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Worcester Township


Worcester Township municipal offices are located at 1721 Valley Forge Road, Worcester PA 19490; phone: 610-584-1410.

The township was established circa 1733 and was named by its early English settlers.

Two National Register Historic properties are located within the township: the Anthony Morris House (circa 1717) located on Stump Hall Road, and the Georgian-style Peter Wentz Homestead (circa 1758, 1777) located on Schultz Road.

Brief History [1]

Worcester is the most central township in the county, and is bounded on the north by Towamencin, south by Norriton, east by Gwynedd, southeast by Whitpain, west by Perkiomen and southwest by Lower Providence. Its greatest length is four and a half miles, greatest breadth four and a quarter miles, with an area of 10,180 acres or 1575 square miles. The surface is rolling, the soil red shale and under good cultivation. Methacton Hill is a considerable elevation, that commences in Lower Providence and extends in a northeast direction across almost the entire southern part of the township for a distance of five miles. The summit of these hills, more familiarly known as the Fairview Hills, is equal in altitude to the highest point of the Chestnut and Chelten Hills, in the southeastern portion of the county, or those near Green Lane, to the northward. From points on them the traveler obtains beautiful and extended views of the Schuylkill and Perkiomen Valleys. The forests that once covered these highlands have, during recent years, been cleared away, and the land is well cultivated and improved by thrifty farmers.

It was the commanding prospect afforded by these hills that enabled General Washington's advance-guard to observe the movement of the British army moving on Philadelphia in the autumn of 1777, and from which he subsequently moved to attack them at Germantown. Washington broke up his camp at Pennypacker's Mill October 8, 1777, and the army proceeded on its march down the Skippack road and Reading and Ridge turnpikes. On the 16th, Washington established his headquarters at the house of Peter Wentz, near said church, from where he wrote an interesting letter to Congress, in which he says,- "It is with the highest satisfaction I congratulate Congress on the success of our army northward in the action of the seventh, an event of the most interesting importance at this critical juncture. From the happy train in which things are now, I hope we shall soon hear of the most decisive advantages. We moved this morning from the encampment at which we had been for six or seven days past, and have just arrived at the grounds we occupied before the action of the 4th. One motive for coming here is to direct the enemy's attention from the forts."

This communication establishes the fact that it was from the encampment at Wentz's church that the army proceeded to make the attack at Germantown. Having retreated to these same hills after their defeat in this battle, they maintained a strong position on them for several days, when they took up their march and proceeded to Whitemarsh Township, where they established Camp Hill.

Zacharia Creek is the prominent stream of Worcester township, and has a course of about four miles across its northern angle, in which distance it propels three grist-mills and a saw-mill. In 1758 mention is made of a saw-mill where the Zacharia Creek crosses the Skippack road, near the present Centre Point. It may be possible that the singular name given to this creek has been applied from Zachariah Whitpain, an early resident of the adjoining township. A branch of the Skippack crosses near the western extremity of this township and furnishes power to a grist-mill. Five-Mile Run and Stony Creek have their sources in its southern and eastern parts.

The name of Worcester has been applied from a city and county in England, and is supposed to be derived from the Saxon word Caester, signifying a station or camp. It was at the battle of Worcester, in 1650, where Cromwell and his party defeated the Royalists and took eight thousand prisoners, most of whom were sent to America and sold as slaves. According to the list of 1734, this township contained twenty-five taxables and landholders.

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