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Click for Wrightstown, Pennsylvania Forecast

The Village Library
of Wrightstown

727 Penns Park Rd
Wrightstown PA
18940
Bucks County
215.598.3322

 


The Village Library of Wrightstown
Wrightstown, PA . Bucks County

library hours
Mon / Tues / Fri ... 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wed / Thurs ... 9:00am - 7:00pm
Sat ... 10:00am - 1:00pm
Sun ... 1:00pm - 5:00pm

215.598.3322

Tour of Library.

Wrightstown Library
The Village Library of Wrightstown began as a one room schoolhouse built in 1872. In 1958 the school moved and a volunteer staff built book shelves and brought in books to loan. Wrightstown Township purchased the building in 1964 and began improving the facilities and increasing the number of hours the library was open. As the demands on time and the size of the community grew, the library received a grant from the Grundy Foundation to build an addition to the one room schoolhouse so that it could better serve the increasing community needs. The community's strong interest in education and neighborhood bonding allowed the library to continue as the community meeting place based exclusively on volunteer support for over twenty years. In the late 1990s, the Library Board took the ambitious step of increasing its offerings to the community in the hope that its efforts would be appreciated, acknowledged and supported. The small library began to offer extensive free adult, children's, and community programming, and it has been a success ever since.

Local Area History

Wrightstown
Wrightstown's first settler was John Chapman, who emigrated from England in October 1684, with his wife and children and settled on land which was part of the original William Penn Grant. According to legend, they first lived in a "cave" or "sod hut", probably on what is now Penns Park Road. Twin boys were born in their dwelling during the first winter, originating a long life of descendants, among whom was Henry Chapman Mercer. Although the first dwelling no longer exists, there are seven houses in the Township which were the homes of second and third generation Chapmans. William Smith, who arrived the year after the Chapmans, built a log house which still stands on Mud Road. In addition to the Smith house, there are 140 other houses in the Township which are at least 100 years old. The boundaries of the Township were established by 1692. A square mile in the center, in the present Penns Park, was reserved for parkland. However, in 1719, this was divided among the surrounding property owners. In addition to its basically rural character, much of the Wrightstown Township's charm is due to its five villages: Penns Park, Pineville, Rushland, Wrightstown and Wycombe. Each village at one time contained its own post office, a rather unique facet of life in the Township. Today, all but the Wrightstown Post Office remain, with home delivery available to approximately 50% of the Township through the Newtown Post Office. The villages of Penns Park and Wycombe are registered as Historic Villages on the National Register of Historic Places.

Penns Park
The oldest village in Wrightstown Township, Penns Park is located in the center of the township. The crossroads village was known as Logtown as early as 1716 and Pennsville in the early 1800's. In 1862 the village name was changed to its current one. Just outside of the village, at the intersection of Penns Park Road and Mud Road, there is still a solitary log house (often called the oldest house in Bucks County) as a reminder of the village's early heritage. To the southwest of the village is the "old grave yard" where many of the township's first settlers are buried. Penns Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rushland
Rushland, in the northwestern corner of Wrightstown Township, was originally known as Sackett's Ford.
Joseph Sackett built a grist mill store, and blacksmith shop near the Mill Creek where it joined the Neshaminy Creek. Some authorities claim that the name of the hamlet, first Rush Valley and later Rushland was due to the availability of "scouring rushes" used by early settlers for cleaning pots and pans. Located along the Mill Creek near Rushland was a settlement started by Italian immigrants who came to the area as laborers when the railroad was being built in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Their community became known as Little Italy. By forcing its way through a rocky cliff, the railroad opened a maior industry for Rushland, the stone quarry, an industry that continues to this day.

Wycombe
Wycombe burst on the scene in the 1890's when the Northeast Pennsylvania Railroad opened a line through the county.
The villagers originally wanted their town called Lingohocken which was the area's Indian name, but postal authorities felt it would be confused with the town of Wingohocken, another post office in Pennsylvania. The name Wycombe was then adopted. It is an excellent example of a late 19th century Victorian Village and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pineville
Pineville, like Wycombe, is located on the Wrightstown/Buckingham Township line.
The name of the village adopted in 1832, comes from the presence of large pine trees around a long gone school house. Growth of the village centered around an old tavern and store operated by Jacob Heston.

Anchor
A place name rather than a village, Anchor takes its name from an old tavern located at the intersection of Durham Road (Route 413) with Second Street Pike (Route 232), the old Philadelphia-New Hope Road. The modern intersection, located a few yards to the north of the present tavern, was the site of the Smith pottery at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Octagonal Schoolhouse
The Octagonal Schoolhouse is located at Swamp Road and Second Street Pike (Rt. 232).
Education has always had a high priority in Wrightstown Township. The early settlers were mainly Quaker, who believed strongly in the education of the children. Schools have existed here since c.1721. These early schools were organized by a Board of Trustees and parents paid a tuition for their children to attend. Often the Quaker Meeting would pay for those children whose parents were not able to afford the necessary fees. In 1802 a group of residents banded together to lease this land (at what is now the corner of Swamp Road and Second Street Pike) for 99 years from Joseph Burson. They decided to build a stone structure in the octagonal shape which was considered very appropriate for classroom use. The eight-sided form allowed the maximum amount of light to enter at all times of the day. Artificial light, which is so commonly used today, was not as efficient in 1802. Oil lamps (it was before the days of kerosene lamps and electricity) and candles provided meager light for young eyes but these sources were all that were available. They also added greatly to the exspense of operating the school. The eight-sided building usually had a door in one of the sides and a window in each of the other seven sides. As in this building, the windows were usually higher up on the wall. This brought in the light but did not provide distracting views as the children could not see out of the windows when seated on their benches. The windows were also not large, because the cost of window glass would be prohibitive. As heat in the winter was provided by a small stove in the center of the room (with a stovepipe at the peak of the roof), the warmth would be distributed evenly throughout the interior space. The interior walls were usually whitewashed which gave a cleaner, lighter environment. The octagonal, sometimes called "ink bottle," shape accounted for over 100 schools in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Starting in 1773 with the 8-square building at Oxford Valley, Bucks County and ending in 1851 with the construction of the Harmony School, near Flemington, Hunterdon County, NJ, the buildings served a useful life but most have succumbed to age and "progress." This Wnghtstown Township School is the only remaining octagonal school in Bucks County. It functioned as a school from 1802 until 1850. At mid-century, local government entered the education field and Township School Districts were forined to build and maintain schools, hire teachers and provide an education for all children in the area. The private, subscription schools were no longer needed. After its life as a school was finished, this octagonal structure served the toll keeper, whose house was built in the 1850's, in many ways, including as a chicken house in 1899. In 1976, during the bicentennial, the interior was freshly painted and students from the Wrightstown Elementary School were bused here to attend classes. Appropriate clothes were worn by the teacher and the students. The children were amazed to find how different school was 170 years earlier. History became alive to them! The octagonal schoolhouse has been renovated and is open to the public on certain dates. Please call the Township Office on 215-598-3313 for more information - Wrightstown Township Historical Commission.

The Village Library of Wrightstown
Bucks County, PA

215.598.3322








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