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Upper Salford Township


Upper Salford Township municipal offices are located in Salfordville, PA 18958.

A Brief History [1]

Upper Salford, founded in 1727, is part of the original Salford Township. In 1741, Salford Township split into Marlborough, Upper Salford, Lower Salford, and part of Franconia Township. In 1892, Upper Salford further split into the present day Salford and Upper Salford Townships.

The village of Woxall was originally known as Kroppestettel, which in Pennsylvania Dutch means Crowtown. The village was later named Mechanicsville. By the end of the eighteenth century, the town contained a hotel and restaurant, town hall, shoe shop, wheelwright, and 12 homes. The village kept the name Mechanicsville until 1888 when a post office was established. A new name needed to be selected for the post office because another Pennsylvania town had the same name. After much discussion, residents submitted the name Noxall, "Knocks All," to postal authorities. The name had been read on the side of a bar of a box of soap in the village store. Evidently, they misread the "N" for a "W" and approved the name Woxall for the post office.

The Village of Woxall grew up near the Old Goschenhoppen Church, erected in 1744, where Lutheran and Reformed congregations met. With the arrival of the railroad in 1868, Salfordville, which prospered without railroad or trolley, grew around an old inn. By 1877 it contained a post office, general store, cigar factory, and 19 homes.

The Village of Salfordville was originally situated on a main route between the "upper country" and Philadelphia, from which it was a distant thirty-five miles, and became an early settlement in Montgomery County. This early route was opened in June 1728 and locally passed through Skippack, Lederachsville, and Salfordville on the way to Sumneytown. Along the northeastern side of Old Skippack Road within the township milestones depicting the distances to Philadelphia may still be seen.

Salfordville was a bustling village in the 1700s and 1800s with a thriving market for livestock and farm goods. Surrounded by farms, the small village had two hotels, a one-room schoolhouse, a cigar factory, a blacksmith livery and a general store. Salfordville was also home to Chirstopher Dock who was an early German educator, artist, and historian. In fact, the Christopher Dock White Oak tree, estimated to be close to 300 years old, was destroyed by a storm and Upper Salford Township residents replanted a White Oak tree in its place with a bronze plaque to mark this historic landmark. Finally, genealogy records indicate an early resident, John Michel Weigel, was born here in 1689.

Other villages include Bergey, known in 1893 as Branchville, and Salford, called Rudy in the early 1900s. These two villages along with Woxall and Salfordville were noted for their general stores that sold a variety of items including fine clocks, furniture, barrel molasses, and quilting thread. Along the Perkiomen Creek, the village of Salford was once known as Salford Station when the railroad still came through the township.

Farming, particularly dairy farming, was once a primary occupation in Upper Salford. The number of dairy farmers declined as milking techniques modernized and herds become larger. Today, open space is used primarily for crop farming.

Spring Mountain, once called Stone Hill, was and is a recreation area for the township and the region. At the end of the 1800s, Solomon K. Grimley established an amusement a park, named after himself, on the west end of the mountain. Only a short walk from the railroad, the park included an observatory, picnic and playground facilities, dance floor for hoedowns, and areas for horseshoes and croquet. For a while it proudly displayed the clock from the former County Courthouse in Norristown. For years the Spring Mountain House was a widely known resort. The park was abandoned when it was sold in 1901. Even with the close of the park, the area continued as a popular summer destination for railroad passengers. Today, Spring Mountain is the only downhill ski area in Montgomery County. Prior to becoming a recreation area, however, the mountain was quarried on a commercial basis for its black granite rock. Many Belgian blocks cut from the quarry were hauled by the Perkiomen Railroad to Philadelphia to pave the city's streets. The name Stone Hill died out when the quarry was abandoned around the 1920s.

Today, most of Upper Salford's residents commute to work in neighboring townships. The township is primarily rural and residential as reflected in it farms, open space, and natural features.

  1. Montgomery Township, 2004 Indian Valley Comprehensive Plan, www.montcopa.org.
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