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 original deeds, leases and releases and other legal documents. Particular properties and buildings are significantly documented, including Allen's Mill, 1787-1964. Of special interest is a 1692 deed on rag paper with an original 17th century jester watermark.
Materials collected by or donated to Newtown Historic Association at various times. Most of the deeds were donated by the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds.
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 Newtown Historic Association directly for more information.
- Newtown Historic Association
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by Newtown Historic Association 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.