Upper Makefield Twp, Bucks County, PA

HomeWhats NewSite IndexContactSearch

Vestiges of historic Woodhill Village are found around the intersection of Woodhill and Eagle Roads, the approximate center of the township. Prior to a post office being established here (Makefield, 1881) the area was known variously as Eagle Tavern and/or Spread Eagle Hotel. The village name was changed to Woodhill in 1896. Some residences clustered around the crossroads enjoy scenic, distance views. 20th century homes and a public grade school intermix with 19th century homes, including what appears to have been a small church, converted to a residence. We found no commercial establishments in the immediate area. The Upper Makefield Township municipal complex is just south of the village, on Eagle Road.

Eagle Tavern at Woodhill

Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original documentation nominating the Eagle Tavern to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


The Eagle Tavern, long a landmark of Upper Makefield Township, served the early settlers of Bucks County as hostelry, post office, polling place, and general store. In 1813 James Vance, owner of the property, was granted a license to conduct a tavern in his house which stood on the main road, mid-way between Newtown and New Hope. In the same year, Vance was also accorded the privilege of having his tavern serve as voting place for the Upper Makefield election district. Vance, however, kept his tavern license for only one year but rented the establishment to several tenants who carried on the successful venture. It was in 1820 that a petition filed by Joel Doan, one of Vance's successors, first listed the tavern as the "Spread Eagle."

The building, presently a private residence, still retains many of the original features which impart a charming, late-18th century character. The oldest portion of the building -- typical of the late 18th century construction — retains much of the original woodwork and wide plank flooring. Massive hand-hewn beams span the wooden ceiling and a large, walk-in stone fireplace dominates an entire wall on the first floor. A winding stairway to the second floor is constructed in the often-used box form. Deep interior door and window reveals also convey this overall pre-1800s feeling.

The mid-19th century addition is much larger than its earlier counterpart and was erected for commercial purposes. From its construction in 1854 by Moses Van Horn, a local businessman and promoter, until the end of the 19th century, this section of the building served as hotel, store, post office, and voting headquarters for Upper Makefield Township. Its entire third floor once accommodated a spacious ballroom, but this has been partitioned into four bedrooms.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Eagle Road • Woodhill Road

HomeWhats NewSite IndexContact
PrivacyDisclaimer • © 1997-2024, The Gombach Group