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Historic Hamlet [1]

A hamlet comprising a church and about a dozen scattered houses, Brownbacks is situated on Route 23, about 6 miles northwest of Phoenixville, in East Coventry Township. The name was manhandled into its anglicized form from Gerhart Brumbaugh, a German immigrant who settled about 1725 in the neighborhood, opened the first tavern north of Lancaster Pike at Hiestand, and donated land for what is now the First Reformed Church and graveyard. The hamlet was known as Brownbacks until 1887, when Henry E. Chrisman opened a post office across the road from the church. The name was changed to Hitner — because it is said a school teacher named Samuel Hitner suggested the change. Three years later it became Slonaker when Samuel Slonaker was made postmaster. After the post office was closed in 1901, the original name of the place and Slonaker vied with each other for attention. Both names are still in use.

  1. Pinkowski, Edward. Chester County Place Names,, Sunshine Press, Philadelphia, 1962

Brownbacks Map

Street Names
Bethel Church Road • Ridge Road • Route 23

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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