Historic Yellow Springs

Iron Spring Gazebo and The Ruins at Historic Yellow Springs

At Historic Yellow Springs everything began with the Iron Springs. It was these mineral springs, the original “Yellow Springs”, that most likely drew Native Lenape to the area millennia ago. As early as 1722, colonial settlers filtered into the area to “take” these mysterious waters. Through the 18th and 19th century, the springs formed the basis for a thriving spa industry that drew visitors in search of rest, healing, and inspiration.

The Iron Spring Gazebo, originally built circa 1839, holds the iron springs in its center well. Through the many years of the village’s history, it has endured to remind us of Yellow Springs’ beginnings. When Historic Yellow Springs was founded in 1974, the Gazebo became the symbol that embodied the village’s rich heritage. Today, it is an integral part of our logo and aptly represents our dedication to history, arts, and nature in the village.

By late 2007, years of exposure to the elements and prior damage from vandalism left the structure in need of significant restoration. A bequest from Historic Yellow Springs’ founder, Connie Fraley, provided initial funding for the project. Her bequest was matched by generous donations from many individuals who feel a connection to the village. These donations allowed Historic Yellow Springs to fully renovate the Iron Spring Gazebo and restore this magnificent structure.

View photos and the history of the Iron Springs Gazebo that are shown below. Visit our online archives and search “Gazebo” to view more images from Yellow Springs’ history.

This 1846 broadside is the earliest known rendering that includes the gazebo.
During the Chester Springs Soldiers’ Orphan School, the area surrounding the gazebo was a popular place for parades and drills.
During the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Country School era, the gazebo was a favorite subject for the school’s artists to paint.
September 2008 photograph shows restoration in progress headed by S. Petree Construction LLC.
The gazebo has symbolized the heritage of the site since the early days of Historic Yellow Springs. In this image, local kids hold a sign that reads “Second Annual Yellow Springs Festival, Saturday June 15, 1974.”
Recent photograph shows the gazebo after completed restoration as it looks today.

Outdoors - The Ruins

A Revolutionary War chaplain wrote about the Hospital:

"‘Tis airy and new” and the “people seemed serious and attentive. A great deal of goodness of heart takes place here."

This building served as the principal hospital for the Valley Forge, as well as the Medical Department Headquarters.

The Ruins of the Revolutionary War Hospital (1777-78) with its 18th Century Medical Herb Garden provides a spot for silent reflection as you tour the site and grasp the full meaning of what happened here. At General George Washington’s urging, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia approved the erection of this medical facility. Patients sent here from the nearby Valley Forge encampment. Local Chester County residents provided food, clothing and loving care. You will be able to use the ruins for those special photographs or to hold your wedding ceremony.