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Paoli, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Census-designated place
Battle of Paoli monument site
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Townships Tredyffrin, Willistown
Elevation 509 ft (155.1 m)
Coordinates 40°02′27″N 75°29′24″W / 40.04083°N 75.49°W / 40.04083; -75.49
Area 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km²)
 - land 2.0 sq mi (5 km²)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km²), 0%
Population 5,575 (2010)
Density 2,787.5 /sq mi (1,076.3 /km²)
Founded 1719
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19301
Area code 610 and 484

Paoli /pˈl/ is a census-designated place in Chester County near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is situated in portions of two townships: Tredyffrin and Willistown. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 5,575.


The town of Paoli grew around an inn kept in 1769 by Joshua Evans, whose father bought 500 acres (200 ha) from William Penn in 1719 near the current site of the Paoli Post Office. Evans named his inn after General Pasquale Paoli, a Corsican, after he had received the 45th and final toast at a Saint Patrick's Day celebration. The inn's location on the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, about 20 miles (one day's drive for a horse-drawn wagon) from Philadelphia, ensured its success.

Battle of Paoli

On the evening of September 20, 1777, near Paoli, General Charles Grey and nearly 5,000 British soldiers launched a surprise attack on a small regiment of Patriot troops commanded by General Anthony Wayne in what becomes known as the Paoli Massacre. Not wanting to lose the element of surprise, Grey ordered his troops to empty their muskets and to use only bayonets or swords to attack the sleeping Americans under the cover of darkness.

With the help of a Loyalist spy who provided a secret password and led them to the camp, General Grey and the British launched the successful attack on the unsuspecting men of the Pennsylvania regiment, stabbing them to death as they slept. It was also alleged that the British soldiers took no prisoners during the attack, stabbing or setting fire to those who tried to surrender. Before it was over, nearly 200 Americans were killed or wounded. The Paoli Massacre became a rallying cry for the Americans against British atrocities for the rest of the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Paoli occurred in the town; the site of the battle is now part of nearby Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Main Line

The construction of the Main Line of Public Works across Pennsylvania enhanced the village's stature, as the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad passed through it. This became the Pennsylvania Railroad, which built suburban commuter lines out from Philadelphia in the late 19th century, spurring the growth of that city's suburbs. The largest and longest of these commuter lines, the "Main Line", terminated in Paoli.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all of which is land. Paoli borders other towns, such as Berwyn and Malvern. These three towns belong to either the Tredyffrin/Easttown or the Great Valley school districts.


At of the 2000 census, there were 5,425 people, 2,361 households and 1,437 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,710.2 per square mile (1,047.3/km²). There were 2,468 housing units at an average density of 1,233.0/sq mi (476.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.93% White, 5.36% Black, 0.09% Native American, 2.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 0.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,361 households, of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.89.

20.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.

The median household income was $55,800 and the median family income was $69,519. Males had a median income of $46,536 and females $34,702. The per capita income was $30,570. 4.7% of the population and 3.6% of families were below the poverty line. 8.0% of those under the age of 18 and 4.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.



Paoli is served by the U.S. Route 202 freeway, U.S. Route 30 and Pennsylvania Route 252 connecting it to King of Prussia and Philadelphia. Historically, Paoli was on the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, which was later absorbed into the Lincoln Highway, and became US 30 still later. Most locals still call the route "Lancaster Pike".

Public transit

See also: Paoli station
Paoli Station Pennsylvania
Paoli Station

For generations, Paoli was the western terminus of Pennsylvania Railroad commuter trains coming from Philadelphia on the Main Line. The "Paoli Local" became iconic in the western suburbs. Amtrak stops at the Paoli station, but with the decline of long-distance train travel, the stops are now less frequent.

Commuters traveling by rail within Southeastern Pennsylvania use the Paoli station, although most local trains serving Paoli now terminate in Malvern, one stop to the west. SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line (formerly R5) commuter rail runs between Thorndale and Philadelphia both ways every 30 minutes during the week. College students and city-working suburbanites take the Paoli/Thorndale Line to school and work. Station-to-station, a trip from Paoli to Center City Philadelphia on the Paoli/Thorndale Line takes approximately 45 minutes.

Paoli is served by multiple SEPTA Suburban Bus routes. Local buses traverse Route 30 along the Main Line, and Paoli Pike is the main artery for buses heading to West Chester. The Route 92 bus connects Paoli to West Chester, the Exton Transportation Center at the Exton Square Mall, and the King of Prussia Transit Center at the King of Prussia Mall. The Route 106 bus links Paoli to the other Main Line communities and the 69th Street Transportation Center. The Route 204, Route 205, and Route 206 buses connect the Paoli station to Eagleview, Chesterbrook, and the Great Valley Corporate Center respectively.


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