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History

206_23newbritainbaptNew Britain Borough was carved out of the Township when it was incorporated in 1928.  Within the Borough limits along Route 202, the New Britain Baptist Church, founded in 1740 by the first settler families in the area, is still almost 250 years later, caring for a loyal congregation.  The graveyard is the resting place for many early patriots who served or gave their lives in the Revolution and the War of 1812.

In 1715, the area that was destined to become New Britain Borough and Township would be considered a Bucks County Outpost of the civilization spreading from Philadelphia.  Inhabitants at that time were solely “Indians and wild animals”.

Groner House 1

The pioneers (predominately Welsh, followed by
Scotch-Irish and later Germans) were not long in coming, and by 1723 the Township was incorporated.  Included were parts of Doylestown and what were to become the Boroughs of Chalfont and New Britain, as well as a pervasive stand of timber, fertile land and flowing streams.  Early roads in the area included the Butler Pike (Route 202), Limekiln Pike (Route 152) and Ferry Road, an Indian trail that became part of an early road between County Line Road from the east and west boundaries of the modern Township.

Many colonial homes and those constructed in the Revolutionary, Federal and Victorian times can be seen along these old roads.  The homes in themselves spell out the history of the Township as it has moved from a wilderness into modern times.  The colonial log cabins and barns are gone, of course, but many of the early farm houses and the renowned Pennsylvania bank barns, both built of field stone, are still in use, which testifies to the industry and craftsmanship of those early settlers.

Reputedly, Tamenend, the Indian Chief with whom William Penn negotiated his famous treaty, was interred in New Britain Township.  Henry Mercer, whose fabulous collection of 18th and 19th century tools is housed in the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, made an unsuccessful search for the grave, which remains undiscovered to this day.

The parents of Daniel Boone, frontiersman, lived in a New Britain Township log cabin not far from Chalfont.  They moved to Berks County, probably the place where Daniel was born in 1734.

Groner HouseNew Britain Township contributed soldiers, wagons, blankets, and loyal support to the Revolutionary Army.  New Britain Militia participated in the successful raid on Trenton as Washington led his troops across the Delaware in the Battle of Germantown, the skirmish at Crooked Billet and , in general, made a small, but significant, contribution toward winning the War of Independence

New Britain obtained a greater access to the outside world when a branch of the North Pennsylvania Railroad opened in 1856.  This spur, terminating in Doylestown, connected with the main Reading Railroad tracks at Lansdale, and provided passage to Philadelphia, Reading and points north and south.

Through the years, the Township remained primarily agricultural in nature, with only isolated industries such as grist and saw mills.  As recently as 1930, there were 99 operating farms in the Township, providing a major source of food for the Philadelphia area.  Today there are but four dairy farms left as an increasing number of people move in to enjoy life in a community which still retains much of its rural atmosphere and charm.