On Dec. 14, 1722, a petition was granted by the Quarter Sessions Court at Bristol to establish a new township on the lands lying “between Southampton Township and other lands and the Neshaminy Creek.” Thus, Northampton Township was born.
With a slogan of “Cherishing the Past, Celebrating the Present and Welcoming the Future,” Northampton Township’s 300th Committee has developed a variety of programs focusing on the township’s rich history, providing opportunities for residents to embrace the community spirit.
“The 300th Committee is thrilled to see the many activities, programs and events come together,” said Nancy Opalka, director of Parks & Recreation. “During our planning, we have all learned so much about the history of Northampton Township. We are excited to be able to pass on that information we learned and compiled and even more thrilled to see our residents participate in the events planned to commemorate the 300th anniversary.”
A Flag Day ceremony took place in June, with a dedication of the Nike Missile Site at the Civic Center. Informational panels will be installed at the area for all to view. A summer reading program was held at the Free Library of Northampton Township with a goal of 300 books. The James E. Kinney Senior Center held presentations on colonial weaving and wool spinning.
The celebration continues into the fall. A history walk depicting the beginnings of the township can be found at the Northampton Municipal Park, where educational panels line the pathways. On Sept. 17, enjoy the following free programs:
– The Recreation Center will have a colonial kitchen, candle and soap making demos
– Visit a Lenape Village at Churchville Nature Center
– The Langhorne Rod & Gun Club will host archery, trap shooting and more with historical reenactor Mike Jesberger displaying a Revolutionary encampment complete with tents, flags, camps, muskets and interactive scenarios
– The police will open their doors for tours of their new headquarters from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (be sure to register for a time slot)
Sept. 18 brings the Penn’s Wood Puppet Theater to the Municipal Park with apple pressing and an ice social. An outdoor FunFest is set for Sept. 23, at the Civic Center, featuring the music of Northampton-grown artists Matt Freedman and the Herd and Rae Radick. Enjoy local craft breweries, food trucks, vendors and games. Admission is free; a purchased wristband is required to access the spirited beverages area. Details are available online.
There will be a free open house on Sept. 24 at the senior center, offering a fashion show through the ages along with the colonial Tucker Band, make-a-craft and Renaissance refreshments. The library will be active with a Nursery Rhyme Breakfast, a presentation of Northampton’s history by the Historical Commission with local historian Annie Halliday, of the Mercer Museum, speaking about early Northampton Township. The Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad will offer “Stop the Bleed” and CPR demos, and the police building tours will be offered again.
Sept. 25 will bring the annual Northampton Day Festival, held at the former Richboro Middle (New Star School) grounds on Upper Holland Road.
On Oct. 14, Northampton Valley Country Club will be the site of A History Mystery Gala. Displays of Northampton’s rich history, signature cocktails from the Doan Brothers and a Whodunnit Dining Experience will take guests back in time. Tickets are $85 per person, available online.
On Oct. 15, the Municipal Park will host Fire Prevention Day and Bucket Brigade, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fire trucks, old and new, will be on display along with an old-fashioned Bucket Brigade.
November will bring Trivia Nights at the library (Nov. 9) and the Northampton Country Club’s Tavern on Ten (Nov. 16). Brush up on historical tidbits to be a contender to win it all.
The final celebration, on the 300th anniversary date of Dec. 14, will take place at the township supervisors meeting. A reenactment of the original document signing will be featured, along with proclamations marking this historic date and ending this special year with Northampton’s residents.
Visit northamptontownship.com for full details.