Chester County Conference and Visitor’s Bureau
Western Chester County’s world-class attractions, lively events, outdoor adventures and award-winning craft breweries and wineries provide something for everyone. Farm-to-table dining and cozy accommodations can be found along our rolling hills and beautiful countryside. Western Chester County boasts a vibrant business and cultural community set in a rich historical environment.
Unique festivals and tours include The Brandywine Health Foundation’s Strawberry Festival, the Chester County Balloon Fest, the Iron & Steel Heritage Trail and the Chester County Art Studio Tour. BrandywineValley.com and ChescoWest.com are great resources for activities and events in Western Chester County.
THe National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Where the future is as important to us as the past.
Rebecca Webb Lukens was a woman well beyond her time. During the early 1800s when women were traditionally wives and mothers, Rebecca Lukens was fulfilling the last wish of her dying husband by running a rolling mill. In doing so, she secured her place in U.S. history as the first female industrialist. It was Rebecca who became the driving force behind the company that eventually became Lukens Steel.
Established in 1984, The Graystone Society, a nonprofit educational institution focused on broadening the understanding of the iron and steel history in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and the nation. Its goal was to reach audiences of all ages and interests by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting iron and steel’s history, as well as contributing to its local economies in a meaningful way.
The Graystone Society’s National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum (NISHM) draws international crowds to its facility. Located on the campus of the Lukens National Historic District, it not only engages visitors to learn the history of Rebecca Lukens, but also highlights the importance of education children in the STEM discipline (science, technology, engineering and math).
On property, visitors can tour three historic mansions and the Lukens Executive Office Building. They will enjoy fascinating permanent exhibits, as well as those which change twice a year, such as “Shipbuilding in the Age of Iron & Steel” and “Coatesville Rolls into World War I.” On the grounds, they can view Lukens products including a sonar sphere (used on the nose of a submarine), a massive steel ingot and the Steelworkers Memorial featuring a 50-ton World Trade Center trident. NISHM considers its acquisition of 500 tons of World Trade Center steel in April 2010 to be an artifact of major importance in the development of the museum.