Langhorne Borough municipal offices are located at 114 East Maple Avenue, Langhorne PA 19047.
Photo: Circa 1775 stone colonial on North Bellevue Avenue. Source
Located in southern Bucks County, the Borough of Langhorne is approximately one-half square mile in size. It is surrounded almost entirely by Middletown Township except for a portion of its southern border which it shares with Langhorne Manor Borough. The Neshaminy Creek runs along the Borough's northern boundary which separates it from Northampton Township.
The Borough originated at the crossroads of two Lenni Lenape Indian paths in the 17th century. These paths later developed into major Bucks County transportation routes known as Maple Avenue (Route 213), which extends from Philadelphia to Trenton, and Bellevue Avenue (Route 413), which is part of Durham Road that extends from Bristol to Easton. The settlement was first known as Four Lanes End, then Richardson's Corner, and later as Attleborough from about 1737 to 1876. In 1876, two years after being incorporated, the name of the Borough was changed to Langhorne, after Jeremiah Langhorne, an early resident and former Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Langhorne's development into a village can be traced to the settlement of Dutch and English colonists in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Early structures in town included a hotel, built circa 1704, and a general store that was originally part of the hotel but was later moved across the street to the Richardson House around 1738. Owned and operated by Joseph Richardson, the store became the first trading post between Bristol and the northern part of the county. Across from the Richardson House, the Hicks House was erected in 1763. This building housed a military hospital during the American Revolution, and according to available records, this and three other buildings in the Borough were the only military hospital in the northern Philadelphia area. Soldiers who died here were buried in a cemetery located down the street. That cemetery is now preserved as the Revolutionary War Burial Site located at South Bellevue and Flowers Avenues.
By the latter half of the 1700s and into the 1800s, Langhorne became a stop along stage coach routes going east-west between Philadelphia and Trenton, and north-south between Bristol and Easton, establishing it as an early transportation center. It was the only location in the county where travelers could transfer between the east-west route and the north-south route. As more settlers arrived in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, more small businesses and craftsman's shops began to locate in the village, primarily along Maple and Bellevue Avenues. By the 1830s, Langhorne contained a variety of businesses including a dry goods store, a silversmith, a cooper shop, and two coach-making establishments, making it known as a commercial center that supplied goods and services to village residents as well as to farmers in the surrounding area.
From the 1870s to the early 1900s, Langhorne began to transform into more of a suburban area as businessmen from Philadelphia began moving into the Borough. With the opening of the nearby Langhorne Rail Station on the Philadelphia and Bound Brook Railroad line in 1881 and the county's first trolley, the Newtown, Langhorne and Bristol Trolley Street Railway Company, in 1896, Langhorne's population grew rapidly. The Langhorne Improvement Company, established in 1888 by businessmen from the Philadelphia area, also drew additional residents to Langhorne and the surrounding region. Large homes were erected along South Bellevue and West Maple Avenues during this time period. This growth fostered the development of businesses such as a movie theater, an ice cream parlor, and offices for attorneys and real estate companies.
The Borough's continued growth also prompted the need for improved municipal facilities and in the early 1900s, a building housing the Borough's Town Hall and the Langhorne Fire House was constructed. Also in this time period, the first of The Woods Services, Inc. established a location in Langhorne. The school and residential facility, now known as Woods Services Inc., expanded facilities into neighboring Middletown and Langhorne Manor to serve special needs of children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Subsequent decades saw the Borough continue to gain residents. New housing units consisting of bungalows, cape cods, ranch, split level, and twin homes were constructed throughout the Borough. Between 1950 and 1960, Langhorne's population grew by over 21 percent reaching 1,924 people. In 1951, the Penncrest development was constructed in the far northeast corner of the Borough extending into neighboring Middletown. This neighborhood was the first modern housing development in the Langhorne area. Increased development brought increased traffic and, in 1952, the Borough's first traffic light was installed at the intersection of Maple and Bellevue Avenues—the intersection formerly known as Four Lanes End. A year later in 1953, the Borough's first storm sewer system was installed.
Nearby Towns: Bensalem Twp • Bristol Boro • Bristol Twp • Burlington City • Falls Twp • Hulmeville Boro • Langhorne Manor Boro • Lower Makefield Twp • Lower Southampton Twp • Middletown Twp • Newtown Boro • Newtown Twp • Northampton Twp • Penndel Boro • Wrightstown Twp • Yardley Boro •