- Byberry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Byberry is a place name in
Northeast Philadelphiathat can have several references.
Byberry is a neighborhood in the far northeast section of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally it was incorporated as the Township of Byberry and was the northeasternmost municipalityof Philadelphia Countybefore the City and County consolidated in 1854.
Byberry had a strong
abolitionistpresence and may have been an original stop on the Underground Railroad. Today, the area occupied by the township is mostly synonymous with the neighborhood of Somerton, as neighborhoods Byberry and Somerton tend to overlap.
A township in the extreme northeastern part of the County of Philadelphia; bounded on the east and northeast by
Poquessing Creekand Bucks County; on the northwest by Montgomery County; and on the west and southwest by the Township of Moreland.
Its greatest length was estimated at 5 miles (8 km); its greatest breadth, 2 1/2 miles (4 km); area, 4.700 acres (19 km²). It was settled by a few Swedes previous to the year 1675, and in that year by four brothers -- Nathaniel, Thomas, Daniel and William Walton -- who were all young and single men. They had arrived at Newcastle from
Englandearly in that year, and, having prospected the land in the neighborhood of the Delaware River, chose the country near Poquessing Creek, and settled there.
They gave to it the name Byberry, in honor of their native town, near
Bristol, in England.
They were joined after the arrival of the ship Welcome in 1682, by Giles and Joseph Knight, John Carver, John Hart, Richard Collett and their families, and others. Byberry was the birthplace of
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The township was established at a very early date after the coming of
William Penn. It contained very few villages at the time of consolidation, and was the most rural of all the townships of Philadelphia County. Byberry Crossroads, once called Plumbsock, and Knightsville, were the principal villages.
Philadelphia State Hospital
The name "Byberry" is mainly used to refer to the former
Philadelphia State Hospital, an infamous mental institutionoff of Roosevelt Boulevardin Byberry that was shut down in 1990. The abandoned hospital has become a target for vandals and the subject of some urban legends. Plans were stalled for many years due to the fear of Asbestosinsulation being transferred to the surrounding communities. However on June 14, 2006work began on a new convert|130|acre|km2|1|sing=on joint residential and commercial development. The Arbors at Eagle Pointewill consist of 396 residential units in the form of single family homes, townhouses, and condominiumsbuilt by the [http://www.westrum.com Westrum Development Company] on 55 acres. Up to convert|750000|sqft|m2|-3 of commercial space will built by [http://www.brandywinerealty.com Brandywine Realty Trust] on the adjoining 50 acres and will be called the Officies at Eagle Pointe. The remaining 25 acres will be used as open space between existing homes behind the former hospital and the new development.
* [http://www.phila.gov/phils/Docs/Inventor/graphics/wards/wards1.htm "Chronology of the Political Subdivisions of the County of Philadelphia, 1683-1854"]
*" [http://www.ushistory.org/philadelphia/incorporated.html Information] courtesy of [http://www.ushistory.org ushistory.org] "
* [http://www.ushistory.org/philadelphia/incorporated.html Incorporated District, Boroughs, and Townships in the County of Philadelphia, 1854 By Rudolph J. Walther] - excerpted from the book at the ushistory.org website
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