Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania

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Upper Darby Township is a home rule township[1] bordering West Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Although it retains the term "Township" in its legal name, presumably for historic reasons, it is the largest municipality of any type in Delaware County. Upper Darby is also home to the Tower Theater, a historic music venue on 69th street built in the 1920s. Upper Darby's population is diverse, representing over 100 ethnic cultures located within its densely populated, rowhouse streets. It is Pennsylvania's sixth most populous municipality.

Located just 2.8 miles from Center City, many of Upper Darby's residents work in Center City (downtown Philadelphia). Upper Darby houses the western terminus of the Market-Frankford Line of the SEPTA mass transit system of Philadelphia, with the location at 69th street in the heart of Upper Darby's principal business district. Multiple trolley and bus lines connect the 69th Street Terminal to all major SEPTA lines of Philadelphia.

Upper Darby is 65% residential, 25% commercial, and 8% other. As of the 2000 census, the township had a total population of 85,038. Because of a home-rule charter adopted in 1974 and effective in 1976,[1] Upper Darby utilizes a mayor-council form of management, unlike communities that are still under the Pennsylvania Township Code. ("First Class" townships in Pennsylvania have a board of commissioners divided into wards, and "Second Class" townships having a board of supervisors, which are usually elected "at-large".)



Early settlement

The area was first settled in the late 1653 by a group from New Sweden.The Township was founded during a split from Darby Township on August 30, 1736. However it was not incorporated under the home rule charter until 1907. The abundance of creeks and streams in the area favored the development of mills and it was in Upper Darby that the first mills in Delaware County could be found. The mill trade greatly increased the population of Upper Darby, from just over 800 in 1800 to almost 5000 by 1890.

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