of Penn Township’s village lies Jennersville, this was named after Dr. Edward Jenner who discovered vaccinations. Jennersville is home to the Jennersville YMCA, the Jennersville Hospital, Penn Medicine Southern Chester County, the Shoppes of Jenner’s Village, Star Roses, Dansko, Project C.U.R.E. and many more businesses and health care facilities.

Penn Township is located in the Avon Grove School District. The Chester County Technical College High School – Pennock’s Bridge Campus and Delaware County Community College – Pennock’s Bridge Campus is also located within its borders.

The township is served by four post offices: Cochranville, Kelton, Lincoln University, and West Grove. The West Grove Fire Company provides fire and ambulance service to Penn Township. Southern Chester County Emergency Medical Services (Medic 94) provides advance life support service. The Pennsylvania State Police – Avondale Barracks are the designated law enforcement in the township. 

Penn Township spans an area of 9.6 square miles with a population of over 5,300 according to the last census poll. Penn Township is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and is home to the Big Elk Creek and a tributary of the White Clay Creek. Penn Township is called the Nursery Capital of Pennsylvania and, formerly, was the site of Sunset Park, one of country music’s most popular venues. Penn Township is also home to the historic Red Rose Inn, which was purchased by the township in 2011.

Penn Township Map



According to Futhey and Cope in their 1881 book History of Chester County Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches, the following excerpt describes how Penn Township came to be:

“Penn twp was formed by a division of Londonderry, in 1817. The greater part of it was originally included in Fagg’s Manor, and the settlers were largely from the north of Ireland. Among those who originally took up lands were John McKee, Daniel McClane, George Miller, Henry Charlton, Samuel Fleming, Hugh Luckey, Robert Brown, James Strawbridge, John McGrew, Matthew Harbeson, Richard Carson, Thomas Province, John Hayes, William Young, William Finney and William Graham.
“The southern line of Penn twp, separating it from New London, was the southern line of Fagg’s Manor. In 1875 the line between Penn and Londonderry twps was partly altered, so as to include in Londonderry a small portion of Penn. This was done for the accommodation of the school districts.” [1]

Fagg’s Manor

“About the year 1702 some surveys were made to the west of the London tract, as Londongrove was then called, for Letitia Penn and her brother Wm. This land, however, was so far beyond the regular settlements that nothing could be done towards selling it to actual settlers, and so it remained for many years. There were 2 tracts of 5000 acres each, although there is some evidence that Leticia’s, which lay nearest to the London tract contained at first 7125 acres. Her tract was called Fagg’s Manor, in honor of Sir John Fagg, and the name has been handed down to the present time, being more particularly kept alive by the Presbyterian church, which is situated near the NW corner of the manor. After a time the land became exposed to the encroachments of irresponsible squatters, who destroyed the timber in order to raise a little grain, but made no great improvements” (this is noted in contemporary papers and letters.)

“The manor was resurveyed by warrant dated 5th April, 1737 and a patent for the same signed by Thomas Penn the following May.

 Fagg's Manor

“The land in Fagg’s Manor was divided among the settlers into many tracts, and the divisions numbered on a plan of the whole, but with a few exceptions, the settlers did not pay for the land or get deeds for the same for several years after, and in the meanwhile the improvements passed from one owner to another, so that the deeds in many cases were not granted to the original settlers, owing to the very great irregularity in shape of the surveys, and the uncertainty in regard to the township lines, it would be difficult to give with any certainty the exact locations of the early settlers.” [1]


  1. Futhey, J. Smith and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with Genealogical and Biographical Sketches, Philadelphia, Louis H. Everts, 1881

Sunset Park

A Chester County and Penn Township landmark, Sunset Park was an iconic country music concert venue, that was once located near where the Shoppes of Jenner’s Village stands today. It was established in 1940 by Roy G. Waltman, the park was named for the beautiful view of the sunset.  Roy continued to grow and improve the park until it consisted of a stage, kitchen and concession stand. The seating capacity also grew to hold approximately 3,000+ people. Sunset Park grew in popularity by 1944 the venue was gaining attention from some big names in Nashville. The park has hosted many well-known country music stars including; Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Tex Ritter, Hank Williams and many more. Following Roy Waltman’s death in 1957, Roy’s son Lawrence Waltman, continued to manage the park along with his family. The Waltman family worked hard to maintain a venue that was clean and appropriate for all ages. The family park did not allow alcohol on its premises. Sunset Park was recognized by The International Country Music Association for promoting country music for over 40 years.  The park played a key role in introducing country music to Pennsylvania. Sunset Park closed up for good in 1995. To this day it is still fondly remembered in the southern Chester County area and beyond.

On August 12, 2018 Sunset Park became an official part of Pennsylvania history. The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, the Penn Township Board of Supervisors and the Penn Township Historical Commission unveiled a historic marker honoring Sunset Park. The marker is located along 796 near the Dairy Queen, near where the entrance to Sunset Park once stood. In celebration of not only, the dedication of the historical marker but also Lawrence Waltman’s 100th birthday, which was August 17th, 2018, the Penn Township Board of Supervisors declared the second Sunday in August to be forever known as Sunset Park Day.

A 1992 documentary about Sunset Park one year before it closed its doors.

Band at Sunset ParkHistorical Sign

A special note – More of Penn Township’s history can be found in Penn Township – A Pictorial History, 1681-2002 by James J. Boyd. This book was referenced several times for the Penn Township History tab. Copies of this book can be purchased at the Penn Township Building.