Lower Frederick Township

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

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The Lower Frederick Township municipal offices are located at 53 Spring Mount Road, Zieglerville PA 19492.
Phone:  610‑287‑8857.

Knurr Log House


Lower Frederick Township [1] occupies 8.2 square miles of rugged land in the Perkiomen Valley in western Montgomery County. The township is located on the west bank of the Perkiomen Creek and borders five other municipalities: Upper Frederick, Limerick, Perkiomen, and Upper Salford townships and Schwenksville borough.

Prior to the founding of Pennsylvania, much of the land of the Delaware watershed was part of Lenapehoking, the home of the Lenape tribe. The Unami, a subgroup of the larger Lenape tribe, lived along the Schuylkill River and its tributaries, including the area of Lower Frederick Township. Many places and geographic features in the region still bear the names given to them by the Lenape.

In the early 18th century, German and English immigrants became the first Europeans to buy land and establish farms in the area that would become Lower Frederick. In 1731, Frederick Township was founded. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, farming prevailed in the area while other local industries grew, including mills powered by the township's numerous creeks. The mineral resources of the township supplied quarries, brickworks, potters, and mining throughout the 1800s. In 1919, Frederick Township was divided into Upper Frederick and Lower Frederick townships, the last of Montgomery County's municipalities to be incorporated. Lower Frederick's Delphi and Spring Mount villages developed into a resort area as the Reading Railroad's Perkiomen Branch made them a popular destination for Philadelphians. In the latter half of the 20th century, population growth and suburbanization in the metropolitan region reached Lower Frederick, adding to its population and transforming it into the rural bedroom community it is today.

Conservation Landscapes

The Natural Areas Inventory Update, undertaken by the Nature Conservancy and Montgomery County Planning Commission, describes conservation landscapes associated with previouslyidentified regions of Montgomery County that have exceptional natural value. These landscapes contain areas of high priority for conservation and protection, to maintain their biological diversity and the integrity of their natural communities. Threats from land development, uncontrolled deer populations, and invasive species are common across the county's conservation landscapes and require observation and management. Lower Frederick Township contains portions of three conservation landscapes.

Sping Mountain

The Spring Mountain Conservation Landscape stretches across the township's eastern edge, paralleling Perkiomen Creek. Although this conservation landscape lies primarily within Lower Frederick, the area takes its name from Spring Mountain Woods, the core area of the landscape, located in Upper Salford Township. The landscape is defined by wooded diabase hills and has 51% tree coverage. Despite hosting the majority of the Spring Mountain Conservation Landscape, very little of the area within the township has permanent protection. Critical features within the Spring Mountain Conservation Landscape include Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program-listed plants like ginseng, nodding trillium, and Wister's Coralroot. The core area of this landscape features exceptional plant diversity, vulnerable plant communities, PNHP-listed animal species, and rare insects.

Swamp Creek

This conservation landscape encloses low-lying areas in the western corner of the township. The central feature of this area, Swamp Creek, occupies a broad and relatively flat valley and flows eastward into Lower Frederick before joining Perkiomen Creek. This conservation landscape is less heavily-wooded than the surrounding ridges, having a tree cover of only 27%, but features many sensitive riparian, wetland, and forest habitats. The county's Sunrise Mill property helps to preserve these habitats in the township and constitutes the core area of the Swamp Creek Conservation Landscape. The blue herons that nest in this landscape are PNHP listed, as are river otters, which have been reported in the area.

Stone Hill

Like the Spring Mountain Conservation Landscape, Stone Hill corresponds with a prominent diabase ridge. This ridge occupies much of the township's southern portion, beginning at Delphi and extending westward to the border of Berks County. Woodlands cover 56% of this area and define the landscape's character. The Stone Hill Conservation Landscape is not associated with any sites identified in the original Natural Areas Inventory. Lower Frederick is host to a portion of a core area comprising the Meng Preserve and Stone Hill Greenway. Natural Lands' sanctuary and publicly-held Stone Hill Greenway preserve considerable land within Lower Frederick's portion of the Stone Hill Conservation Landscape.

A Brief History [2]

Lower Frederick Township was formed from the division of Frederick Township in 1919. The original settlers of the area were Pennsylvania Dutch who brought with them their rich agricultural heritage. In the early years of the Township, farming activity focused on dairy, timber, hay, and ice. Today the area is mostly rural and agricultural; however recently it has experienced an influx of residential growth.

Villages in Lower Frederick are Spring Mount and Zieglerville, known as "Zieglersville" until 1887. The Village of Spring Mount was a resort destination and vacationers stayed at the Zieglerville Inn and the Weldon House, as well as other lodging facilities. While Spring Mount was the recreational and tourist center of the Perkiomen Valley, Zieglerville was the Township's commercial center. Zieglerville was a stagecoach stop until the railroad line was built and also was the headquarters of the Perkiomen Turnpike Company. The Turnpike extended from the Perkiomen Bridge in Collegeville to Green Lane.

One of the Township's oldest remaining historic structures is Sunrise Mill once owned by Dr. Chevalier Jackson the inventor of the bronchoscope. Some of the mill's earliest buildings date to 1767. In 1971, Montgomery County purchased the property and developed it as a park.

  1. Adapted from: Lower Frederick Township Comprehensive Plan, Lower Frederick Township 2040, 2022, www.lowerfrederick.org, accessed February, 2023.
  2. Montgomery County Planning Commission, 2005 Central Perkiomen Valley Regional Comprehensive Plan, www.montcopa.org

Nearby Towns: Collegeville Boro • Douglass Twp • Green Lane Boro • Limerick Twp • Marlborough Twp • New Hanover Twp • Perkiomen Twp • Red Hill Boro • Salford Twp • Schwenksville Boro • Skippack Twp • Trappe Boro • Upper Frederick Twp • Upper Hanover Twp • Upper Salford Twp • West Rockhill Twp •

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