Skippack Historical Society

A letter to the Governor Shapp of Pennsylvania, dated 4/10/72, from the Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church of America is written regarding the Skippack Valley.


It states that the area is "looked upon by all Mennonites, in the State of Pa. and way beyond the state, as the historic cradle of American-Mennonite culture ... Mennonites and many others look up to (it) as a very highly-treasured historical area".



Skippack History

" In 1682 William Penn arrived in the colony and laid the plan for a city. He and others enacted wise laws for the people granting certain inalienable rights, namely, trial by jury, free speech, protection of life and property, and the free exercise of religious convictions. Other emigrants followed, and in 1702 commenced the settlement on the Skippack ... "

[James Y. Heckler wrote the above in the Montgomery Transcript on July 3, 1895]

TIMELINE

1681 -Willaim Penn receives his royal charter.

1682 -William Penn conveyed 5000 acres of land in his province to Dirk Sipman of Crefeld.

1687 -A Dutch merchant named Matthias Van Bebber arrived in Germantown.

1698 -Dirck Sipman sold his unlocated land to Matthias Van Bebber.

1702 -Matthias Van Bebber secures a patent for his 6,166 acres of land.

1704 -Van Bebber moves from Philadelphia to Bohemia Manor, Maryland.

1706 -Hendrick Pannebecker settles in Skippack. Acting as a representative for Van Bebber he surveyed and prepared many of the deeds for the early settlers in Skippack.

1706 -Gerhard and Herman In den Hoffen purchase 440 acres from Van Bebber.

1710 -?Gerhard and Herman In den Hoffen build a stone house.

1713 -Petition by 30 landowners in the Skippack region to have the government build a road [Skippack Pike] from Bebber Township to "Wide Marsh" [today known as Whitemarsh].

1717 -Van Bebber conveyed 100 acres of land to seven trustees for a meeting house, school house, and cemetary for all inhabitants of Bebbers Township.

1718 -Christopher Dock taught at the Meetinghouse school until 1771.

1719 -Skippack Mennonite Meeting House is built.

1725 -Bebber Township was surveyed and given the name of "Skippack and Perkiomen Township."

1777 -George Washington marches the Continental Army into Skippack on the way to and from the Battle of Germantown.

1827 -U.S. Post Office was started in the Jacob Sorver store (a new store was built in 1873) on the corner of Store Road and Skippack Pike.

1840 -New Meetinghouse for the Lower Skippack Mennonite Church was built.

1851 -The Valley House (Justins Resturant Today) was built by Jesse Gable. It was called "Jesse Gable's Inn.

1863 -Trinity Church was built in Skippack.

1873 -W.F. Hallman built a new store (still exists today) on the corner of Store Road and Skippack Pike.

1886 -Skippack Township is created when Perkiomen and Skippack Township was divided into two townships.

1899 -The Skippack Fire Company was organized.

1900 -The Skippack Fire Company built an engine house on the corner of Skippack Pike and Mensch Road.

1908 -The Trolly line between Norristown and Center Point was extended up the Skippack Pike to Skippack.

1912 -Trolly line was extended through Lederach to Harleysville.

1924 -The Skippack Fire Company built a second fire house on the corner of Skippack Pike and Mensch Road.

1925 -Trolly service ended when one car crashed into another.

1938 -Airport started by Wells MacCormick.


Researched and written by Bradley S. DeForest

This web site was designed and donated by Lederach Associates Architect + Engineers.