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Quakertown Historical Society local history "blue books"


Held at: Quakertown Historical Society [Contact Us]Upper Bucks County Visitor Center, 21 N Main Street, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Quakertown 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

"Quakertown, Pennsylvania is a town of approximately 9000 residents in the Northeast portion of Upper Bucks County, about 50 miles north of Philadelphia. The Borough encompasses approximately two square miles and has over 21 miles of roads.

"The settlement of the "Great Swamp" as members of the Society of Friends originally knew it, began in the early years of the eighteenth century. Great Swamp, also referred to as Richland Centre, was in the middle of Richland Township and at the juncture of roads leading to Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, Pottstown, and Newtown. During our country's fight for independence, the Liberty Bell was concealed here, behind what is now known as Liberty Hall, on its way to be hidden in Allentown.

"In 1801, the settlement officially became known as Quakertown and the first post office bearing its name was established in 1803.

"As a crossroad village with a tavern, it soon became a stopover for stagecoaches and commercial traffic between Allentown and Philadelphia. Although it was the core of an extensive community of Welsh and German farmers, the village center remained quite small until the mid-nineteenth century. In 1820, Quakertown contained approximately twelve dwellings.

"Although the Borough of Quakertown was not "affirmed" until February of 1855, the first Burgess, (elected official) was elected in 1854. At that time, the village contained only sixty-two dwellings. The construction of the North Pennsylvania Railroad in 1855 gave a great impetus to growth in the area. By 1880, the population of Quakertown was nearly 1,800.

"The combination of the railroad and national economic expansion following the Civil War changed Quakertown from a tiny village to a bustling commercial center. Local industry included the manufacture of cigars, boots, shoes, tools, harnesses, wheel spokes, and stoves.

"Quakertown generated its own electrical power until 1969. Although the power plant was abandoned, Quakertown kept control of the distribution lines within the Borough and began to buy power at a bulk rate and resell it. In addition to maintaining the electric system, Quakertown operates [its] own water and sewer systems. This tradition of enterprise and hard work has been carried on down through the years to present-day Quakertown."


Quoted text from: Quakertown, Pa. "History." Accessed May 24, 2013.

This collection consists primarily of newspaper clippings, with a fair amount of primary-source documents including photographs, ephemera, and scattered original documents. All pertain to Quakertown and its history. Materials are organized by subject into binders referred to as "blue books." Most of the clippings are from the Free Press, with some from Morning Call, Intelligencer, and other sources.

The below list encompasses most of the subjects documented in this collection; a full list is available on-site.

Alumni newsletters Band and Music Bands Banks Borough government Bridges and Barns Business Centennials Churches Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Multi-generation, Birthdays Events by year, 1926-present Fire Companies Free Press History Hospitals Houses Industry Inns, Hotels, Motels Liberty Hall and the [Liberty] Bell Lulu Park, Bucks County Fair farmers picnic, Chautauqua [County] Lulu Park, Bucks County Fair farmers picnic, Chautauqua [County] Marketplace barn, Foulke house, Foulke family Memorial Park Military Mills and Neighboring communities Old-timers Day Open space, Swamp, Land development People in the news Pictorial memories Post office, Children's home, Airport railroads Quakertown Alive Quakertown Past Restaurants Richland Library and Michener Library Roads School buildings School News School sports School, Class of 1884-1980 Schools Theaters Trolley and Bus Walking purchase, Underground railroad, Fries Rebellion

There are also chronological files of clippings primarily of wedding and engagement announcements from 1946 to 1978 (located in Liberty Hall).

Materials acquired by the Quakertown Historical Society 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.

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

Quakertown 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.
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