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30 Bromley Roadnue
Pittsford, NY 14534
Phone: (503) 308-0500

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Property Details: Welcome to Roadside Cottage
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Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA
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Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Devon, PA
Property Information
Welcome to Roadside Cottage
415 S. Waterloo Road
Devon, PA
Find it with Google™ Maps!
Price: $1,695,000
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 5.5
Square Feet: 4,729
Lot Description/Acreage:
Year Built:
Architectural Style:
Colonial Revival
Contact Information
Name: Scott Laughlin
Phone: 215-275-1685 or 610-651-2700
Email: Send an email...
Website: Visit the website...
Property History

It’s time for yet another one of my magical history tours!!!

Today, I am sharing the creation of the community of Devon, in Easttown Township, Chester County.

So everything always starts with William Penn!

In 1681, some Welshmen of means purchased 40,000 to 50,000 acres (commonly known as the “Welsh Tract”). That included what we now know as Haverford, Merion, Radnor, Tredyffrin and subsequently Newtown, Goshen & Uwchland Townships.

It was Penn’s intention to provide a separate Colony for the Welsh, yet the Welsh Colonies were ultimately divided into two, creating a minority for the original Welsh clans.

Although not part of the original Welsh “barony”, Easttown did have 1,000 acres surveyed to Welsh settlers by its original English land speculators. The Easttown Welsh were Church of England, not Quakers!

The Welsh barony did not last long, and the use of the Welsh language was lost in the region by the 2nd generation. The English, and later the German emigrants took over the area quickly as taxes were raised to pay for the French and Indian wars, and the Welsh were poor.

The name “East Town” came from its position within Chester County. The formal formation of Easttown did not occur until 1704.

The Old Lancaster (Conestoga) road, or the King’s highway as it was officially known, followed the route of an old Indian trail to the mouth of the Schuylkill River. This was the first crossing that was laid through Easttown Township.

The first toll road that was constructed in Chester County was the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike in 1798 (what we know now simply as Lancaster Avenue). The need for eating & sleeping establishments created a boon in the tavern business and most other businesses that were not located near the “new road” perished, or moved.

The area of Easttown remained a predominantly rural, farming community with a few businesses to service the travelers along the Conestoga & Lancaster roads. A post office did not arrive to Easttown Township until 1853 at Waterloo Mills, but was discontinued in 1867.

At the turn of the first Centennial (1876), Devon did not yet exist. A small village of about 40 dwellings and a dozen businesses occupied an area called “Reeseville” at a bend in the Lancaster Turnpike. Inhabitants at the time disliked their name, and were determined to make a name change “without offense to their Welsh neighbors”. The name was changed to Berwyn in honor of the Berwyn hills overlooking the river Dee, Merionethshire, Wales.

In 1881, two Philadelphia merchants (Lemuel Coffin & Joseph B. Altemus) purchased 600 acres and hired the same surveyor that had laid out the Berwyn roads earlier. They named their new model community, Devon.

Their goal was to create a meaningful destination for the urbanites to come to the country (in line with the earlier resorts built further east in Bryn Mawr & Wayne) and constructed the Devon Inn in 1882 in the “English manner” in pleasing surroundings. The area surrounding the Devon Inn was platted out for large country estates and development began in earnest around the highly successful Inn. The Devon Inn occupied the entire block between Waterloo, Chester, Dorset & Berkeley Roads.

The Devon Inn burned to the ground 1 year later in 1883, and was immediately reconstructed, enlarged and re-opened in 1884! It remained a thriving country retreat until 1913. At that time, the Devon Inn changed hands, the new owner defaulted on the mortgage and through a serious of various sales, the Inn became Devon Manor in 1919 (a school for girls), then a hotel once again (The Devon Park Hotel) in 1926 and finally it became the original Valley Forge Military Academy in 1928. That lasted only 1 year, as the building once again, burned to the ground in 1929 and was not to be re-built a third time!

Another interesting little bit of history, during that period of growth, development and prosperity of the Devon Inn, a dozen local horsemen and farmers met on the lawn of the Devon Inn in 1896 to form the Devon Horse Show Association!

Their first show was on July 2, 1896 on the grounds of the Devon Polo Club (next door to the Devon Inn, and the same location where it still resides today!) with 26 separate classes of entry.

So began the establishment of North/South and East/West blocks of streets named after English towns (Exeter, Dorset, Berkeley, Arlington, etc.) that were laid out around the Inn and radiating from the new Devon train station. The lots were originally laid-out on 2.5 to 5 acre parcels. Many early buyers sought to create larger estates and purchased multiple lots.

One of the original land owners was Dr. John Mercer Adler. Dr. Adler was from Washington DC and earned his formal education from Georgetown, Princeton & Columbia. During the Civil War, Dr. Adler was the chief physician at the military hospital in Davenport, Iowa (of all places!). Prior to being stationed in Iowa, he was a surgeon for the Panama Railway Company. He married Harriet B. Gilbert (of Philadelphia) while he was still stationed in Davenport, so it is likely that he relocated to our area to be close to her family. Harriet’s father was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

They had 6 children (of which, 2 died young) and resided on Arch Street.

In 1891, Dr. Adler acquired several lots (totaling 7.5 acres) one block South of the Devon Inn and constructed his country house, called Edgefield. At the time, his estate owned half of the block between S. Waterloo Avenue, Sugartown, Exeter and Dorset Roads.

Dr. Adler passed away in 1904 at the age of 76 years. His obituary at the time included the following details…

“…Dr. Adler was prominently connected with a number of leading medical societies, was the author of medical works, and was also actively engaged with life insurance organizations. Despite his many activities, Dr. Adler found time to collect a superb library of the works of Dr. Samuel Johnson and contemporary writers… He was also an authority upon prints of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, of which he had the most complete collection in Pennsylvania.”

His wife inherited the Devon property and sub-divided off a 1-acre parcel in 1905 for her daughter, Jane Gilbert Adler Embick, who built my “new” listing, and remained in the home until her passing in 1940!

She named the house, Roadside Cottage!

What she had constructed was an amazing 3-story Colonial Revival home where the perfectly proportioned, symmetrical façade facing the street greeted guests with a welcoming full-width front porch with an extended, pedimented gable roof and those lovely quarter-round windows in the 3rd floor bedroom. The front façade belies the scale of the house that extends significantly into the back yard, presenting a modest street view to a much larger home.


Property Description

The covered side entry is the actual, formal entry for guests just off the driveway that leads into the gracious foyer (more on the inside in a moment). The driveway continues all the way to the rear of the property where the expanded, detached 2-car garage, workshop and in-law apartment are located!

I will delve into the classic & original details in a moment, but first let me share that the entire house & the in-law apartment were completely renovated & expanded with exquisite detail by John Toates Architecture & Design, a leading Devon-based firm that are experts in historical & traditional fundamentals. I will attempt to weave their creative genius into the description as I walk you through the home.

So let me take you back to the formal entrance to the home, where a gracious staircase is flooded with light from the Northern facing window. A large storage/coat closet provides ample space under the staircase.

To the West, the entire front of the original section of the house continues that symmetrical design one sees from the outside, with flanking bookcases on both side walls, a fireplace centered on the interior wall (currently with a gas insert that could easily be converted back to wood burning) and the front entry door to the porch mentioned earlier.

On the South side of the living room, one will find the first of the numerous expansions to the original house. A 3-story wing was added to the side of the living room (in 2006) that provides for an exceptional, light-filled home office on the 1st floor with southern & western windows and French doors to the side yard. On the 2nd floor of this new wing is an amazing primary ensuite bath (more on that later) and then on the 3rd floor, yet another ensuite bath was created (in 2014).

Connected on the Southern side of the living room is the large formal dining room that has a corner wood-burning fireplace and extensive detailed moldings & pocket doors that can close off the entrance to the foyer & the living room. The dining room can easily accommodate large parties of 18 guests, and provides excellent connectivity to the kitchen (through the butler’s pantry, with a set of exterior shutters now used as doors to two cupboards, along with a reclaimed wall of cabinets and cupboards), the entry foyer, the living room or the 2nd addition that was completed in 2006, the breakfast room!

This space was designed to provide, not only a casual dining space directly open to the kitchen, but also connectivity to the last major expansion area from 2006, the vaulted family room. By adding this breakfast room, not only did it allow for southern light to flood the kitchen area, but also allows now for complete, circular flow throughout the entire house as well as access through French doors to a private side deck.

The gourmet kitchen was designed to honor original cabinetry, enhanced with custom Cherry & painted cabinetry with soapstone, marble & wood counters. A chef’s cooking niche was created that placed all the heating elements into one area, that includes a Viking 36”” professional gas stove (just replaced in 2023) COMBINED with the most unique 24” Viking gas wok stove with a 2nd oven. There is also a pot filler over the two stoves. A baking station is placed right next to the ovens on one side while a large pantry cabinet is on the other side of the stoves. Along the northern wall is the primary sink and dishwasher with more cabinets to replicate the reclaimed cupboard that occupies the western wall. The Southern wall has a 48" Northland cabinet depth, side-by-side fridge and more cabinetry (with a built-in TV). Finally, a large central island was installed to provide exceptional prep space along with a bar sink, a Viking warming drawer and seating for 4 guests. The kitchen also has cork flooring.

Just past the sink area towards the rear entrance, a dedicated desk area with built-in cabinets was designed under another northern window. The rear entry has an expansive walk-in closet with a built-in bench & custom cabinetry as well as another walk-in pantry for storage. This space is part of the final 2006 series of additions that connects the rear entry to the kitchen and finally, the amazing family room!

From the mudroom, one walks past the powder room to enter an amazing family space with a vaulted & coved ceiling with an impressive, central wood-burning fireplace anchoring the southern wall that is 26’ x 20’. Along the northern wall is a complete set of bookcases and base cabinets for ample storage. Three sets of French doors provide excellent connectivity to the rear stone patio area (that is covered with a Cedar trellis which smells fantastic when the wisteria is in bloom!) and the back yard.

I’m not quite finished talking about the 1st floor! Back in the kitchen, there is access directly to the foyer, where one will find the rear staircase (that also accesses the basement), the 2nd powder room and then to front entry foyer and the primary staircase.

As one ascends the primary staircase, a massive window over the front door provides diffuse northern light to the foyer & the upstairs landing area.

The primary suite occupies the entire space over the front of the house (the living room & home office below). On the northern wall are two spacious closets flanking a large double hung window. Two more large windows overlook the front yard. One walks through a double-sided walk-through closet prior to entering the amazing ensuite bathroom. This bathroom has hardwood floors (with radiant floor heating), two sinks, a large soaking tub, a water closet and a large walk-in steam shower that has a rain showerhead as well as a standard wall shower head. There is also the most unusual tiled “bathmat” at the entry to the shower.

The first guest bedroom on this floor has its own ensuite bathroom (renovated in 2014).

The laundry room is on the 2nd floor as well, and another set of repurposed linen cabinets that were installed to provide the appearance that they were original. The 3rd full bathroom on the floor (renovated in 2006) has radiant floor heating and services the second guest bedroom on this floor.

The 3rd floor is huge, and provides 3 more guest bedrooms, a renovated hall bathroom (in 2006) and a new ensuite bathroom (in 2014) in the huge bedroom that occupies the same space as the primary suite below, overlooking the front yard through two original quarter round windows.

Now let me take a moment to talk about the partially finished basement. At the base of the stairs is the 3rd powder room as well as a large wine cellar that has a Breeze-Aire cooling unit to condition this space. There are two large finished sitting areas under the original living & dining rooms. Under the kitchen, the previous kitchen cabinets were reclaimed to provide an entertainment area with another sink, dishwasher, wall oven and fridge.

When the 2006 addition of the breakfast & family rooms were created, they included a full-height basement area. While this area is not completely finished space, the ceilings were designed to allow for future finishing, yet are used today as a family game room as well as additional storage.

So that’s the main house, yet there is so much more!

Walk across the flat & level rear yard to the original detached carriage house. There is a covered area over the access to the 2 garage bays. Walk around the back to access the first floor workshop (which retains all the original bead board walls & the old horse stall!) as well as the staircase to the fully renovated (in 2006) in-law apartment! This space is the perfect solution for so many uses (as allowed by township code, please check the zoning) to provide for separate living quarters for extended family or staff. One could also enjoy working from home outside of the primary residence and use this space for ultimate privacy. Make it a home gym, a personal yoga or art studio or anything else that your dreams can imagine! It does have a full 2nd kitchen, its own laundry room with additional storage, a separate bedroom and another full bath. The apartment also has its own heating & central A/C system. The current owners vaulted the ceiling in this space, and it’s beautiful. Oh yeah, the first floor of the garage is heated as well! The carriage house has its own separate electric service, yet shares the water with the main house.

One other key element of the restoration of the house was the replacement of the original cedar shake roof. In 2014, the entire house as re-shingled with 7/8”, 24” inch long taper sawn, premium grade red cedar shingles. These were installed over a continuous weather barrier & cedar breather, which keeps the shingles from being in contact with the roof surface. All flashings were replaced with 16 oz. copper and all valleys, roof perimeters and dormer side walls had ice and water shields installed.

The newer additions of the breakfast & family rooms have a lead coated copper, standing seam roof.

The entire roof had spray-foam insulation added as well, significantly improving the efficiency of this old house!

The carriage house has 2 zones for heating and 1 zone for air conditioning of the apartment (replaced in 2018).

The main house has 3 zones for heating and 3 zones for air conditioning.

There is also a whole house Kohler generator system which covers the ENTIRE electrical system in the main house PLUS the heating & the air conditioning in the in-law apartment.

The entire house was also re-wired in 2006, eliminating any active knob & tube (yet left in place in the walls, simply for convenience).

It’s an extremely private setting, yet so convenient to so many things that Devon has to offer.


Additional Notes

One can walk to the Devon SEPTA station and to the Devon Horse Show grounds. Also in walking distance is the Terrain/Anthropologie stores. In less than a mile, one finds the Whole Foods Market or the ACME Market for food shopping. Just 3 miles away is a Trader Joe’s and just over 4 miles away is a Wegman’s along with all of the shops & restaurants in King of Prussia.

Just over 1 mile to the East, one has access to the Radnor bike trail. Just under 4 miles to the West, one has access to the Fox Hollow bike trail.

So much history in this beautifully restored & expanded Devon Estates home!

Will you (or someone that you know) be the next steward of Roadside Cottage?

I want to give credit to two exceptional historians that provided much of the above details.

Easttown – Old in History – Young in Spirit – 1704-2004 by C. Herbert Fry is a fantastic, eloquently written history of the township.

Tredyffrin-Easttown Historical Society – History Quarterly Digital Archives – Volume 22 – Number 4 – October 1984 – Devon Inn by Bob Goshorn


Last Updated: April 13, 2023
All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.


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