Downingtown is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 33 miles (53 km) west of Philadelphia. Downingtown has been in existence since the early 1700s and boasts a number of historic buildings and structures. The town was originally named Milltown due to its number of mills along the Brandywine Creek, the first of which was founded by Thomas Moore. The Bicking family also had paper mills in the area, with Frederick Bicking from Winterburg, Germany, being the patriarch of the Bicking paper families.
Around the time of the American Revolution, Milltown became more commonly known as Downing's Town because Thomas Downing, a 1717 Quaker immigrant from Bradninch, Devon, England, owned a number of those mills. The town's name officially became Downingtown in 1812. The east branch Brandywine Creek runs through the middle of the town. The town is located along US route 30 which runs from the East Coast to the West Coast, and was an early westward road in the wagon days as the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike. This was the first paved road to cross the nation from Atlantic to Pacific. The Pennsylvania Turnpike started construction in the early 1940s and was completed in the early 1950s; it runs north of US 30 bypassing Downingtown. The famous Irish patriot and martyr Theobald Wolfe Tone briefly lived here. President Lincoln's funeral train passed through Downingtown. The 1958 movie, The Blob, was filmed in and around Downingtown, and in fact, the diner in that movie is actually called the Downingtown Diner .
The center of Downingtown has recently undergone some widespread and continuing renovation, particularly to the streetscape and many of the commercial buildings. There has also been residential development on recovered industrial lands in the southeastern part of the borough. Downingtown is home to some large regional and national businesses, including DNBFirst bank and Victory Brewing Company.