Living in Chadds Ford: A Neighborhood Guide

History and artistry meet on the banks of Brandywine Creek.

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Brandywine Creek in Chadds Ford / Photograph by H. Mark Weidman Photography/Alamy Stock Photo

A way to cross the stream

The Swedes were the first Europeans to explore the upper Brandywine Creek, in the 1630s. English Quakers had settled in the area by 1700, and in 1707, a road connecting the cities of Chester and Baltimore — today’s Route 1 — was laid through their settlement. Around 1725, John Chads had a house built on the banks of the creek near a ford, and he later operated a tavern and a ferry to cross the stream. Chadds Ford — both the Delaware County township formerly called Birmingham and the village straddling the Delaware County/Chester County line — take their names from this settler’s residence and business.

The art of country living

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The Brandywine Museum of Art in Chadds Ford / Photograph by H. Mark Weidman Photography/Alamy Stock Photo

The area around Chadds Ford is known as “Wyeth country” because the famous family of artists lived there. From 1911 onward, three generations of Wyeths — patriarch N.C., son Andrew, daughters Carolyn and Ann Wyeth McCoy, and grandson Jamie — made the Brandywine Valley from Chadds Ford to Wilmington the locus of their work. The Brandywine Museum of Art (1 Hoffmans Mill Road) has an extensive collection of pieces by the Wyeths and other 19th- and 20th-century­ realist artists. Up the road to the east, Brandywine Battlefield Park (1491 Baltimore Pike) commemorates the site of the greatest single-day battle of the American Revolution. And a little farther west, in the Chester County part of the village, Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike), one of the state’s largest, has been producing wines made with regionally grown grapes since 1982.

A village plus a suburb

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Antica Italian Restaurant and Bar / Photograph courtesy of Antica Italian Restaurant and Bar

Chadds Ford Township sits at Delaware County’s southwest tip, but even with suburban development on its eastern edge, it still has the rural character associated with Chester County across the creek. The village center, by the museum, features two fine-dining establishments, Brandywine Prime steakhouse (1617 Baltimore Pike) and Antica Italian Restaurant and Bar (1623 Baltimore Pike). Across the pike, you’ll find locally owned stores and services at the Chadds Ford Barn Shops.

Rustic sophistication

Chadds Ford is one of Delco’s most affluent communities. “Typically, people choose Chadds Ford because of its proximity to Wilmington and Philly, but it’s ‘Chester County’ enough,” says David Maio Williams, of the Matt Fetick Team at Keller Williams Realty in Kennett Square. House prices range from $600,000 to $3 million. Most of the homes post-date the 1960s and don’t linger on the market for long, though newer custom-built properties in the million-plus range stick around longer.


Published as “Living in Chadds Ford” in the June 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.