A charming community with a progressive
Published April 2016
The Borough of Quakertown spans two square miles, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in historical significance. The borough’s location, approximately 50 miles north of Philadelphia, played an important role in securing the safety of the iconic Liberty Bell during the Revolutionary War.
In 1777, as the British Army approached Philadelphia, a cavalry of 200 Continental Army soldiers formed a wagon caravan to move the Liberty Bell to Allentown to prevent the British from melting it into ammunition. The convoy stopped for the night in Quakertown and hid the bell behind a residence that is now known as Liberty Hall.
Quakertown was once known as the “Great Swamp” when William Penn, the founder of what became the state of Pennsylvania, obtained the first land grant for the area in 1701. It was named in honor of its early Quaker settlers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends. By 1855, the construction of the North Pennsylvania Railroad turned the small farming village into a busy commercial center in Upper Bucks County, which specialized in the manufacture of cigars, boots, saddles and molded iron stoves.
Today, Quakertown is a thriving commercial hub that has attracted a diverse industry base. This includes Synergis Technologies, a document management software company that moved its headquarters to the borough in 2014.
Quakertown’s convenient location offers quick access to the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia, Scranton, Harrisburg, New York City and New Jersey.
Despite its continuous growth and development, Quakertown has worked hard to retain its rural character. The borough takes an active role in preserving scenic areas, wildlife habitats and environmentally sensitive land. This includes what is left of the original “Great Swamp” wetlands. The Quakertown Swamp is the largest inland freshwater wetland in southeastern Pennsylvania and home to over 400 species of plants and animals.
Quakertown welcomes visitors with a variety of local area attractions. Knecht’s Covered Bridge, in nearby Springtown Township, is known as a “kissing bridge” and has been standing since 1873. The Quakertown Antique Mall offers more than 12,000 square feet of collectables and the Unami Ridge Winery specializes in European-style wines.
Annual events in Quakertown celebrate its rich culture while promoting a revitalized downtown. Quakertown Alive!, the borough’s Main Street Program, sponsors events such as the Arts Alive juried arts and crafts festival, the Upper Bucks Brewfest, the black tie gala Pumpkin Ball and the Christmas House Tour and Tree Lighting.
Public power innovators
Quakertown takes pride in its long history of generating power while maintaining an eye to the future. The borough has owned and operated its own electric system -- Quakertown Municipal Electric Light Plant – since the 1890s and started purchasing power in 1969.
The Quakertown Electric Department currently operates a state-of-the-art substation and an upgraded distribution system, which provides power to more than 5,000 meters. The borough was one of the first municipalities to create an “Owner Generated Electric” ordinance that provides property owners convenient procedures to implement customer-owned systems such as solar.
In 2015, Quakertown began upgrading its electric and water metering systems by installing an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). This integrated system of smart meters, communications networks and data management systems will enable two-way communication between the borough and its customers, resulting in higher reliability, better power quality and more prompt and accurate billing. The AMI installation is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.
As a member of AMP, Quakertown participates in AMP programs that assist in providing reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen-owners. These include:
- Landfill Gas Energy, a mixture of gases produced by decomposing garbage and collected by a series of pipes for use in diesel generator units (landfill gas-to-energy sites directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions)
- Pennsylvania AMP Service Group (PASG)
For more information, please visit www.quakertown.org.