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Pawling Farm & Witness Tree - King of Prussia, PA

A large parcel of land bounded by the Schuylkill River and the Perkiomen Creek was owned by the Pawling family in the 18th century and in the 19th century by the Wetherill Family.

Some structures still stand on this land, one of which is a large stone barn and another are the remnants of the Pawling/Wetherill mansion house which we were not able to locate.

Walnut Hill was originally purchased by Henry Pawling in 1719 from Edward Farmer and remained in the family through the Revolutionary War, when the site was used as a market for the Continental Army.

The land remained in the Pawling family until it was sold in 1826 to Samuel Wetherill Jr. by Levi Pawling and James Milnor, executors of the estate of Henry Pawlings. The family continued to acquire land and by the mid 1800's the Pawling Family owned 700 acres. Pawling's Ford was constructed as a crossing of the Schuylkill River and a rope ferry was operated there prior to the Revolutionary War.

The National Park Service acquired the farm in 1984.


The Barn


Abandoned Buildings

"To notice the beauty in things left behind is to see the soul of the life it once lived." Heather Durren


After our summer visit to Pawling Farm @retroreststop asked if we visited the Witness Tree. We didn’t know there was a Witness Tree let alone what one was. It immediately went to the top of our list for a return trip. Our photos don’t do this tree justice. It is stunning.


A Witness Tree is a tree that has been around for a very long time and has “witnessed” historical events such as a war, battle or other tragic moment. Some Witness Trees are said to hide bullets from wars. Can you imagine the stories this tree could tell?


Thanks again @retroreststop for the recommendation. Please check out Retro Rest Stops IG page and his YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@retroreststop/. Hopefully one day our paths will cross during our travels.


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