Valley Forge received its name from the Iron forge built along Valley Creek in the 1740s. By the time of the Revolution, a sawmill and gristmill had been added, making the place an important supply base for the Americans. The British destroyed the forge and mills in 1777, and only ruins remained at the time of the encampment.
The welcome center has an 18 minute film that provides a good introduction to the life during the encampment. Many of the nearby homes and farmhouses became quarters for general officers during the encampment. Political feelings in the area were divided, with most residents wishing to be left free from the confilict. The occupation of Valley Forge ended that wish and brought the war to their doorstep. Some of this sounds vaguely familiar today. The welcome center is a good place to start your visit to Valley Forge. I especially liked the farmhouses and the cannons.