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Darlington Borough

Milestones Vol 25. No. 1

By Cheryl Nicely

Darlington Borough, located in the southeastern portion of Darlington Township has experienced a colorful history. On May 13, 1804, the town, 128 lots, was laid out on land owned by Thomas Sprout, William Martin, and John Greer. Since each desired to name the town himself, lots were drawn. The winner, John Greer, then christened the infant town, Greersburg.

The change in name from Greersburg to Darlington occured twenty-six years later. According to local lore, the U.S. postal service had a hand in the decision. Mail postmarked for Greersburg was sent to Greensburg by mistake. Presumably, the error was caused by the similarity in names. David Gilliland, a Darlington merchant, disturbed by delays in receiving merchandise, pushed for the change. The name was changed to Darlington in 1830. Darlington was chosen in honor of Samuel Darlington, a well-known Pittsburgh merchant who first recommended the change.

Darlington was a boom town in stagecoach days. As a relay station for stage coaches between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Darlington's enterprises flourished. Hotels, general stores, blacksmith shops, millineries and other businesses liberally peppered the town.

Darlington Borough was the sight of an unusual first. Despite the size and relative seclusion of the. area, polo is an important local sport. In fact, in 1938, Darlington was the site of the first lighted polo field in the United States.

The decline of Darlington as a business community coincided with the decline of stagecoach travel. The Darlington of today is primarily a residential community with a few locally owned establishments.