Horsham Township, Pennsylvania

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Horsham Township is a home rule municipality in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. Although it retains the word "Township" in its official name, it has been governed by a home rule charter since 1975 and is therefore not subject to the Pennsylvania Township Code.[1] The population was 24,232 at the 2000 census, and was chosen as the 15th best place to live in the United States by Money Magazine in their 2007 Top 100 Best Places to Live. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove is located in Horsham Township.[2] NAS JRB Willow Grove will continue supporting its mission through 2010 and final closure will occur by the end of September 2011. At that time, it is anticipated that the Pennsylvania Air National Guard will take custody and the facility will carry an interim designation as Willow Grove Air National Guard Base.[3]



Horsham Township is named after the town of Horsham in the historic county of Sussex in the South of England. Horsham is one of several townships in Montgomery County whose name and size were determined by master survey lines drawn by William Penn's engineers as they first plotted this part of the colony for sale and settlement. Parallel lines, projected at intervals of a mile and a half and extending in a northwesterly direction from settlements along the Delaware, served not only as base lines for measurement of individual land grants but also as courses for future highways. County Line Road, Horsham Road, and Welsh Road are examples of highways so laid out. The effect of these survey lines upon the development pattern of Eastern Montgomery County is very much in evidence today.

In 1684, the entire township of 17 square miles (44 km2) was made available to individual purchasers. Samuel Carpenter, from the town of Horsham in the historic county of Sussex, England, after which the township is named, purchased 5,000 acres (20 km2), 4,200 acres (17 km2) within the present boundaries of the township. In 1709, Carpenter, then Treasurer of Pennsylvania, began to sell tracts of land to migrating Quakers. In 1717, Horsham Township was established as a municipal entity by a vote of the people.

In 1718, Sir William Keith, then Provincial Governor of Pennsylvania, acquired 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of Carpenter's land on which he erected a house in keeping with the dignity of his office. The development of Keith's "plantation" proved to be a step in establishing closer ties between Horsham and neighboring communities, particularly those of Hatboro and Willow Grove. He was responsible for the construction of the present Easton Road (PA Highway 611) from the old York Road junction at Willow Grove to his mansion on County Line Road in 1722.

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