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Tulpehocken Township


The Tulpehocken Township Building is located at 22 Rehrersburg Road, Rehrersburg PA 19550; phone: 717-933-5747.

Beginnings [1]

The name of Tulpehocken was taken from the stream by that name. The term is of Indian origin and means "Land of Turtles." It was organized as a district in 1729, when it was a part of what was then Chester County. A French trader was captured on the banks of the Susquehanna in 1707 and taken to Philadelphia by way of Tulpehocken. The trader had his feet tied together below the horse's belly. This is the first mention of the word Tulpehocken the records contain.

The first settlement was made in 1723, before the Indians had actually released the land. This led to trouble which was settled by a special treaty in Philadelphia in 1728. These early pioneers were the German settlers, who had come from the Palatinate, and had lived on the Hudson since 1712. In 1729 Conrad Weiser and his family joined the Palatines at Tulpehocken.

The township was reduced in size by the formation of Upper Tulpehocken in 1820, Marion in 1823 and Jefferson in 1851.

Tulpehocken was looked upon as a promised land by the early settlers. It was one of the most noted sections in the country, and after the Indians released the land in 1732 the people, who were mostly engaged in farming, prospered. Tulpehocken was not only a place for consultation between the white settlers and the Indians, but it was the most important business centre in this section of the state. Many of the Indians were already using the tools and implements used by the settlers, and came many miles to Tulpehocken, where the nearest blacksmith resided.

  1. A. E. Wagner, Ph.D., F. W. Balthaser, M.E., and D.K. Hoch, The Story of Berks County Pennsylvania, Eagle Book ad Job Press, Reading, 1913
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