Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania

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Upper Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 26,863 at the 2000 census.

Located 16 miles (26 km) from Philadelphia, it consists of the villages of King of Prussia, Swedeland, Swedesburg, Gulph Mills, and Wayne.

The westernmost part of the township is the site of Valley Forge, as well as comprising the largest part of Valley Forge National Historical Park.

The township is the home of the King of Prussia Mall as well as the 1,300-acre (5 km2) Valley Forge National Park. King of Prussia is also a major office park hosting firms such as Lockheed Martin and GlaxoSmithKline.

The name Merion originates with the north Welsh district of Meirionnydd in Gwynedd. Meirionnydd is translated into Merioneth in the English language.

Contents

History

The Township's incorporation dates to 1713 when the King of Prussia Inn, the Bird-In-Hand Inn in Gulph Mills, and later the Swedes Ford Inn were required to pay 6 shillings to the Legislature for licenses. The King of Prussia Inn, built in 1709, captures the historical flavor of the township. It was named by a Prussian immigrant in honor of Frederick the Great, but became known during the Revolutionary War as a center of food and drink. An alternate story says the Inn, first called Berry’s Tavern, got its name to lure in Prussian mercenaries who spent freely.

Upper Merion Township is a township of the second class under Pennsylvania state statutes. A five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for staggered six-year terms, governs it. The Board passes legislation and sets overall policy for the Township. A professional township manager runs the day-to-day operations overseeing the activities of 250 full and part-time employees.

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