Historical Society of Bensalem Township local history collection
Held at: Historical Society of Bensalem Township [Contact Us]3211 Knights Rd., Bensalem, Pennsylvania, 19020
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Bensalem Township. 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
"Bensalem Township [Bucks County, Pennsylvania] is an area of 22 square miles bounded on three sides by waterways: the Delaware River, the Neshaminy Creek and the Poquessing Creek. Through it pass four of the most important arteries of transportation in the United States: Interstate 95 (Delaware Expressway), US Route 13 (Bristol Pike), US Route 1 (Lincoln Highway), and Interstate 276 (PA Turnpike).
"There have been many discussions about the name 'Bensalem' with the most popular theory being that it comes from the estate of Joseph Growden called 'The Manor of Bensalem' in the 1700s.
"Settled by the Dutch, Swedes, and English, it was a farming community until the 1950s when businesses and industries started to dot the landscape. One of the biggest changes in the township in the 1960s was the construction of Interstate 95 which transformed Street Road from a two lane country road into a major four lane highway.
"In 1979 all the small towns (Andalusia, Eddington, Cornwells Heights, Bridgewater, Flushing, and many others), became one postal area called 'Bensalem.'"
Quoted text from The Historical Society of Bensalem Township. "The History of Bensalem." Accessed March 25, 2013. http://www.bensalemhistoricalsociety.com/history.html
This collection consists of maps, deeds, photographs, ledgers, and other original, primary-source documents relating to the history of Bensalem Township and surrounding areas.
There are almost 100 maps, dating from the early 19th century to the 21st century (inventories exist to the drawers where maps are stored), and some blueprints. The collection also includes close to 100 deeds and indentures, dating from the late 18th century to the 20th century. An inventory to the deed collection exists on site.
The photographs, which date from late 19th century to the 21st century, depict local buildings, people, and events. There are also photographic postcards organized by town; 12 slide carousels that mostly depict local buildings and sites; and various posters and other graphic materials.
Original ledgers in the collection include: four indexed volumes of Charles Rue store ledgers (Maud, Pa.), 1880-1898; an International Money Order Office cash book (Maud, Pa.), 1911-1927; a Philadelphia Driving Club treasurer's account (mostly blank) and membership list, circa 1915; and an unidentified financial journal, circa 1920.
There is also a sub-collection of Vandegrift family genealogical research that includes some original documents, including wills, photographs, and a Vandergrift Cemetery Records Book.
Materials acquired by Historical Society of Bensalem Township at various times. 58 deeds were received as a gift from Lucille Trench of the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds Office.
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 Historical Society of Bensalem Township directly for more information.
- Historical Society of Bensalem Township
- 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 Historical Society of Bensalem Township for information about accessing this collection.