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Where the Past Lingers

Pike County, PA
Milford PA
Photograph by Robin LaCicero
History


The County of Pike was separated from Wayne County on March 26, 1814. Wayne had been separated from Northampton on March 21, 1798, and Northampton had been formed from part of Bucks County on March 11, 1752. Bucks was one of the original counties created by William Penn in 1682. When formed in 1814, Pike County included the Townships of Middle Smithfield, Delaware, Upper Smithfield, Lackawaxen and Palmyra. By the Act of April 1, 1863, a portion of Pike County was cut off to form part of Monroe County; otherwise, its boundaries remain as they were established by the Act of 1814. It was named for Zebulon Montgomery Pike, discoverer of Pike's Peak and a General killed in the war of 1812. The County Seat is at Milford. The original Courthouse was constructed in 1815. The present Courthouse was completed in 1874. The Administration Building was completed in 1985. The latest County facility is the Pike County Jail which was completed in 1995.                                                        

Blooming Grove Township - Click here for our webpage
Created December 17, 1850, from parts of Lackawaxen and Palmyra Townships. A visitor passing through about the time of the American Revolution discovered there an abandoned farm with a grove of large apple trees in bloom. They had obviously been planted many years before.


Delaware Township
- Click here for our webpage
The oldest of Pike's Townships, was in existence before 1766 as part of Northampton County. It was named because it bordered the Delaware River and originally extended west to Luzerne County line.


Dingman Township
Created April 17, 1832, from Upper Smithfield Township. Named for Daniel Westbrook Dingman, a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature and a County Judge for 26 years. His grandfather, Andrew Dingman first came to the area about 1735 and started Dingman Ferry.


Greene Township

Created April 24, 1839, from Palmyra Township. Named for the popular Revolutionary War General Nathanel Greene, who fought at Boston, Long Island, Trenton and Brandywine.


Lackawaxen Township
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Was named for the river which bore the Indian name meaning swift waters. It was one of the original townships of Wayne County in 1798.


Lehman Township
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Created August 19, 1829, from Delaware Township. Listed on Tax rolls for Upper Smithfield Township in 1815 was Joseph Leighman, paying 55 cents on 442 acres. In 1824 his name was spelled Leaman and by 1832 was Lehmman.


Matamoras Township
Incorporated as a borough on January 18, 1905, was originally part of Westfall Township. Named during the Mexican War after the American Army captured the Mexican town of Matamoras. That town had originally been named for Rev. Mariano Matamoras, a hero of the Mexican Revolution.


Milford Borough

Incorporated as a borough on December 25, 1874, and was originally part of Milford Township. Milford's history dates back to 1733 when Tom Quick was the first settler. There are numerous historic buildings throughout the village, noteworthy among them are Forest Hall, Hotel Fauchere, the Court House, Grey Towers, The Columns, the Upper Mill and the Community House, the Callahan House, the Dimmick Inn and the Tom Quick Inn.


Milford Township
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Created April 17, 1832, from Upper Smithfield Township. John Biddis laid out the village in 1796. Some say it was named for Milford Haven in Wales where William Biddis (father of John) was born. Other say the Wells' Mill and the spot where the Delaware was forded resulted in the name Mill-Ford.


Palmyra Township

Originally much larger, was formed in 1798 as a part of Wayne County. Like Bethany, Caanan, Promise Land and Lebanon, it was named because of its Biblical connection. The ancient town of Palmyra (or Tadmor) today is in yria.


Porter Township

Created December 16, 1851, from parts of Delaware and Lehman Townships. Named in honor of Hon. James Madison Porter who built the first house there at Portersville by Porter Lake in 1849.


Shohola Township
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Created September 25, 1852, from parts of Lackawaxen, Westfall and Milford Townships, bears the name which Indians used to describe the Creek. In comparison to the nearby Lackawaxen "swift waters," the Shohola was more quiet, tranquil or peaceful. Those who ask for a one-word translation of "Shohola" might well select "peaceful".


Westfall Township

Created January 31, 1839, from Milford Township. Simon Westfall (or Westfael) first settled there before 1743. His son Simon built the stone house in Matamoras. Two descendants, Cornelius and Jacob served as Justices of the Peace.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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