History of Lower Salford, Pa.
From: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania A History
By: Clifton S. Hunsicker
Published By Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York & Chicago 1923


Lower Salford - This is one of the central subdivisions of Montgomcry county. On its northwest is Franconia township, south is Perkiomen, northwest is Upper Salford, and southeast is Towamencin township. This was organized into a civil township about 1727, and then comprised thirty thousand acres. It derived its name from a town and several parishes of this name in England. By order of the Court of Quarter Sessions it was divided in 1741 Into Upper and Lower Salford and Marlborough. There seems but slight doubt that there had been considerable settlement some years before the survey had been made. The earliest known was a warrant granted September to, 1717, to David Powell, of Philadelphia, for three thousand acres of land between the "Skepeck" and a branch of the "Parkyooman." It contained about seven hundred acres. The next warrant was for lands patented in 1719 to Humphrey Morrow and John Budd. With the settlement of the township there was a demand for several taverns or inns, as then styled. The opening of the road from present Sumneytown to Gwynedd in 1735 greatly increased the demand for good stopping places. Among the famous inns is known to have been one conducted by John Isaac Klein, and also one by Gabriel Schuler. These were both running prior to 1750. By the side of these taverns was to be found what in those days was considered a necessity-springs of cold water used "for both man and beast." In 1766 the "Stag" inn was conducted by Frederick Dickensheit. Two inns were conducted in Mainland about i8oo; one styled the "White Horse," later changed to "The Half-Way House." The official returns give these figures for the population of this township at various times: In 1800 was 524; in 1840, 1,141; in 1880 it was 1,828; in 1890 it was 1,755; in 1910 was 1,712; in 1920 it had 1,692.

One of the greatest improvements made here was the construction of the Sumnneytown and Spring House turnpike, which was completed in 1848. The pike from Lederachsville to Harleysville was finished In 1868. The making of these excellent highways for wagon travel materially advanced land prices and really aided in making the township iargely what it is to-day. Strange to relate, in 1858 this entire township only had three stores within its limits. The census of 1850 gave the number of houses at 234; number of farms, 136; families, 234.

Harleysville is situated on the turnpike from Sumneytown to Spring House, in the northern portion of the township. It is but a mere hamlet, with some small factories running periodically. The first and only house here in time of the Revolutionary War was that of Nicholas Schwenk, a blacksmith, who owned here in 1776 one hundred and fifty acres of land, Samuel Harley built a tavern here in 1790, conducted a large general store, and was many years a leading factor and is credited with founding the village, for whom it was also named. It had a post office established in 1840. A creamery was established here in 1881, among the first in the county. Forty years ago, 450 pounds of butter were produced at this creamery daily. The place has not materially grown with the passing years. To-day it has a gristmill, general stores, small shops, a physician and a hotel.

Lederachsville is situated centrally in the township, and at the intersection of six roads. In the eighties it was credited with being progressive, had two general stores, a hotel, telegraph office, blacksmith shop, and twenty-three houses. A post office was established in 1857, with Septimus Kriebel as first postmaster. The village really owes its origin to Henry Lederach, who built the first house here in 1825, then set up in the blacksmithing trade, and still later became a general merchant. In 1833 he secured license to run a hotel and thus was started a village.

Mainland is another place on the turnpike to Gwynedd; It has had for many years some business in way of stores, shops and a hotel, It was fortunate in obtainIng a post office at an early date, It was also the site for a machine shop many years. It is here that is found the famous old "White Horse Tavern."

Concerning the school and church history in the township, see the general county chapters elsewhere in this work.

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