History of Solebury Township

At one time the area that is now Solebury Township was inhabited by a group of Native American Algonquian Indians, the Lenni-Lenape, or the “Original People.” One of three tribes from this group that settled in the Delaware River valley, the Turtle Tribe, occupied the area which later became Solebury.

English Quakers settled in the area around 1700, a time that Solebury was part of Buckingham Township. The township of Solebury was incorporated in about the year 1702, carved out of lands deeded to William Penn in the late 1600s. In 1703, records show that Solebury had 28 tracts of land, averaging 414 acres, owned by 24 landowners and farmers.  (The Borough of New Hope was part of the township until 1837.)

The first settlers were drawn to the area by the location on the Delaware River and by its fertile soils. First modest log homes were built, followed by the traditional fieldstone houses that still dot our landscape today.

Industries began to spring up around the township’s abundant natural resources. Numerous mills were built along the streams that ground grain, sawed wood, pulverized wood for paper, crushed limestone, and even produced silk. Farming was a major industry, and beneath the fertile soil minerals such as limestone and sandstone were found and utilized.

Villages were born–self-sustaining enclaves with a post office, store, church and blacksmith shop (and an occasional barber shop) — what else would one need?

It wasn’t long before the serene beauty of Solebury was discovered by the artist community, following in the footsteps of such famous resident artists as Edward Redfield, William Lathrop, and Daniel Garber. Many in the art community still find inspiration here.

Solebury Township is a treasure; today it boasts four National Historic Landmarks, six National Historic Districts, and more than 400 homes built in the 18th and 19th centuries. More than 30% of its land is preserved. Farmers still raise crops and our streams still flow freely. It is up to us to make certain that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy, use and appreciate our historic treasures.

View an interactive map of the locations of nationally recognized properties and districts in Solebury Township.