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Plymouth Township

Plymouth Township municipal offices are located at 700 Belvoir Road, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462; phone: 610-277-4100.

Public school students attend the Colonial School District. Pl

The National Register Historic District of Plymouth Meeting (registered 1971) straddles the border between Plymouth and Whitemarsh Townships, at the intersection of Germantown Pike and Old Butler Pike. It was set aside in 1683 by William Penn (600 acres) for the purpose of establishing a town. By 1698 settlement of the area was underway. Early homes were influenced by the styles common to English and Welsh Quakers.

In addition to the Historic District, the Plymouth Friends Meetinghouse was nominated separately to the National Register in 1970. It was built about 1708 and addition added in 1780 to replace the log schoolhouse on the premises. It served as a hospital and campsite for Washington's forces on the way to Valley Forge. The site was a center of activity during the Abolition Movement.

Irish-born, internationally-renowned artist, Thomas Hovenden, spent his final days in the village at Plymouth Meeting.

Brief History [1]

This township is bounded on the north by Whitpain, east by Whitemarsh south by the Schuylkill and the borough of Conshohocken, and west by the borough of Norristown and Norriton. Its greatest length is three and a half miles; its width two and a half, with an area of five thousand one hundred and fifty- three acres.

It formerly contained five thousand six hundred and thirty-one acres but by the erection of Conshohocken into a borough in 1850, three hundred and twenty acres were taken off; also in 1853 a long, wedge shaped strip of one hundred and twenty-eight perches wide on the Schuylkill, containing about one hundred and fifty-eight acres, by the enlargement of the borough of Norristown, thus leaving, its area as mentioned. It is next to Springfield, the smallest township in the county. In the long interval from 1686 to 1850, it had not undergone any change in territorial extent.

The surface is gently undulating, and there are no elevations deserving the name of hills. Along the Schuylkill at several places the limestone assumes a rocky appearance, but nowhere rises above fifty feet perpendicularly. In proportion to its size, we have no hesitation in saying that no township in the county surpasses it in the natural fertility of its soil. On the other hand it is not well watered, for it contains no streams that afford valuable water-power. The largest is Plymouth Creek, which rises, in two small branches in the east corner of the township, and after a course of four miles empties into the Schuylkill at Conshohocken. Saw-Mill Run rises in Whitpain and after a course of over a mile through Plymouth, turns into Norriton. A small stream empties into the Schuylkill a short distance below Mogeetown.

About two-thirds of Plymouth is underlaid with limestone, which, at some places, is on or near the surface, and again at other places lies at some depth. Nearly its whole front on the Schuylkill is a bluff of limestone, and few places are more favored for burning it, both from the convenience of the material and the advantages of sending it to market either by railroad or navigation. The census of 1840 gave the value of lime manufactured in Plymouth at forty-five thousand two hundred and eighteen dollars. In 1858 seventy-five kilns were personally visited that on an average would produce fifteen hundred bushels of the article, and thus this number, at one burning, could yield considerably over one hundred thousand bushels. The number of kilns has since been increased and the extent of the business enlarged. Hence we may well judge the extent of this production, giving investment to capital and employment to a number of hands. Iron ore which seventy years ago was almost unknown, is obtained now in abundance. In that part of the township which lies between the Plymouth Railroad and the Whitemarsh line there appears to be one vast bed of ore from the borough of Conshohocken.

The Ridge turnpike traverses the township two and a half miles and the Germantown and Perkiomen pike about three miles. The turnpike leading from Conshohocken to the Broad Axe forms the entire southeast boundary of Plymouth, a distance of three and one-fourth miles, and separates it from Whitemarsh. The Norristown Railroad passes along the southwest by the Schuylkill over two miles, and on it are Potts Landing and Mogee Stations. The Plymouth Railroad has a course of over three and a half miles, and extends from Conshohocken to Oreland, on the North Pennsylvania Railroad. This company was incorporated in 1836, and the road completed shortly afterwards to the Whitemarsh line; in 1870 it was extended to its junction at Oreland. The stations in the township are Ridge, Plymouth and Corson. The villages are Plymouth Meeting, Hickorytown, Mogeetown and Harmanville.

  1. Bean, Theodor W., ed., History of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, 1884, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia
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