Created By: Sarah Mims
Chads' Ford was named for John Chads who ran a small ferry business in the early 18th century here along the Brandywine Creek. The restored Chads house still stands along Creek Road and is a living history museum run by the Chadds Ford Historical Society. The current village is an area along the Brandywine Creek encompassed by Delaware County on the east bank and Chester County on the west bank. The area is famous for the Battle of Brandywine that took place in the area on September 11, 1777. General Washington's Continental Army fortified the hills above the Brandywine at Chads' Ford in anticipation of the advancing British Army which was likely to pass through traveling down the Nottingham Road on their march to Philadelphia. The story of the evolution of the bridges crossing the Brandywine Creek at Chadd's Ford starts back in 1828. A Burr arch type wooden covered bridge was first built at the site of the former ford. In 1860 the original bridge was taken down and reassembled at the same location by William Gamble who did the wood work and Nathan Jester who did the stone work. The 1860 bridge had a 151 foot span and an overall length of 176 feet with a 22 foot wide roadway. Like many wooden bridges of the time it required frequent repairs from both stone masons and carpenters. In 1920 the covered bridge was demolished and replaced by a two span concrete arch bridge. The location of the bridge was slightly upstream from the location of the former covered bridge. The western approach was along what is now called Fairville Road. A small approach bridge crossed the mill race for Hoffman's Mill and the concrete arch bridge spanned the Brandywine Creek. In 1938 with the widening of Baltimore Pike, a new open span steel and concrete bridge was built slightly upstream from the 1920 bridge. The former concrete arch bridge was demolished. In the 1970's the former approaching roadway location became part of the parking area of the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Proceed straight back down the parking area to Hoffmans Mill Road and back track to Station Way Road. Follow signs for Route 1 south.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Bridges of Chester County's Lower Brandywine Creek watershed