Easttown Township is a township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 10,477 at the 2010 census. The land that eventually became Easttown Township was once part of the Welsh Tract, a large expanse of land promised by William Penn to a group of Welsh Quaker settlers in which they would be able to speak and conduct business in the Welsh language. While the autonomous entity envisioned by some was never formed, it left its mark in the many Welsh place names that still exist, such as the village of Berwyn, in Easttown, and nearby Tredyffrin Township. The township is believed to have been incorporated in 1704, as that is the earliest date it has been found to be referred to in official records.
While the originators of the Welsh Tract were Quakers, the earliest settlers in the portion that became Easttown Township were mostly Anglicans. St. David’s Episcopal Church, just past the eastern edge of the township, was constructed in 1715 by Welsh Anglicans when the mother church sent them a minister. Revolutionary War leader Anthony Wayne was born and lived in Waynesborough house, in the western part of the township. He—or at least part of him—is buried at St. David’s.
A Revolutionary War skirmish that occurred along a ridge in the center of the township was the only engagement of that war in the township. The name of the British commander was later given to a nearby mansion: Tarleton.
Two sites in the township are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Waynesborough and Roughwood. The cluster of buildings that forms the village of Leopard, identified as a “Significant Historic Cluster” in the Chester County Historic Sites Survey (1979–1982), is eligible for listing as well. In addition, the Waterloo Mills Historic District has been designated. Although St. David’s Church is just over the line in Newtown Township, the church building and its graveyard (most of which is in Easttown) are listed together in the National Register.
Easttown Township is said to have the most-litigated zoning law in Pennsylvania, largely as a result of its efforts to avoid being swallowed up by the expansion of the suburbs of Philadelphia. At least two major cases about minimum lot size were handed down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Bilbar Construction upheld the township’s minimum lot sizes, while National Land and Investment Co. struck them down as “exclusionary” seven years later. National Land further held that a municipality may utilize zoning measures that are substantially related to the protection and preservation of the municipality’s proper interest in providing for the general welfare of its residents, but Easttown’s zoning did not pass the test. Ironically, despite the developer-litigants’ claimed interest in allowing poor people to live in Easttown, they only built houses that sold at well over the average value in Pennsylvania.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 8.2 square miles (21 km2), of which 0.12% is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,270 people, 3,758 households, and 2,848 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,248.8 people per square mile (482.4/km²). There were 3,862 housing units at an average density of 469.6/sq mi (181.4/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.77% White, 2.51% African American, 0.11% Native American, 2.78% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.08% of the population.
There were 3,758 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.2% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the township the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $95,548, and the median income for a family was $109,103. Males had a median income of $80,341 versus $40,955 for females. The per capita income for the township was $51,028. About 0.7% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.
Students in Easttown Township are zoned to schools in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District. Easttown Township is zoned to Conestoga High School, which is located just over the boundary in Tredyffrin Township. Lower schools in the township are Devon Elementary School and Beaumont Elementary School.
Tarleton School, a private elementary school, is located on Waterloo Avenue.