Views of
EVANSBURG STATE HISTORICAL PARK of Pennsylvania,
established in the late 1960's, covering 3,349 acres.

The Park was created due to a 1960's project to build a dam for a water supply, which would have flooded the Skippack Creek valley and the surrounding houses. This area of Montgomery County is known to contain the largest congregation of historic structures west of the city of Philadelphia, as settlers began arriving about the year 1702. It was around 1967 to 1970 when the State "acquired" properties for the Park. Afterwards, a study by University of Pennsylvania professor Anthony Garvan and historian Christa Wells revealed the incomparable history contained in the Park.

Also about 1970, there was the report by University of Pennsylvania professor Ian McHarg, an historical and environmental research study commissioned by the Montgomery County Planning Commission, that documented some 200 historical sites in the Park. Americans of the area got together to protest this State project which would have demolished most all of these sites, and put a stop to it so that the heritage remains for future generations....but that would not be the case, as you can see by the images below. This information is expressed to be as accurate as possible, to inform all Americans of the national heritage treasures being lost here. It comes from the memories of longtime area residents of the county and information related by authors such as: B. Witman Dambly; Thomas Posen; James Y. Heckler; and Daniel K. Cassel.

The Park is visited by local and national tourists, walking the trails, enjoying the natural and historic resources. Many have traveled to investigate their family roots and looking for the homesteads of their ancestors. These sites were among the dozens of houses rented in the Park, creating revenue for the State. But, the Park's revenue is sent to the general fund in Harrisburg. The whole Park is designated as an "historic zone" according to the Pa. Historic & Museum Commission, but that body has no control over maintenance or demolitions, otherwise the loss would not have been happening for decades. A review in 1996 found that less than 40 sites remain. Since then more have been torn down, and others are falling into disrepair under the current management as well. Simple patches to a roof would have gone a long way to conserve the old structures of the Park. Talking to people around this area of the county, tell of people that wanted to make repairs on a Park structure, but have been told not to. Structures include settler's farmhouses, original barns, summer kitchens, spring houses, wagon sheds, and other early structures.


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A letter dated 1972, in the Mennonite Church archives, regarding the Evansburg Park and the State's dam project, indicates the importance of this Skippack Valley heritage as the "historic cradle of American-Mennonite culture."