The area now known as Wayne was originally settled in the late 1600′s by Quakers from Radnorshire Wales who came here to settle on land originally purchased by William Penn. Lancaster Pike, the first macadamized turnpike in the world and the first real turnpike in the United States, opened in 1795 and spurred increased settlement in the area.
The area remained mostly farmland until the mid 1800′s when a stretch of the Columbia Railroad between Philadelphia and Harrisburg called “The Main Line of the Public Works of the State of Pennsylvania” was completed. Around that time, a banker named J. Henry Askin purchased a large amount of farmland on which he proposed to build a Victorian development which he would name ‘Louella’ after his two daughters, Louisa and Ella.
The area became a favorite country getaway to people from the city and the railroad made it possible for wealthy businessmen to relocate their families to this rural community and commute to Philadelphia. Financial difficulties forced Mr. Askin to sell his property after building only a few homes on one street.
George W. Childs and Anthony Drexel bought Mr. Askins’ property and additional acreage and called it ‘Wayne Estate’ after General Anthony Wayne. Additional homes and estates were built along with a hotel. North Wayne and South Wayne were developed and both communities later formed associations to share the responsibility of fire protection, street lighting, and other common community interests.
For over a hundred years, Wayne has been considered one of the best, if not the best, places in the western suburbs of Philadelphia to live and raise a family. The school system has been recognized as one of the best in the country, the median income is very high and the crime rate is very low. A large percentage of the residents have higher degrees of education and work in executive or professional occupations. Wayne has a quaint business community and is within close proximity to many golf courses, colleges, parks, libraries, shopping areas, restaurants, and entertainment. The seashore and mountains are both about two hours away and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia is only a 30 minute train ride from Wayne Station.