(AO-157: dp. 21,880 (f.),1. 523'6", b. 68', dr. 29'11", s. 14.5
k.; cpl. 251; cl. Suamico, T. T2-SE-A1)
Paoli, MC hull 1770, was laid down under Maritime Commission contract 18 July 1944 by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., Iaunched 31 October 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Lina Martin; and delivered to the Maritime Commission 11 November 1944.
Paoli, operated by War Emergency Tankers, made oil runs to the United Kingdom; between the Caribbean and the east coast; and to the Persian Gulf during World War II. Laid up in reserve after the war, she was reactivated for MSTS use as political tensions in the Middle East heightened in l9S6. Accepted from the Maritime Administration, 2 December 1956, and designated AO-157, Paoli served MSTS until returned to MARAD custody and struck from the Navy List 2 October 1957.
The Secret Jewish History of Paoli, Indiana
Image by Wikimedia Commons
From 1985 to 1990, I was a neurologist at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. Living in Kentucky was a huge change for this native New Yorker, who had spent my whole life in the Boston-Washington corridor. My 5 years in Kentucky were, nonetheless, wonderful ones. Louisville is one of the great underrated cities in the United States and I have tried to get back there at least once every year or two since I left. In addition to a great deal of professional and personal growth, Louisville awakened my inner redneck. I left Kentucky with a 4X4 sport-utility vehicle, a pair of cowboy boots for every funded grant (total = two), and a gun collection that had tripled in size during my time there, as well as friends I have kept for life.
My department chairman had an arrangement with two small rural hospitals in southern Indiana, whereby we would see outpatients, and rarely inpatients, at these two hospitals, which had no neurologists of their own. The one further from Louisville was the Orange County Hospital in Paoli, Indiana, and for 5 years I made weekly visits there, usually on Friday afternoons. Paoli, the seat of Orange County, is a very small town, and I got to know a lot of folks in the area.
Orange County and Crawford County, which adjoins Orange and had no hospital at all, were and probably still are the two poorest counties in Indiana. The population of Orange was then about 30,000 of Crawford, somewhat less. Orange County was quite isolated. It still has no four-lane highway going east to Louisville, the closest city, although the highway north to Indianapolis has been widened. I couldn’t pick up Louisville radio stations on my car radio there. The people of the county were almost exclusively white. The secretary who booked my patients doubled as the chief of staff’s secretary and also was tasked with answering Federal inquiries, including the racial breakdown of the population the hospital served. So I trusted her when she told me that there were exactly three African-Americans in the whole county. They all lived on one corridor in the servant quarters of the old French Lick Springs Hotel, where they were employed as housekeepers and chambermaids. I saw two of them as patients during the 5 years I was there. There was a small Amish community as well. Black medical students from Louisville were very unwelcome in Orange County. Southern Indiana had been a hotbed of KKK activity before World War II, when the KKK had actually taken over the Indiana state government, and attitudes had not changed much.
My secretary, by the way, was the link to Orange County’s most famous resident. She was a first cousin and close friend of Larry Bird, the great basketball player, then still playing for the Boston Celtics. Larry Bird came from the town of French Lick, Orange County’s second largest. He had been very good to his hometown he had built a great workout facility for the off-season and let the local high school athletes use it when he was away. Autographed basketballs were the coin of the realm all the hospital administrators had them on their desks. The local radio station, WFLQ French Lick - West Baden, identified itself as “Your Boston Celtics Station in Southern Indiana.”
I saw two Jewish patients during the 5 years, and each time it was something of a surprise. The first was Mr. G., who had moved to Indiana from New York decades before. He was in his 50’s and lived with his wife and two small children, who often came with him to his appointments. Once I had gotten to know him and his family, I felt comfortably politely asking him what it was like to be Jewish in Orange County. He said that he had no problems except for neighbors who would very nicely ask him if he would like to try coming to their church. “I always told them that I’d be happy to, if they would come to mine.” I asked what his church was, and he explained that the closest synagogue was in Bloomington, over an hour away. None of his neighbors ever took him up on it.
The other patient was a young man who, with his wife, had moved “back to the land” during the radical days shortly after the 1960’s. They lived on a small farm and made candles, among other things. This young man was generally quite healthy but consulted me about migraine headaches, which I started to treat using standard anti-migraine medications. On the 2nd or 3rd visit, I asked his patient, whose last name happened to be Mahler, if, by any chance, he was related to the great composer Gustav Mahler. To my surprise, he admitted that Gustav had been his great-uncle. “Did you know,” I asked my patient, “that your great-uncle had such terrible migraines that he consulted, among other people, the great neurologist Sigmund Freud?” No, he didn’t know that. I realized that my first case of familial migraine was Gustav Mahler’s great-nephew in the cornfields of southern Indiana. You couln’t make this stuff up.
But the most peculiar Jewish story I heard in Paoli, Indiana was about someone long dead. Orange County Hospital had been built in 1959. In the main lobby there were two plaques. One noted the local people who had been instrumental in building it. High among the names there was a local lawyer, Mr. James Tucker. He was well-known as the brother-in-law of then Vice-President Dan Quayle, who had previously been US Senator from Indiana. In fact, Vice-President Quayle had had some effect on the hospital already. When he was elected, in 1988, the Secret Service learned that the Vice-President came to Paoli every year to go hunting with his brother-in-law, and so they did a survey of the medical assets that would be there should the Vice-President have any mishaps while in Orange County. They were shocked. The hospital had no helipad. If anyone had to be evacuated to a higher level of care, the closest true medical center was in Louisville, which meant at least an hour schlep, sometimes longer, over a hilly two-lane road that was very dicey in winter snow and ice. And I do mean hills believe it or not, Paoli has the only ski slope in Indiana, whose construction had been largely quarterbacked by one of the Orange County Hospital physicians. If a patient had a stroke and needed a CT scan, that drive was what the patient had to look forward to, rocking to and fro in an ambulance on imperfect roads. Orange County Hospital’s emergency room had no physician present except between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. At other times, there was a nurse in the tiny emergency room, and she (always a she, then) would call one of the county’s 7 (yes, total) doctors in as needed. But when the hospital had been built, it was a huge improvement over what had been there before. So the Secret Service made sure that the telecommunications at the emergency room were at least minimally upgraded, I was told.
It was the other plaque that told a different story. The plaque simply said that the hospital had been built through the generosity of “Sol Strauss, citizen of Paoli.” After several years, I asked the hospital folks about the plaque. Something just didn’t seem right there were effectively no Jews in Paoli, so how had the town benefited from a gift from someone with a Jewish name?
The story turned out to be fascinating. Mr. Strauss had come to Paoli in 1923. He had subsequently lost many of his relatives in the Holocaust and never married. He ran a drygoods store, Paoli Dry Goods, on the Paoli courthouse square. He lived in a sparely furnished room on the second floor of the same building. It was unheated and he slept on a cot. No one knew why he had settled in this unlikely location except that he had a brother who had settled in the larger metropolis of Salem, Indiana. He was apparently quite unpopular. Although he was considered a generous businessman and particularly kind to children, he did not attend church, which was unusual, he was different and spoke with an accent, and, what may have been even worse, it was known that he had served in the German army in World War I, into which he had been drafted. The few contemporary reminiscences I’ve been able to track down about Sol Strauss indicate that he had graduated from the University of Heidelberg, but never talked about his life in Europe, and he lived a very isolated life in Paoli, Indiana. I found a 1975 article in the Indianapolis Star which mentioned that he spoke five languages fluently but never mastered the local Orange County accent. It also mentioned that his store never made a lot of money. He died in 1960 and left no family.
The real story began with Sol Strauss’s death. When he died, the probate attorney was shocked to discover that Sol Strauss’s frugality, plus daily phone calls to a brokerage in Louisville, had enabled him to amass a considerable fortune, over $300,000 in 1960 dollars. Other than a few specific bequests, the whole sum was to be put into a trust, now called the Sol Strauss Trust Supporting Organization, from which 30% was to be given annually to the Jewish Hospital of Louisville, and the rest, essentially, given to the town of Paoli. The trustees, whom Mr. Strauss appointed in his will, were the pastors of two Christian churches in town and the county circuit court judge. Forty percent of the money was to go to the Orange County Hospital. All of the rest was to go to charitable causes in the town of Paoli. He stipulated, I was told, that he had done this in gratitude to the town for giving him refuge from the horrors of Europe.
I researched what has happened to the trust in preparation for writing this little essay. The principal, which has moved from bank to bank, has never been touched. The interest has gone to create a children’s library, outfit high school sports teams, build a 4-H recreational center, and assist the volunteer fire department, among others. Today, other than the contribution to Jewish Hospital, all of the funds must be expended in Paoli. The 1975 Indianapolis Star article called Mr. Strauss Paoli’s “walking trust fund.” And, while he was alive, no one knew.
When I first heard the story, I somewhat doubted it, but a year or two later I met an older Jewish lady in Louisville, where I lived, who corroborated it. She had actually dated Mr. Strauss and he had proposed marriage to her, but she wasn’t interested in marriage she was already a widow. And she told me that he would not consider marrying anyone who wasn’t Jewish, which was why he had never dated anyone in Paoli.
I left Louisville and stopped visiting Paoli in 1990. Time moved on, I moved on and had several different careers, and then in November 2015 I found myself at Indiana University in Bloomington for the Midwest Composers Symposium. The last event was on a Saturday night, which meant I had a whole day to drive back from Bloomington to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati. So I took a detour and drove the now much improved highway from Bloomington to Paoli on a Sunday morning. After an absence of 25 years, the town had not grown perceptibly. Except for one block of the courthouse square, which, I learned, had been completely rebuilt after a fire a few years back, almost nothing had changed in town. But the hospital, now expanded enormously, has a real emergency room. It is now part of the Bloomington Hospital healthcare network and presumably can evacuate patients a lot more easily, as there is now a helipad. There are physicians in the emergency room on Sundays too. At least one of the physicians was female. And, I noticed, the plaque is gone.
Oh, and I almost forgot: there is no synagogue in Paoli. There never was one. And, for all I know, there may be no Jews there now, either. But at least one Jew has changed Paoli for the better.
Paoli Library has a rich history. The library was founded in 1910. William Shippen Roney formed and chaired the Town Association Library Committee, donating books from his own and his friends’ libraries. This early library was housed in the Paoli Town Hall, formerly a chapel of Paoli Presbyterian Church. In 1920, the group of people from Tredyffrin and Willistown townships who had been supporting the library for 10 years formed the Paoli Library Association. These incorporators, known as subscribers and directors, undertook “to maintain and support a library … in the village of Paoli, Tredyffrin Township, County of Chester, State of Pennsylvania,” and donated funds.
Books were gifts and were not catalogued for many years bills were met by a membership fee of $1.00 per year and the contributions of association members. The building was improved gradually to include more shelving for books, tables, and sections for programs. In the mid-1950s a part-time professional librarian was hired to catalogue the collection, among other library tasks. For years, Paoli Library functioned on a very small budget and as a private library it was not eligible for state funding. Book sales and other fundraising efforts supplemented the membership fees, which had risen to $2.00 per year. By 1974, Tredyffrin Township had begun to contribute funds to Paoli Library and the membership fees ended. Chester County also began limited aid to Paoli Library in the 1970s.
In 1965, efforts to ally Paoli Library with the newly formed Tredyffrin Township Library in Strafford began. In 1980, a merger was approved and Paoli Library became a branch of the Tredyffrin Township Libraries. This was done through an agreement between the Paoli Library Association and Tredyffrin Township. In addition, an agreement between Tredyffrin and Willistown townships provided additional support to Paoli Library. In 1986, Tredyffrin Township and Meridian Bank purchased the Paoli Library property to be used as road access and public parking. The quaint old building was scheduled for demolition, but was saved by popular subscription and moved to the Paoli Presbyterian Church grounds, where it again became a chapel as it had been before it was the town hall and library. In return, the bank provided space adjacent to its new addition as a new home for Paoli Library. This shell was finished and furnished by funds from the Paoli Library Association and stocked with the collections of the old library. These quarters were provided under a 30-year lease, which expired in 2016, between the bank and Tredyffrin Township, with the Paoli Library Association as a signatory. The Paoli Library Association, assuring its aim of keeping a library in Paoli, disbanded in 1980 after investing its remaining funds in an annuity to purchase books for the library. The lease has been extended for an additional 5 years so the library’s home will remain with Wells Fargo Bank until at least 2021.
The Town of West Baden Springs
Dr. John R. Lane, an itinerant medicine peddler, built the first resort hotel in West Baden Springs, in 1851, and named it for the famous spa, West Baden, in Germany. It was first known as Mile Lick, since it was one mile from French Lick. Lee W. Sinclair operated the lavish West Baden Springs Hotel in 1888, until it was destroyed by fire in 1901. Sinclair rebuilt a new and larger hotel structure by 1902 with 708 rooms, one of the widest unsupported domes in the world, 208 feet in diameter, and with a mosaic tile floor in the atrium.
Paoli AO-157 - History
The History QuarterlyDigital Archives
As part of the Society's ongoing Digitization Project, we have made History Quarterly back issues available in digital form. Please click here to view.
Our ever-expanding online image database features a searchable partial inventory of our large and growing collection of historic images. Please click here to view.
Tredyffrin and Easttown Digital Archives
Mike Bertram's expanding collection of online resources pertaining to Tredyffrin History and Easttown Deed History. Other reference materials may be found in the Document Collection
Many of the Society's collection of historic aerial photos may be found in the Aerial Photographs Catalog. A small subset, in interactive digital format, may be found in the Dallin Aerial Photo Sampler.
Winter 2021 History Quarterly
The History Quarterly
Starting in 1937, the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society has published a periodical called the History Quarterly with the aim of encouraging scholarship and interest in local historical studies. The History Quarterly, published four times a year, has also documented, and expanded upon, the presentations delivered to our organization's meetings throughout the years, as well as to report on historic events within our area. This collection of local Upper Main Line history is the largest compendium of its kind in Chester County, and has been critically acclaimed by community leaders and educators alike.
Over more than 75 years of publication, the History Quarterly has always been a volunteer endeavor. We are indebted to our current editors, John O. Senior, Heidi Sproat, and Larry & Joyce DeYoung, as well as to all of the past editors whose efforts maintained a high standard of excellence.
The History Quarterly is offered at no additional cost to Society members, and sold at a retail price of $10.00 through local public libraries, other historical organizations, and several retail establishments.
The Table of Contents from previous issues may be viewed here.
Winter 2021, Volume 55, Number 4 &mdash Table of Contents
The Devon Inn (Special Edition Expanded Issue )
The Remarkable Story of the Devon Inn: A Long-Lost Treasure of the Victorian Era
&ndash Meg Wiederseim, Joyce DeYoung, and John O. Senior
Devon Inn &ndash Bob Goshorn
The Devon Inn Story: Further Discoveries
- Devon Inn History Timeline
- Historical Context
- The Building
- The Architects of the Devon Inns &ndash Greg Prichard
- Life at the Inn
- Further Reading
In Memoriam: J. Michael Morrison
Supplemental Web Content for this issue available here.
The History Quarterly is available for purchase at these local distributors:
- - 620 W. Lancaster, Wayne, PA 19087 - 720 First Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312 - 16 Paoli Shopping Ctr, Paoli, PA 19301 - 18 Darby Rd., Paoli, PA 19301 - 209 West Lancaster Ave. Wayne PA 19087 - 582 Upper Gulph Rd. Strafford-Wayne, PA 19087
A complete collection of History Quarterly back issues is available for reference and research at these locations:
2007 Quarterly Special Double Issue
The History of Tredyffrin Township
In the past 300 years, only two comprehensive chronicles about our county have been written: The History of Chester County, by Judge M. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope (1881), and History of Chester County PA, by Charles Heathcote (1926). Ironically, in neither of these publications did Tredyffrin Township, with its unique Welsh name, merit more than a few pages.
In April, 2006, the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society, founded in 1936, was asked to compile a Township history as part of the Tredyffrin Tricentennial scheduled celebrated in 2007. The Society accepted this challenge, and under the editorship of Mr. Michael Bertram, the entirely volunteer assistance of many Society members, and the substantial resources of the Society&rsquos archive, was created The History of Tredyffrin Township, 1707 &ndash 2007.
This 100-page publication contains over 35 articles describing many of the events and personalities within our Township from the 1680&rsquos to the present. With 31 maps, and 135 photographs and drawings - many never before published &ndash this history is perfect not only for long-time residents but especially pertinent to the many new families who move to Tredyffrin from other parts of the country knowing little of its local history.
Are you interested in learning about Colonial life in this area, and what really happened here during the Revolution? Our Main Line communities owe much to our rich railroad heritage, and that story is told. So many stories. Did you know, for example, that there was a U.S. Marine Corps base right here in Tredyffrin Township, and that there existed for many years the Main Line Airport where the Great Valley Corporate Center now resides? All of these, and many other subjects, are found in this History of Tredyffrin Township, 1707 &ndash 2007.
Click here to view a sample chapter, one of 35, concerning the Inns and Taverns of Tredyffrin Township. (715 KB PDF) .
Availability: After several reprintings, the Society has sold all remaining inventory of this History. To read this book, however, you may visit the Local History section of one of our local public libraries.
Page last updated: 2021-04-11 at 13:05 EDT
Copyright © 2006-2021 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Permission is given to make copies for personal use only.
All other uses require written permission of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.
یواساناس پاولی (تی-ایاو-۱۵۷)
یواساناس پاولی (تی-ایاو-۱۵۷) (به انگلیسی: USNS Paoli (T-AO-157) ) یک کشتی است که طول آن ۵۲۳ فوت ۶ اینچ (۱۵۹٫۵۶ متر) میباشد. این کشتی در سال ۱۹۴۴ ساخته شد.
|آباندازی:||۱۸ ژوئیه ۱۹۴۴|
|آغاز کار:||۳۱ اکتبر ۱۹۴۴|
|وزن:||۵٬۷۸۲ long ton (۵٬۸۷۵ تن)|
|درازا:||۵۲۳ فوت ۶ اینچ (۱۵۹٫۵۶ متر)|
|پهنا:||۶۸ فوت (۲۱ متر)|
|آبخور:||۳۰ فوت (۹٫۱ متر)|
|سرعت:||۱۵٫۵ گره (۲۸٫۷ کیلومتر بر ساعت؛ ۱۷٫۸ مایل بر ساعت)|
این یک مقالهٔ خرد کشتی یا قایق است. میتوانید با گسترش آن به ویکیپدیا کمک کنید.
Paoli AO-157 - History
Located in northern Garvin County eight miles north of Pauls Valley at the junction of U.S. Highway 77 and State Highway 145, Paoli served as a watering station on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Railroad officials built the depot on land owned by rancher James Dulin, who objected to naming the town "Doolinville." Engineers chose Paoli, a town in eastern Pennsylvania, for the name of the new train station. George D. Thompson served as the postmaster when the Paoli post office opened on June 27, 1888. Before 1907 statehood the area around Paoli was part of the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. Archaeological digs by the University of Oklahoma have produced several Indian artifacts from the region.
Emigrants from Texas and other southern states made Paoli a thriving and growing community. By the time the railroad arrived in 1887, families had established extensive ranches and farms in the fertile Washita River valley. The Dulin ranch covered more than three thousand acres and Jack Florence, Joe A. Camp, and Lawrence P. Wigley built large cattle businesses nearby. Cotton, broomcorn, wheat, alfalfa, and peanuts were raised on the local farms. In 1916 petroleum and natural gas companies successfully drilled wells in the area. Farming and oil-field businesses continued as the economic base for Paoli into the late twentieth century.
Two hundred twenty-nine people resided in Paoli in 1907, and the population grew steadily through the following decades. By 1920 twenty-nine residences and businesses had electric lights. The U.S. Census listed 363 residents in that year, and by 1940, 423 citizens supported an industrious downtown that housed two banks, a variety of shops, and a hotel.
The population of Paoli declined from 423 to 353 during the decade of the 1940s when World War II took families away from the area. The town rebounded in the 1960s, adding more than one hundred residents by 1970 and another hundred from 1970 to 1980. In 2000 the population reached 649. Former residents retiring from work and returning to Paoli and the proximity of medical care, recreational facilities, and larger communities contributed to the late rise in population. In 2010 the census counted 610 inhabitants.
"Paoli," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce, From Bluestem to Golden Trend: A Pictorial History of Garvin County, Covering Both the Old and the New (Fort Worth, Tex.: University Supply and Equipment Co., 1980).
Julia Westfall and Wanda Prinz, eds., Proud of Paoli (Paoli, Okla.: Paoli OK Historical Society, 2001).
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Paoli’s Rich Past
The Paoli area is very rich in history, being part of three original counties established by William Penn on land that once belonged to the Lenni Lenape tribe of the Algonquin Indians. In 1660, Welsh Quakers purchased 40,000 acres from Penn from the Schuylkill River westward and northward. Welsh names such as Merion, Radnor, Bryn Mawr and Tredyffrin remain in use, whereas Duffryn Mawr later became Paoli.
An important event of the Revolutionary War occurred locally. In 1777, British General Howe with 18,000 troops sailed up the Chesapeake Bay to begin a march to Philadelphia, the colonial capital. After defeating General Washington at the Battle of Brandywine, the British advanced into the Upper Main Line area.
The "Paoli Massacre" occurred on September 20, 1777. Fifteen hundred American troops and four cannons under local hero General Anthony Wayne were camped in Malvern to keep an eye on and harass the enemy. British Major General Grey was ordered to conduct a surprise night attack on this outpost. Led by a Tory guide, they found the Americans unprepared and easily rousted them. Fifty-three Americans were killed and are buried in the Malvern's Paoli Battlefield Memorial Grounds.
The British subsequently moved across the Schuylkill River without opposition and occupied Philadelphia. This was the infamous winter (1777-78) that General Washington spent at Valley Forge.
The First Paved Road in the United States
The first road through the Welsh tract was the Conestoga Road, which followed an Indian trail. West of Malvern, it went northwest to the Conestoga Indian villages near Harrisburg. In 1720, a road was surveyed to run west to Lancaster from the point where the Conestoga Road veered to the north. This became the Lancaster Road.
In 1792, a company was formed to make an "artificial road" from Philadelphia to Lancaster. Completed in 1794, it was the first stone-paved road in the United States. To insure the collection of tolls, pikes were placed across the road at intervals and only turned aside when the toll ($.02 for a foot traveler, $.19 for a horse and carriage and $.25 for each 20 head of stock) was paid.
In 1832, a Main Line of Public Works was commissioned to set up a railroad from Philadelphia through Lancaster and then on to Pittsburgh. This later became the Main Line of Pennsylvania Railroad. By 1855, Paoli became the official terminal for all Main Line trains, and a turntable and engine house were built at the present Paoli railroad yards.
General Pasquale Paoli
The village takes its name from General Pasquale Paoli, who was the leader of Corsica from 1755 to 1769 and who was called "The Father of His Country". He stamped out the practice of vendettas, encouraged commerce, established a school in every village and a university in Corte. In addition, he wrote the first democratic constitution in Europe.
On May 9, 1769, French invaders decisively defeated Paoli and his patriots, and Paoli escaped to London where he was granted political asylum and an annual pension by King George III. He died there in 1807 and was commemorated with a monument erected in Westminster Abbey which can be seen there today.
Paoli's remains were moved to Morosaglia, his birthplace in his native Corsica, in 1887. Paoli enjoyed the respect of his contemporaries for his daring on the battlefield, his wisdom in council, and his heroic acts.
Note: The PBPA maintains an ongoing relationship with the Foundation Pasquale Paoli of Corsica. Its founder and Secretary General, Georges Coanet, came to Paoli in 1992 in search of information on Pasquale Paoli. During his visit, he and his wife Renee met with community leaders, attended a dinner in their honor, and visited local landmarks.
Our Association also maintains a warm relationship with the Corsican community. In 2011, Ed Auble, PBPA president at the time, was invited to visit Corsica, where he met with University of Corsica officials in what once was General Paoli's office and visited the General's birthplace/resting place in Morasaglia. In years circa 2011, our Paoli was visited by Catherine Sorba (Paris) and Francis Acqui (Ajaccio), both Corsican.
Paoli's name was synonymous with freedom from tyranny, and so, circa 1769 the Inn at Duffryn Mawr was named after General Paoli. The Inn was located on the Old Lancaster Pike at about the 18th milestone from Philadelphia (near where the Post Office is today) and was operated by the Evans family. It was a popular stopover for stagecoaches along the Pike and a meeting place for soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
The first U.S. Post Office in the area was opened here on December 9, 1826. It was a polling place for the four area townships and was the scene of political rallies.
In 1881, the Evans family sold the Inn and 350 acres of land, which included all of Paoli as we know it, to the "Paoli Heights Improvement Company" which started to develop it. On May 30, 1899, the General Paoli Inn was destroyed by fire.
Paoli today has a small-town feeling enhanced by the sophistication associated with the Main Line of Philadelphia. Read more about its amenities on our Paoli Today page.
There is little doubt that Paoli is a delightful spot in which to live and an area that is ripe for business growth.
A Glimpse of Paoli's Past.
*Above images are courtesy of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.
Paoli AO-157 - History
Paoli was first settled in the early 1800's when a group of Quakers, looking for a slave-free territory came north.
What they found here in Orange County was a beautiful wooded area with plenty of water and plenty of game.
The forests provided one of the county's main geological features including a large part of the Hoosier National Forest, which is shared with eight other counties. The Patoka and Lost Rivers flow through the county and the artisan mineral springs were once popular in the area.
Paoli was named for Pasquale Paoli Ash, the 12 year old son of North Carolina's former Governor Samuel Ash. The boy died before the Quakers came from North Carolina to Orange County.
The town of Paoli purchased part of the land for the county seat from Jonathan Lindley (see Lindley House) for $800 and part from Thomas Hopper for $500. Mrs. Rebecca Hopper, who probably opposed selling the land, is said to have submitted gracefully to the signing of the deed after she was paid $5.
The early pioneers believed they needed some form of government to ensure that all men were treated equally. They wanted a democratic system with no special privileges afforded anyone. With this principle in mind, the pioneers met as early as 1811 in private homes to devise ways to further advance liberties and future welfare and the welfare of the nation.
Courts for Orange County were held at the home of William Lindley, Jr. until a courthouse could be built. A small log building was erected near the northwest corner of the public square as a temporary courthouse in 1816 at the cost of $25. (Orange County History Book)
More History and Genealogy
The Initial Point or Pivot Point in the Hoosier National Forest, seven miles south of Paoli, is the point from which all boundaries in Indiana are measured. Established in 1805, the point marks an important part of the county's forest land.
Located in the southern part of Indiana, Orange County is bounded by Lawrence County to the north, Martin and Dubois Counties to the west, Crawford County to the south, and Washington County to the east. Orange County covers just over 400 square miles.
The building that now houses the Orange County Historical Museum was a residence in the early days of the town. It belonged to Dr. Sherrod and was always known as the Sherrod House. It has since housed a grade school and was for years The Orange County Courthouse Annex.
LITTLE AFRICA - An Echo From the Past - PADDY'S GARDEN
In the early 1800's when the Quakers came from North Carolina to settle in Orange County, Indiana, they came to escape slavery. They brought with them a number of freed slaves. These free men were deeded 200 acres of land in the heart of a dense forest. Word of mouth soon spread the news, and this land became part of the "underground railroad" for runaway slaves.
For many years, the black folk in this area farmed, traded, and sold their labor to others while living in this settlement. A church was built and a cemetery was provided for their loved ones.
All that remains today is the cemetery. Some of the stones were broken or vandalized over the years. Several years ago, a troop of Boy Scouts came in and restored the cemetery, replacing the lost or broken stones with wooden crosses designating a grave. The name of "Little Africa" came about because of the black settlement, but "Paddy's Garden" was the name those early residents called it.
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Pasquale Paoli, (born April 26, 1725, Stretta di Morosaglia, Corsica—died Feb. 5, 1807, London), Corsican statesman and patriot who was responsible for ending Genoese rule of Corsica and for establishing enlightened rule and reforms.
The son of Giacinto Paoli, who led the Corsicans against Genoa from 1735, Pasquale followed his father into exile at Naples in 1739, studying at the military academy there and preparing to continue the fight for Corsican independence. In 1755 he returned to Corsica and, after overcoming the Genoese faction, was elected to executive power under a constitution more democratic than any other in Europe. For the next nine years, under the principles of enlightened despotism, he transformed Corsica, first by suppressing the system of vendetta and substituting order and justice, then by encouraging mining, building up a naval fleet, and instituting national schools and a university. At the same time he continued the war, first against Genoa and after 1764 against Genoa’s ally, France. France bought Corsica in 1768 and invaded the island and defeated the nationalists in 1769. Paoli fled to England, received a pension from George III, and lived in London for the next 20 years.
Appointed lieutenant general and military commandant during the French Revolution, Paoli returned to Corsica in July 1790. Breaking with France in 1793, he once more led the fight for independence and, with British naval support, expelled the French in 1794. He then offered the sovereignty of Corsica to George III, who accepted and sent Sir Gilbert Elliot as viceroy. Elliot in turn chose not Paoli but Pozzo di Borgo as his chief adviser. Disappointed and not wishing to cause internal strife, Paoli retired to England in 1795, where he received a British government pension.