Thomas Jerman

Historic Preservation and Educational Trust

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The Thomas Jerman Historic Preservation and Educational Trust

The Thomas Jerman Trust was established to preserve, restore, and expand the 300 year old settlement of Thomas and Elizabeth Jerman, located just north of downtown Paoli at Swedesford and North Valley Roads in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, PA.

The rushing waters of Valley Creek cascade over a 10 foot high dam, built with a mill race that powered the original 1710 grist mill on the west side of North Valley Road. George Washington occasionally visited the mill, where wheat was ground into flour that nourished troops encamped in Valley Forge during September of 1777.

Unfortunately, the 200 foot long dam, along with the mill race, original pond, and stream banks have deteriorated over the centuries due to storms, sediment accumulation, erosion, and lack of maintenance. The initial goal of the Thomas Jerman Trust is to restore the early 1700's dam to its original beauty and functionality, to upgrade stream banks and protect against future erosion, to recreate the serenity and fish habitat of the original pond, and to enhance the diverse animal and plant ecosystems.

The Trust was established in 2006 by Roberta and Art Blumenthal, who purchased 23.6 acres in the heart of the Jerman settlement in 2003 from the Toland family, who enlarged and occupied the original 1736 Jerman for 40 years. The Blumenthals built a family residence on 13.6 of the acres and sold 10 acres, including the farmhouse, a circa 1860's barn, a carraige house, and a spring house. The entire 23.6 acre parcel is covered by a Conservation Easement with the Open Land Conservancy of Chester County, which protects the ground from further subdivision/development and sets strict standards for preservation and maintenance of the natural habitat.

Our Mission Statement

The Trust is dedicated to restoring, preserving, and expanding the historic structures and grounds in the Thomas Jerman Historic District for the benefit of its members and guests. It is hoped that future fund raising will enable the Trust to acquire and preserve more land, restore additional historic structures, and provide an educational opportunity for young children and local residents.

The Thomas Jerman Historic District is a rare and captivating  portrait or pristeen Colonial America. It has survived the centuries and deserves to be enjoyed for centuries to come.

(For more information or to make a donation to the Trust)


The Jerman Settlement

In 1699, Quaker preacher and miller Thomas Jerman sailed from Wales on the good ship William Galley, settling in "Duffryn Mawr" or "Great Valley", in what would become Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, PA. On July 7, 1701 he purchased 300 acres of the Welsh Tract along Valley Creek, centered around Swedesford Road and North Valley Road, just east of the Great Valley corporate center.

By 1710, Jerman had erected a gristmill on the north side of Valley Creek along North Valley Road. This mill was later replaced in 1859 by the current Great Valley Grist Mill, directly across North Valley Road --- a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

Jerman used local fieldstone to build a house for himself and his family on the east side of North Valley Road in 1728 and then a second dwelling on the west side, a stone's throw from the original residence, in 1736.

(For more history on the Jerman Settlement)
 

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