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Doylestown Historical Society local history collection


Held at: Doylestown Historical Society [Contact Us]56 S Main St., Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 18901

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Doylestown Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Doylestown is the county seat of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Founded in the mid 18th century, it became the county seat in 1813 and was formally incorporated as a borough in 1838.

"Doylestown is named after the Doyle family. The Doyle family originally came from France (the name was D'Ouilli), but moved to Ireland during the Inquisition. Circa 1600 the name was changed to D'Oyley and later was changed again to Doyle. Edward Doyle sailed to America in 1640 and lived for a time in Rhode Island until he moved to Bucks County upon receiving a land grant from William Penn in 1692. He died in 1703. Edward Doyle's children remained in Bucks County and settled in the area of Doylestown. In 1730, Edward Doyle Jr. (born 1690) bought 150 acres of land in what is now Doylestown, and further purchases were made by the Doyle family in 1737. The Doyles built an inn in 1745 and the town was known early on as "William Doyl's Tavern" and "Doyle's Town." In 1752, a second tavern was built, which still stands today (though now much modified). In 1776, the inn was sold by William Doyle (born in 1712, son of Edward Doyle, Jr.), who moved to Plumstead, Bucks County, where he died in 1780. After the sale of the tavern, the town became known by its present name. In 1778, George Washington and his Continental Army camped near Doylestown, on their way from Valley Forge to fight the British in New Jersey. In 1812, Doylestown became the County Seat of Bucks County.

"In 1856, a railroad line was completed between Doylestown and Philadelphia. The present train station dates from 1876. A trolley line was installed that ran to Trenton and Easton. The older part of town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places."


Quoted text from: Ludwig, Ed. "Brief History of Doylestown." Accessed July 22, 2013.

This collection consists of manuscripts that document various Doylestown individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. It includes the following: Blain, Edward and Helen, printing press materials Blanche Summers Burpee papers/Fordhook Farm summer work (1954-1955)/Burpee Playground records (1908-1942) Boys Brigade records, 1954-1998 Brashears/Sharp families photographs, 1890s-circa 1960 Buckingham Township Planning Commission Records, 2001-2003 Bucks County Natural Science Association, 1906-1937 Bucks County political materials, 1948 and later Bucks County tax maps, 1984 Carwithen, John, papers Central Bucks Christian Council of Churches records, 1968-1998 Chipman, Eleanor, correspondence and papers Collection on Pearl S. Buck Doylestown Borough ephemera and checkbook (1842-1848) Doylestown Cemetery burials and tombstone inscriptions, 1851-circa 2009 Doylestown Fair collection Doylestown Grammar School Doylestown Hospital Village Fair programs Doylestown Intelligencer daybooks and ledgers, early 20th century Doylestown Old Home Wook, 1912 Doylestown recycling collection, 1983-1984 Hayman Radcliff Motor Car Company records, early to mid 20th century Heart of Bucks County car shows, 1977-2009 Lewis, Frank C. and Ruth E., photograph collection, 1911-circa 1966 Mercer family exhibit materials Mercer Museum Folk Fest Out of state census records and newspaper on microfiche and microfilm Rutherford, Raymond, World War I collection, circa 1918 Smith, Pearl H. (1897-2005) photographs and VHS, 1908-2005 Village Improvement Association member booklets and Designer House booklets

Also included are maps, blueprints, oversize photos and other graphics with a few deeds, including one from 1832, stored in flat files. The following is a drawer-level inventory: Maps and plans Doylestown-General (buildings, posters, etc.) Calendars; advertising Schools Ephemeral- general/miscellaneous Famous people Doylestown Historical Society Political (Banners, posters) Miscellaneous prints and art Blueprints - Bucks County Library Center, Elfman's, Rudolph's, Doylestown Historical Society, Courthouse, others Old local newspapers (19th and 20th century) Military

Materials collected from various sources over time by the Doylestown Historical Society.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Doylestown Historical Society directly for more information.

Doylestown Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Doylestown Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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