Held at: Newtown Historic Association [Contact Us]Centre Avenue and Court Street, Newtown, Pennsylvania
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Newtown Historic Association. 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
Newtown traces its roots back to William Penn, who purchased 5,000 acres (20 km2) from the Lenni Lenape Indians in 1683. Situated where the Neshaminy River and the Newtown Creek meet, Penn named this land my "New Town," which gradually evolved to Newtown.
According to tradition, Penn had his surveyor Thomas Holme lay out Newtown in a fan shape of 16 tracts radiating out from a central square or common. Each land owner received a town lot of 20 to 50 acres that bordered on the common and a much larger country lot that ran from the town lot to the edge of the township. Newtown developed and prospered as an agricultural, industrial and trade center. Excellent examples of most styles of architecture can be seen in its buildings and structures.
Newtown served as the County Seat of Bucks County from 1726 until 1813, when the Court was moved to Doylestown. In 1838, the area comprising the commercial center, plus a number of homes, was incorporated into Newtown Borough. The Borough was enlarged four times since 1838 and now includes 640 acres.
Today, Newtown Township surrounds Newtown Borough and each has its own form of government. Newtown Borough is governed by a Mayor and a six member Borough Council, who are elected to serve four year terms. Newtown Township is governed by a five member Board of Supervisors; members are elected to serve 6 year terms.
An historic district was first established in 1969. In 1985, the Historic District was enlarged and added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Newtown still retains the much of its historic character.
Borough of Newtown. "History." Accessed January 29, 2013. http://www.boroughofnewtown.com/History/.
Mayer, Thomas. A History of Land Ownership Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania 1683-1850. Bedminster, PA: Adams Apple Press, 1999.
Newtown Township. “History” Accessed October 10, 2013. http://www.twp.newtown.pa.us/history.htm
This collection consists of small collections of mostly original archival materials from families, businesses, and organizations based in Newtown (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) and surrounding areas. Some of the materials are organized alphabetically into the following file series: Business Forms, Family Files, Subject Files, Business Cards and Calling Cards and Diaries. Larger groupings of materials are organized by subject, including: the local branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Lavelle Aircraft Co., the Chambers family, Charles Cornell, the Bond family, Fire Associations, the Temperance House, Artists, Josiah Smith, Chambers Family, Charles Cornell, Edna Land, Lighthouse Hill Cemetery, Newtown Fire Company, Kingdon Swayne, Reuban Kester, Helen Randle, Clayton Keller, Palmer Family, Newtown Library Company, Newtown Hall, and Fountain Farm.
The file series make up about one-third to one-half of this collection. The Business Forms are mostly original documents with some photocopies, primarily receipts, letterhead, ephemera, and other miscellaneous items. The Family Files include a mix of original documents and secondary source materials relating to local Newtown families.
Materials collected by or donated to Newtown Historic Association at various times.
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.
Detailed, computerized inventories of all of the items in this collection are available on site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Newtown Historic Association directly for more information.
- Newtown Historic Association
- 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 Newtown Historic Association for information about accessing this collection.