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
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.