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Falls Township is a township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 34,865 at the 2000 census. Portions of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, Morrisville, Pennsylvania, and Levittown, Pennsylvania, are located in the township.
Dutch settlements here were established as early as 1616. A number of colonists came to Falls Township before William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1681.
The only settlement of this period which has been in continous use is Fallsington. Fallsington is an example of a crossroads village typical of the time. The Bucks County Courthouse, established in 1663, is said to have been located in Fallsington until it was moved to Bristol in 1705. The Friends Meeting, whose first meetings were held in a private home on Biles Island, found a site for a meeting house in Fallsington on land donated by William Penn in 1692. Another donation by Penn was a tract of 120 acres (0.49 km²), for a Falls commons. The Township itself was established in 1692. Numerous villages were located withing the township, with Fallsington being the center of social and commercial activity in the township. Morrisville was another prominent village, until it was partitioned as a borough in 1804. Tullytown was also a village until it was partitioned as a borough in 1891. Other villages, now long gone included Tyburn, Penn Valley, Wheatsheaf, Slickville, Dogtown, Penns Manor and Oxford Valley, which was located in both Falls Township and Middletown Township.
The growth of Fallsington continued, with the construction of homes, an inn, public buildings, stores, and small craftsmen's shops. Until the construction of Fairless Hills and Levittown, it was the largest village in the Township, and functioned for many years as a commercial center.
In 1682, William Penn began construction of his official residence, Pennsbury Manor. The 8,431-acre (34.12 km²) site in Falls Township was chosen for its easy access to Philadelphia along the Delaware River. This island was gradually sold by Penn's heirs and the last original building was destroyed in 1864. In 1932, a small portion of the original site was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and reconstruction of Pennsbury Manor was begun. Pennsbury is now an historical site, open to the public.
The proximity of major transportation systems influenced much of the Township's development. The earliest of these was the Delaware River. The Township is located at the upper end of the navigable portion of the river. In 1686, the Provincial Council ordered the construction of the King's Highway, which ran from Philadelphia to Trenton along an existing Indian trail, through Bristol, Falls, and Morrisville. The King's Highway still exists today as U.S. Route 13, flowing closely the original configuration. Additional roads and turnpikes were built through the Township in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Other transportation systems were laid out through Falls Township in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Delaware Canal from Easton to Bristol was opened in 1832. A railroad line from Philadelphia to Trenton via Morrisville was built between 1833 and 1835. The rail line became part of Pennsylvania Railroad's main New York-Philadelphia line. The "West Trenton" cut-off of the Pennsylvania Railroad was built through the northern part of the Township at the end of 19th century. These rail lines now accommodate SEPTA, Amtrak, and CONRAIL passenger and freight between Philadelphia and Trenton.
Country United States
Area 26.6 sq mi (68.9 km²)
- land 22.3 sq mi (57.8 km²)
- water 4.3 sq mi (11.1 km²), 16.17%
- coordinates 40°10'36?N 74°49'40?W? / ?40.17667, -74.82778Coordinates: 40°10'36?N 74°49'40?W? / ?40.17667, -74.82778
- elevation 69 ft (21 m)
Population 34,865 (2000)
Density 1,565.0 /sq mi (604.2 /km²)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
- summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 215
Website : http://www.fallstwp.com
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