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Horsham Preservation & Historical Association

...the Future of Horsham's Past

Horsham Historical Timeline

Horsham Timeline

This timeline was started based on a timeline that appeared on the website www.Horsham1.com which is not available as of June 2014. We do not know who owned this site or who originally created this timeline.

~8000BC - Native Americans came to the area possibly as early as 10,000 years ago (reference needed). The inhabitants at time that the first European settlers arrived were the Lenni-Lenape, or Lenape, or later called the Delaware. The Lenape first encountered Europeans in the spring of 1524, when Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed into the lower Hudson Bay. According to his notes, he found the area

"well peopled, the inhabitants.. . dressed out with feathers of birds of various colors. They came towards us with evident delight raising shouts of admiration" (43)
photo of Benjamin West painting Treaty of Penn with Indians

The early Quaker settlers try to deal fairly with the local people, purchasing land and setting up laws to prevent the Lenape from being taken advantage of, but these laws were difficult to enforce. (43). By the time William Penn encountered them in 1682 the Lenape had been decimated by warfare and diseases such as smallpox introduced by the Europeans.

For three centuries (1600-1900) the Lenapes were battered with warfare from other Native American tribes, European colonization, and the expansion of the growing American nation. These events forced the Lenapes to relocate and move continuously. Over the years the Lenapes migrated out of their original homelands, winding up in West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Wisconsin, and Kansas, before most of them finally settled in Oklahoma and Ontario, Canada. (<817>44)

1681 Wiliam Penn acquired land west and south of New Jersey from King Charles II of England. Penn and other Quakers had acquired the colonial West New Jersey from Charles in 1677. The new grant was called "Sylvania" (woods or forests) by Penn but was changed by Charles to "Pennsylvania" to honor Sir William Penn, the younger Penn's father. This grant may have been repayment of a debt of £16,000 owed by Charles to the older Penn, but this was not documented. Penn would owe the crown two beaver skins and a fifth of any gold and silver mined within the territory each year. (47)

photo portrait of William Penn

Penn deemed his new colony a "holy experiment" , and planned the new colony's government, writing its constitution, distributing land to settlers and establishing positive, peaceful relations with the local Indians. Penn's Letter to the Free Society of Traders (1683) was an account of his early activities in Pennsylvania. (46)

The democratic principles that he set forth served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. Ahead of his time, Penn also published a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates." (45)

1683 First known non-native dwelling built in what will become Horsham Township by John Palmer near what is now Dresher Road. (horsham1.com)

168-7 Almost all the available land within 30 or 40 miles of Philadelphia passed into private ownership before the end of the year 1686, and so was plotted on Holme’s map of Pennsylvania (1687). The district which later became known as Horsham Township had been allotted to four individuals; George Palmer, Joseph Fisher, Samuel Carpenter, and Mary Blunston. A member of the family later settled on the Palmer tract; the other three purchasers lived elsewhere, and sold off their land to others as rapidly as opportunity offered. (39). 5,000 acres sold for £100 (horsham1.com)

photo of Thomas Holmes Map of Pennsylvania

1687 Horsham is one of the original townships laid out, but not named, on the first published map of William Penn’s settlement in Pennsylvania. This map, commonly known as Holme’s map was printed during the year 1687 by Penn’s London land office, from reports submitted before the end of the previous year by his Land Commissioners, resident in Philadelphia, and by Thomas Holme, his Surveyor General for the Colony. (39).

1693 Thomas Fitzwater petitioned for a road from Philadelphia to his limekilns in Upper Dublin. Limekiln Pike is the first "into the wilderness" {53} connecting Upper Dublin to the port of Philadelphia. (54 p9)

1708 one of the first reported residences in Horsham is a cabin by the creek west of Blair Mill Road (horsham1.com)

1709 William Lukens settles in Horsham on what is now Lukens Park on Dresher Road in Horsham.

photo of front of Kenderdine House

1713 Richard Kenderdine acquires 250 acres from Samuel Carpenter, who had purchased 4300 acres from Penn. The Joseph Kenderdine House and Kenderdine Mill (placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992) would later be built on this property. The Joseph Kenderdine House, shown to the right, was lost in 2012.

1714 Pemmapecka (Unami name for Pennypack Creek) Road renamed Welsh Road.

photo of watercolor 104 Horsham Friends Meeting House by Leon Clemmer

1714 The Horsham Friends Meeting is established and Samuel Carpenter presented 50 acres of land to the meeting for a nominal sum of 5 shillings for a meeting house, school, and cemetery.. (other sources report that this transaction was made by Samuel Carpenter's widow, Hannah Carpenter in 1719.)

1717 Horsham Township founded. It is probable that the permanent limits were fixed, and a name selected at that time, Samuel Carpenter, once the owner of nearly half the Township, was born in Horsham, Sussex, England, and it is supposed that he chose the name of Horsham for the township (Carpenter actually died in 1714 so the name was probably chosen to honor him). (39).

1717? Log Meeting House built and 1st wedding held by the Horsham Friends Meeting.

1719 the Horsham and Byberry Meetings were connected by Byberry Road. It ran from the Horsham Meeting Road to the line of Hatboro Pike, thence to Hatboro and out Byberry Avenue. Its purpose was to afford a means of communication between the two meetings.

photo of Governor Rd Mile Marker showing 18 M to P



1719 Sir William Keith, the lieutenant governor of the colony of Pennsylvania, acquired 1200 acres from Samuel Carpenter's estate. He later expanded these holdings to 1735 acres. This land would become his estate Fountain Low, now known as Graeme Park. The stone marker shown to the right is carved with “18 M to P’, which probably indicates 18 miles to Philadelphia from that point on Governor Rd.

1721 Horsham Friends Meeting House rebuilt of stone. This would stand until 1803

front of Penrose Strawbridge House 1956




1721-2 Original cabin built at Fountain Low by Sir William Keith possibly as part of a brewery/distillery. This cabin was later added on to and is now known as the Penrose Strawbridge House.

photo of west side of Keith House with large tree

1722 Governor Road was commissioned by Sir William Keith in 1722. In that year he authorized a road to be built from Philadelphia to his “new building” in Horsham from Round Meadow (now Willow Grove). The road went north from the present Willow Grove and likely followed what is now Easton Rd to the Horsham Quaker Meetinghouse at Meetinghouse Road and Easton Rd.

1723 Norristown Road was laid out from Welsh Road to the Horsham Meetinghouse, having already been opened from North Wales to Welsh Road. For many years it was known as the North Wales Road.

1732 Echenhofer farmhouse built (horsham1.com)

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1734 Kenderdine Mill built next to what is now Keith Valley and Davis Grove Roads. This mill remained in operation until the early 1900s and was later restored to beautiful condition by Ronald Mintz.


1735 Horsham Road, originally known as the Montgomery Road, is laid out from the Horsham Friends Meeting to Montgomeryville. Davis Grove Road is opened as a public road to the village of Davis Grove.

photo of watercolor 111 Toll House by Leon Clemmer

1737 Limekiln Pike dedicated. Its present course was laid out in 1855, when the road was moved about one-fourth mile to the west at the upper end of the township. Image to the right is an original watercolor by Leon Clemmer. HPHA has an original hand-drawn map of Limekiln Pike in our collection.

...more to come...

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Treaty of Penn with Indians by Benjamin West
William Penn's Treaty with the Indians at Shackamaxon on the Delaware River in Philadelphia
photo of Benjamin West painting Treaty of Penn with Indians
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William Penn
portrait of William Penn
photo portrait of William Penn
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Thomas Holmes Map of Pennsylvania
A Mapp of Ye Improved Part of Pensilvania in America, Divided Into Countyes, Townships and Lotts...." (published circa 1687) by Thomas Holmes for William Penn
photo of Thomas Holmes Map of Pennsylvania
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Kenderdine House Front
front of Kenderdine House taken from across Davis Grove Road in Carpenter Park. This 277 year old home was demolished in April 2012 shortly after this photo was taken
photo of front of Kenderdine House
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104 Horsham Friends Meeting House
11x14 $250 By 1900 the members of Horsham Friends Meeting could use the trolley line from Willow Grove to Doylestown to attend First Day services. However, since they were still in farming, most arrived in a horse and wagon. The 1739 Quaker School was located across Easton Road from the meeting house. Automobiles were not available yet.
photo of watercolor 104 Horsham Friends Meeting House by Leon Clemmer
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Governor Rd Mile Marker
Stone marker on Governor Road near 1735 barn ruins carved with “18 M to P’, which probably indicates 18 miles to Philadelphia from that point. May be an early mail delivery marker
photo of Governor Rd Mile Marker showing 18 M to P
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front of Penrose Strawbridge House 1956
Penrose Strawbridge House in 1956. Many of these trees are no longer there
front of Penrose Strawbridge House 1956
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Keith House from the West 2011
The Keith House as seen from the west. Scaffolding is in place for some maintenance being performed
photo of west side of Keith House with large tree
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111 Toll House
11x14 $250 Limekiln Pike, once name Whitehall Turnpike, is one of the oldest highways that passed through Horsham Township. These highways were used to transport natural products between the countryside and the markets in Philadelphia. Owners of property alongside the highways pooled their resources to maintain the roads. The pike had a wooden gate to block the highway. A lone rider paid 2cents and a carriage or a 4 horse rig hauling hay pd 10cents
photo of watercolor 111 Toll House by Leon Clemmer
Horsham Preservation and Historical Association
The Future of Horsham's Past
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