Historic Yellow Springs
An early American spa and hospital in a rural setting
Visitors are free to roam the trails, picnic or take a hike with their dogs on the rugged trails that traverse Historic Yellow Springs, a 140-acre site in Chester Springs. Several of the iron, sulfur and magnesium springs that gave this village its name are still active.
But there’s much more than raw nature here. Visit the annual arts show or the antique show. There’s also youth programs, permanent exhibits, a series of public lectures and organized tours. Be sure to check out the ruins of General George Washington’s battle hospital, which he set up when his troops were trying to recapture Philadelphia. Ten other restored buildings that date back to the heyday of this once-flourishing spa town are additional highlights.
Lenni-Lenape Indians were the first to understand the curative powers of the mineral springs that flow through the area into Pickering Creek, and long before the colonists decided to part from Mother Britain, they came to Yellow Springs in hopes the waters here would cure their ills.
The historic village now celebrates the astounding history and culture of a thriving colonial community and spa town, fashionable even before General George Washington commissioned the first military hospital in North America here, during the revolutionary war. By the turn of the century, the village became headquarters for the Chester Springs Soldiers’ Orphans School, then later became home to The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Country School.
Yellow Springs became a national historic landmark in 1974, and today’s conservators try to incorporate all those incarnations into the village. The archives and library chronicle this history and serve as a research center.
Dogs and picnickers are welcome. Be prepared for rugged trails and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Summerfest, June 14, includes a 5k run, an alfresco jazz concert and more; the annual Yellow Springs Art Show, two weeks in April and May, features work by more than 150 regional artists; and the annual Antique Show, October.
In the 1970s, the village housed Good News Productions Film Company, a film studio that created more than 400 films, including the sci-fi classic The Blob.