Quakertown was first settled by English Quakers in the 1700's, although many Pennsylvania Germans also moved to the area after around 1730. Prior to that the area had been inhabited by Native Americans.

The borough of Quakertown was established in 1854. Quakertown was a relatively small town until 1857 when the North Pennsylvania Railroad put tracks through town, and the town grew quickly thereafter. The first post office was established in Quakertown in 1803. The Liberty Bell was temporarily hidden in Quakertown during the Revolutionary War.

Parts of Quakertown were once referred to as the "Great Swamp. It was reported that wolves, bear, deer, panthers, and rattlesnakes could often be found in the area. Today some of the swamp still remains and efforts have been made to preserve it so that the land does not become developed.

A street scence in downtown Quakertown.

Another view of Quakertown. There are many historic buildings in town, but a fair number have not been restored or maintained as well as they could be. If that ever occurs Quakertown may become more of a destination much the same that Doylestown has.

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
This is Sines Five and Dime (5 & 10), which is, according to photographer Chuck Rudy, "a place from the past where you can get household items, a hot dog or that hard to find item--just like 80 years ago."

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
Another view of Sines 5 & 10.

This is the McCoole's Red Lion Inn, built circa 1750. It is Quakertown's oldest inn. When the Liberty Bell was whisked away from Philadelphia, the group hiding the bell stayed here overnight. It was originally called "McCoole's Tavern" after the original builder but the name was changed to the "Red Lion Hotel" in 1793. After falling into much disrepair it was recently renovated and renamed "McCoole's Red Lion Inn."

This inn also served as a meeting place for those involved in the 1799 Fries Rebellion, which was organized to protest a tax for funding a war with France. Those involved were captured and sentences to death, but President John Adams pardoned them.

Later, the hotel may have been used to harbor runaway slaves as part of the underground railroad, as is suggested by a small tunnel in the building's basement.

The building has undergone various structural changes such as occured in 1810 and 1865.

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
This is Liberty Hall, a small residence dating to 1772, a few years before the Revolutionary War. In September 1777 the Liberty Bell was moved from Philadelphia to protect it from the British who were about to overtake Philadelphia. A cavalry of 200 soldiers brought the Bell north of Philadelphia to Allentown, PA. On the way they stopped in Quakertown and hid the Bell near the home of Evan Foulke, now known as Liberty Hall. The owner of the nearby Red Lion Inn helped feed and care for the horses as the group bivouaced overnight in the area. Ten other bells were also traveling in the caravan to be hidden, ultimately, in Northampton County, PA, until the end of British occupation of Philadelphia in 1778. The bells were hidden to prevent the British from melting the bells to cast into cannons.

Photo by Jack E Boucher, October 1991, HABS/HAER
Liberty Hall from a 1991 photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey. The replica of the liberty bell in front of the building was not here at the time of this photograph.

Photo by Jack E Boucher, October 1991, HABS/HAER
A side view of Liberty Hall from the Historic American Buildings Survey collection.

Photo by Jack E Boucher, October 1991, HABS/HAER
An interior view of Libery Hall from the Historic American Buildings Survey collection.

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
This is the Burgess Foulke House. It was built in 1812 and now houses the Quakertown Historical Society. It was moved from its original location along Route 309 in 1974. It was built by Edward Foulke, whose son became the first mayor (also known as a Burgess) of Quakertown.

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
This is the Quakertown train station, built in 1902. It was in use for 80 years. The station was damaged by fire in 1987, likely by arsonists, but efforts to restore it have been undertaken.

A view from behind the train station.

The background of this picture shows the freight house which is next door to the Quakertown train station. It is still used by East Penn Railway which uses the adjacent tracks for shipping freight.

Another view of the freight house.

A lone train box car with some Quakertown buildings along Front Street in the background.

This is the Bush House Hotel, which originally served train passengers. It was built in 1850.

Some of the Quakertown buildings near the train tracks.

Homes in Quakertown.

This building was built in 1869. It has served as a bank, a post office, and as a newspaper office.

A street scence in Quakertown.

Another street scence in Quakertown.

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
A composite image showing the Great Swamp in Quakertown. This is the part of the swamp that can be seen from Route 313. Route 313 is also known as "Swamp Road".

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
The Quakertown Swamp today is comprised of 518 acres of wetlands, and is the largest inland freshwater wetland in southeastern Pennsylvania according to the Heritage Conservancy. It is home to over 400 species of plants and animals, including a large number of Great blue herons. The area is considered to be important by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the Audubon Society.

Photo by Chuck Rudy, April 2007
Parts of the swamp have been permanently preserved including this section marked by a Heritage Conservancy sign. Continuing efforts are underway to protect the remaining vulnerable areas from development.