The History of Springfield PA
Springfield PA First settled by Quakers who arrived in Pennsylvania with William Penn, Springfield was first recognized as a governmental entity in 1686. Many of the streets in Springfield are named after former prominent citizens, including Powell, Kennerly, Lownes, Levis, Thomas, Beatty, Lewis, Foulke, Evans, Powell, Pancoast, Worrell, and Edge. Originally, Springfield was primarily a farming town.
On December 9, 1687, the settlers began laying the road to Amosland as it was then called. This road is now known as Springfield Road. In 1701 construction began on the Baltimore Pike; the road was formed of sturdy oak planks, some of which still exist under the current Baltimore Pike. 1701 also marked the year that construction began on the first Quaker meeting house. The meeting house burned in 1737 and was rebuilt. The current meeting house that stands in its spot was constructed in 1851.
By the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 it is estimated from tax records that about 300 people resided in Springfield.
By the 19th century Springfield had become more industrialized. Taking advantage of its many creeks, the inhabitants erected many mills. Well-known mill owners included William Fell, Samuel Pancoast, William Beatty, Samuel Levis, and Moses and Emanuel Hey.
At the beginning of the 20th century Springfield’s Baltimore Pike had become one of the busiest commercial areas outside of Philadelphia. The long, straight stretch of Baltimore Pike in the township was referred to as “The Golden Mile“, commonly known for its many automobile dealerships. Baltimore Pike remains true to its history with many dealerships lining the side of the road. The Golden Mile is a unique corridor that is essentially a compact commercial strip that cuts directly through bedroom communities on both sides. Residents are currently attempting to undo the emblematic effects of urban sprawl along the mile through the implementation of green initiatives, responsible traffic planning, and zoning improvements. The History of Springfield PA
Though all of the farmland of Springfield’s past is gone, many of the woods and fields of the past still remain standing today in some of the many parks located throughout the community.Currently, the bulk of Springfield’s history lies recorded in the archives of the Heritage Society of Springfield, and the Springfield Township Public Library (a member of the Delaware County Library System).Springfield has three sister cities, Lisbon, Portugal, Lima, Peru, and Vancouver, Canada