The Historical & Parks Commission honored Donald Green-leaf for his 27 years of service to the borough of Downingtown last Wednesday evening.Greenleaf strived to conserve Downingtown's historical features.
"Don retired from the commission four years ago. He was instrumental in bringing about change as well as preserving Downingtown's historical and natural resources. He contributed a lifetime of service to the preservation of Downingtown," said Glenn Usher, chairman of the Historical & Parks Commission.
Usher presented Greenleaf with a lifetime achievement award for protecting and preserving historic Downingtown.
Greenleaf played a pivotal role in saving Downingtown's renowned Log Cabin in the 1980s. He worked with the borough to coordinate the historic site's relocation. Usher commented that Greenleaf also contributed to preserving the remains of the Roger Hunt Mill structure in the early 1990s. Usher explained the Mill's historical significance which is located on Race Street off of Manor Avenue. According to Usher, this facility was a flouring mill during the Revolutionary War that provided food for George Washington's troops. Greenland also played a role in establishing the borough's historic district in downtown Downingtown during his work with the commission.
"Because of Don's dedication to preserving the borough and his accomplishments during his time with the commission, he deserved recognition for so many years of service," said Usher. Greenleaf, a Downingtown native, began working for the borough in 1954. From 1967-1992 he served as borough manager. In 1978, he created the Downingtown Historical Society. The organization was a private entity of people who gathered together with the goal to preserve historic Downingtown.
"We pulled a bunch of people together to get the organization moving," said Greenleaf.
A big accomplishment for Greenleaf was saving and stabilizing the Log Cabin.
"Even though we only moved the log cabin 50 feet, it was enough to preserve the structure," said Greenleaf. "It's all about saving the little things here and there."
Council President Anthony Madiro recalls the problems the borough had safeguarding the Log Cabin.
"I remember the problems we faced with the Log Cabin and trying to find funding to move the structure, but with Don's help we found the money," said Madiro.
Other accomplishments to add to Greenleaf's list are helping to rezone the area along East Lancaster Avenue with the borough's help. Greenleaf also helped protect the land where Pook and Pook Antiques sits. In the 1970s, this location, at the intersection of Routes 30 and 113, served as the first post office in the borough. Greenleaf was adamant about the preservation of this building. Greenleaf had this to say about his service to the borough of Downingtown and receiving this award.
"I'm one of the antiques of the town," he said.