HATBORO'S HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS
In 1715, John Dawson, a hatter from England, came to Hatboro, and built a house that later became the Crooked Billet Inn. The small village was at that time called the Billet. The Billet became known as Hatborough in 1740.
In the 1750's, Hatboro was a farming village of a scant fifteen houses on the Old York Road. York Road, a former Indian trail, was the stage coach route between Philadelphia and New York. A mill, a tavern, a tannery, a saddlery and a furniture maker were the main businesses. Most business was carried on by the barter of goods and services. There was no church and only a small school.
In spite of the small size of the community, the education of its occupants was deemed to be of primary importance.
The Union Library Company was formed in 1755. An impressive list of thirty-eight people were the
original subscribers! The Union Library of Hatboro is the third oldest in Pennsylvania, and the second
oldest library to be operating under the original charter. The library was moved from house to house until the present building was built in 1849. The library building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
There was early schooling. In 1756, the first schoolhouse was in operation on Byberry Ave. On West Monument Avenue, Joshua Potts' log cabin school was also teaching the three R's.
The Loller Academy was a private school until 1848 , when it became the public school. The building now houses the municipal offices and is known as Borough Hall (see photo). The Isaiah Lukens clock in the tower was installed in 1812. In 1839, Isaiah Lukens made a similar clock for Independance Hall in Philadelphia. This structure is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hatboro played a role in the Revolutionary War. In the summer of 1777, on the way to his Moland House headquarters, George Washington and his officers stopped for dinner at the Crooked Billet Tavern. He bought his grain from the old grist mill that is now the Old Mill Inn. It is said that hats were made in Hatboro for the Revolutionary War soldiers.
Hatboro was also the scene of a Revolutionary War skirmish, known as the Battle of Crooked Billet. The clash occurred on May 1,1778, during the British occupation of Philadelphia. The militia, commanded by General John Lacey and assigned to cut off British supplies, was encamped here. Surprised by British troops, they were defeated and driven off with heavy losses. Today there is a monument to this battle outside the Crooked Billet Elementary School.
Back to Top
Learn More About
AMY B. YERKES MUSEUM
Hatboro Baptist Church
32 N. York Rd, Hatboro
Wed. 7:00 to 10:00 pm
The Millbrook Society
Hatboro's Historical Society
For information call:
Buy The Book!
The Hatboro area is full of fascinating historical sites.
Check out these
- The Millbrook Society
Visit the website of Hatboro's Historical Society. The Society is very active in researching the history of Hatboro and the surrounding area, and is currently engaged in several archeological digs.
- Union Library Civil War Round Table
The web site is dedicated to the study of the Civil War. This non-profit group meets at the Union Library on the third Wednesday of every month.
- Hatboro Historical Buildings & Sites
See pictures and read descriptions of the historic sites in our town.
- 11th Pennsylvania Regiment
The 11th Pennsylvania Regiment is a Philadelphia based reenactment unit dedicated to the preservation of history and the accurate interpretation of the military and civilian roles of men, women and children in 18th Century America for the education of the general public. The original "Old" 11th Pennsylvania Regiment was created on October 25, 1776, and served in many battles during the American War for Independence between 1776 and 1778.
- The Upper Moreland Historical Society
"The mission of the Upper Moreland Historical Association is to identify, collect, study, preserve, and protect the historical heritage and folklore of the Upper Moreland Township community."
- The Old York Road Historical Society
The historical society was founded in 1936 to study and preserve the history of the communities along Old York Road from Philadelphia to New Hope.
- Friends of Moland House
Located only a few miles from Hatboro on Old York Road in Warwick, the Moland House was George Washington's Headquarters in August, 1777. Lafayette joined the army here and, it is said, that the Betsy Ross flag was first flown here.
- Friends of Graeme Park
Graeme Park, located in Horsham, PA, is a 44-acre historic park, featuring the Keith House, the only surviving residence of a Colonial Pennsylvania Governor. The mansion has remained virtually intact since the late 18th century.
- Horsham Preservation & Historical Society
Located in the historic Penrose-Strawbridge House adjacent Graeme Park, the society is dedicated to identifying, studying, preserving and protecting the historical heritage, buildings and artifacts of the area.
- Craven Hall
Located in Warminster, Bucks County, Craven Hall was built on land which was part of a 551 acre land grant from William Penn to William Bingley in 1681. Revolutionary War soldiers wounded in the Battle of Crooked Billet were carried here. Nine of the soldiers are buried in the Craven-VanSant Cemetery south of the building.
- Bucks County Historical Society
Tours the "Mercer Mile" ( Mercer Museum, Fonthill, and the Moravian Tile Works).
- ushistory.org - the Philadelphia History Page
provides many links to Philadelphia historic sites. Loaded with information!
- Hope Lodge
A beautifully restored and furnished 18th century mansion in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Take a virtual tour.
- The Highlands Mansion and Gardens
The Highlands Mansion and Gardens is a 44-acre historic site with a late 18th century Georgian mansion and two-acre formal garden. Located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.
- Valley Forge
The site of the 1777 -1778 winter encampment of George Washington and the Continental Army.
- Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
This site offers a wealth of information about Pennsylvania history, museums and historic sites, as well as the Pennsylvania State Archives for genealogy research.
- The Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society
A museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Philadelphia Athletics American League Baseball Club. Located at 6 N. York Rd, Hatboro.
- Library of American Political History Images
This comprehensive site provides numerous images of infamous political events, valuable historical documents, and images of famous political figures.
- Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum (DVHAA)
Wings of Freedom Museum (DVHAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to community service. The DVHAA is a non-profit, 501(c)3, volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and display of the aviation history of the Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania.
Address: 1155 Easton Road (Rt. 611), Horsham, PA 19044 (adjacent to the NAS-JRB Willow Grove)
Hours: Wed-Fri 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and Sat-Sun 10:30 am to 4:00 pm
Tours Contact: Charly Reinhardt 215-990-2366
Back to Top
Historic Hatboro drawings by K. SpenserPage design © 1997-2011 LaserTone East
Comments and suggestions are welcome!