Skippack Historical Society

James Y. Heckler, Montgomery Transcript, July 3, 1895

History Of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, 1884. Edited By Theodore W. Bean. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1884.



The Skippack Road

Today it is called Skippack Pike or Route 73 back in the early 1700's it was vital to connect Germantown with Skippack.

HISTORY OF THE ROAD

The following is a history of Skippack Pike through 1884 as published in the History Of Montgomery County Pennsylvania, Illustrated, 1884 written by Theodore W. Bean. Notes have been added in brackets to clarify the locations as they are today.

" The earliest highway opened up into this section [Skippack & Perkiomen region] was undoubtedly what has been so long known as the Skippack road [Route 73], on which Washington and his army had occasion to march several times upon very important occasions. This road was petitioned for by the inhabitants June 2, 1713, surveyed in August, confirmed the following March by the court, and the supervisors directed to have it speedily opened. It commenced at a stake on the upper line of Van Bebber's purchase, about half a mile above the present Amityville [Lucon Road area], and meeting the road [Bethlehem Pike] from Gwynedd at Edward Farmer's mill on, the Wissahicken, at Whitemarsh, from whence there was a continuous road [Germantown Pike] through Chestnut Hill and Germantown to the city. This road was extended and in use through New Hanover into the present Berks County before 1742, and has, therefore, since been known as the Swamp road. The road [Route 113] from Skippack, through Lederachsville [Village of Lederach] and Salfordville, to Sumneytown was opened in June, 1728. Along the northeastern side of the Skippack road in this township may still be seen [not anymore] the milestones, with the distances thereon to the city. In 1845 a company was incorporated by an act of Assembly to construct a turnpike from Whitemarsh to Skippack, but, after several fruitless efforts, the project was abandoned. In March 1853, a second charter was granted and the turnpike completed to near the Worcester line, which was finished in September, 1855, approaching the township within a distance of four and a half miles. "

PETITION FOR THE ROAD IN 1713

The following petition was prepared by the landowners around the Skippack Creek and presented to the Court of Quarter Sessions held in Philadelphia June 2, 1713:

" The petition of the inhabitants of the township of Skippack and several adjacent plantations in said county, humbly showeth, that whereas, in the aforesaid township and neighborhood thereof, pretty many families are already settled, and probably not a few more to settle in and about the same. And yet no road being laid out and established to accommodate your petitioners: but what paths have hitherto been used are only upon sufferance, and liable to be fenced up. Therefore, your petitioners, both for the public good and their own convenience, humbly desire an order for the laying out and establishing a road or cartway from the upper end of said township down to the wide marsh, of Farmerís mill, which will greatly tend to the satisfaction of your petitioners, who shall thankfully acknowledge the favor, &c. "

This petition was signed by the following 30 people:


Dirk Renberg, Heinrich Frey, Gerhard In den Hoffen, Claus Janson, Gerhard Clemens, Heinrich Pannepacker, Johannes Umstat, Johannes Kolb, Jacob Gaetshlack, Mathias Tyson, Jacob Kolb, William Renberg, Hermanns Kuster, Martin Kolb, Johannes Scholl, Heinrich Kolb, Jacob Op den Graeff, Peter Sellen, Hermans In den Hoffen, John Newberry, Daniel Desmond, Peter Bunn, Thomas Kentworthy, Peter Bellar, Peter Wentz, Abraham Lefevre, Jan Krey, Andrew Schraeger, Lorentz Scheitzer, James Been


Researched and edited by Bradley S. DeForest

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