Lower Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
|Lower Pottsgrove Township|
Former Sanatoga Union Sunday School building
|Elevation||341 ft (103.9 m)|
|Area||8 sq mi (20.7 km2)|
|- land||7.9 sq mi (20 km2)|
|- water||0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 1.25%|
|Density||1,507 / sq mi (581.9 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Lower Pottsgrove Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States about 30 miles (51 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia and 18 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Reading along the Schuylkill River. The population was 12,059 at the 2010 census.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 Parks and Recreation
- 6 Education
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The name "Pottsgrove" originated from the 18th century estate of John Potts, who built a stone mansion in Stowe (now in West Pottsgrove Township). After the American Revolution's Battle of Brandywine in 1777, part of the Potts Estate became an encampment for George Washington's troops. The encampment, known as Camp Pottsgrove, lasted about two weeks until Washington's troops moved on to the battle of Germantown. The name Camp Pottsgrove stayed even after the troops moved out.
Pottsgrove Township was formed on August 20, 1806 from portions of Douglass and New Hanover Townships. Pottsgrove Township was divided into Lower Pottsgrove and Upper Pottsgrove Townships on December 2, 1889. In 1899, the General Assembly passed a law grouping townships into two classes. At this time, Lower Pottsgrove Township became a township of the second class. Following its split from Upper Pottsgrove, Lower Pottsgrove Township experienced several annexations of territory from the neighboring Pottstown Borough. On January 16, 1931, the Borough of Pottstown annexed two portions of Lower Pottsgrove Township: from Moser to Porter Road and an area bounded by Prospect to Mervine and Adams to Charlotte Streets because Pottstown believed “the township had been taking tax money for years and giving nothing in return.” In 1942, Pottstown annexed a little more than five acres bounded by North Hills Boulevard, Mulberry Street and Keim Street.
In November 1953, the voters of Lower Pottsgrove Township supported the Township becoming a first-class Township for the primary purpose of preventing further annexation by the Borough of Pottstown. Lower Pottsgrove Township became a first-class township on January 7, 1954.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 8.0 square miles (20.8 km²), of which, 7.9 square miles (20.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.50%) is water. It is drained by the Schuylkill River which separates it from Chester County. It includes the Sanatoga CDP.
- Pottstown (west)
- Upper Pottsgrove Township (northwest)
- New Hanover Township (northeast)
- Limerick Township (southeast)
- East Coventry Township, Chester County (south)
As of the 2010 census, the township was 85.3% White, 10.1% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian, and 2.4% were two or more races. 2.7% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry .
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,213 people, 4,015 households, and 3,091 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,420.2 people per square mile (548.0/km²). There were 4,127 housing units at an average density of 522.7/sq mi (201.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 89.22% White, 8.21% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.22% of the population.
There were 4,015 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.6% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.0% were non-families. 18.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the township the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $52,100, and the median income for a family was $61,774. Males had a median income of $45,476 versus $32,445 for females. The per capita income for the township was $23,958. About 6.8% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
Lower Pottsgrove is a council-manager government with a Township Manager and a five-member Board of Commissioners who are elected at large for four-year staggered terms.
|2012||48.5% 2,731||50.3% 2,836|
|2008||44.3% 2,565||54.7% 3,169|
|2004||52.7% 2,720||46.9% 2,423|
|2000||53.3% 2,110||43.7% 1,729|
|1996||46.2% 1,560||40.2% 1,357|
|1992||42.1% 743||31.9% 564|
Board of Commissioners
- Jonathan H. Spadt, President
- Bruce L. Foltz, Vice President
- Michael McGroarty
- James D. Kaiser
- Stephen Klotz
Treasurer / Tax Collector
Volunteer Boards appointed by the Board of Commissioners
- Lower Pottsgrove Township Authority
- Zoning Hearing Board
- Planning Commission
- Parks and Recreation Board
- Civil Service Commission
Parks and Recreation
Lower Pottsgrove's parks have a rich history that deeply impacted its cultural development. More than half of Lower Pottsgrove Township's 220 acres of parks are preserved as open space and natural areas. The Township also offers trails, baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, playground areas, and a band shell for active recreational uses.
Ringing Rocks Park
The area considered Ringing Rocks is owned by both the Ringing Hill Fire Company and Lower Pottsgrove Township and is renowned for its fields of ringing rocks. The boulders range in size from three pounds to an estimated 25 tons and are igneous plutonic or intrusion rocks, which are formed by molten magma that solidifies underground before it reaches the surface of the earth. These granite rocks, like many other boulder fields in the area, have been exposed by erosion.
In the late 19th, early 20th Century, Ringing Rocks Park was an amusement park owned by the Pottstown Passenger Railway Company. The park contained a carousel; a menagerie with lions, tigers, bears, alligators, and other native wildlife; an observation tower; a spring-fed swimming pond; and a 4,000 foot-long roller coaster. The Pottstown Passenger Railway Company operated a trolley between 1893 and 1937 that served area residents.
Today, the portion of the park owned by the Ringing Hill Fire Company hosts the Fire Company and recreational amenities such as a skating rink, picnic tables and a softball diamond. The portion of the park owned by Lower Pottsgrove Township (approximately 40 acres) is passive open space with a trail system.
The 54-acre Sanatoga Park currently hosts the man-made Sanatoga Lake, a bandshell, pavilion, playground, soccer field and baseball field. The Pottstown Passenger Railway Company also owned and operated Sanatoga Park, a stop on its trolley line. Sanatoga Park included boat rides, picnic areas, and a natural pathway around Sanatoga Lake. Other amusements included, a swimming pool with a natural sandy bottom, a restaurant, playgrounds, a carousel, a restaurant and a pavilion that hosted concerts. The Alpine Dips roller coaster was the first ride of its kind built in an amusement park. The football/baseball field at Sanatoga Park was where the young Bobby Shantz got his start. Starting in 1939, the park hosted the Sanatoga Speedway, a one-fifth mile flat dirt track from 35–38 feet wide, with an area of 4,100 square yards. After the first race, the track was paved due to an enormous dust problem. The Speedway, which was promoted by George Marshman, drew large crowds for a variety of Midget and Stock car races. A 1/2 mile paved Drag Strip was near completion when the track was closed on Sept. 12, 1958. Some of the track can still be seen today. Lower Pottsgrove Township purchased the park in 1965.
Gerald Richards Park
The 30-acre Gerald Richards Park is the center of Lower Pottsgrove Township's active recreation facilities. It hosts most of the baseball and soccer facilities in the Township. In addition, it includes amenities such as a snack bar, basketball courts, a half-mile fitness trail, and a playground.
Other Township Parks
Other parks owned by Lower Pottsgrove Township include:
- Alfred B. Miles Park (8.9 acres) – Picnic tables and unpaved trail
- Crimson Lane Park (0.7 acres) – Open space
- Keim Street Open Space (0.2 acres) – Gazebo and garden
- Liberty Hill Open Space (0.3 acres) – Open space
- Pleasantview Park (17.9 acres) – Open space
- Pruss Hill Barn (0.8 acres) – Barn and open space
- Schuylkill River Park (12.3 acres) – Open space, unpaved trails
- Snell and Norton Park (32.1 acres) – Open space
- Sprogels Run Park (22.2 acres) – Open space, unpaved trails
Pottsgrove School District serves Lower Pottsgrove.
Coventry Christian Schools is a Christian school located in Lower Pottsgrove.
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Clerk of Courts. Road Case No. 15, August Sessions 1806; Quarter Sessions Docket 4, Pages 16-17 (Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, August 20, 1806) (final decree). Available at Montgomery County Archives, East Norriton, Pennsylvania.
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Clerk of Courts. Election Case No. 59 (Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, December 2, 1889) (final decree). Available at Montgomery County Archives, East Norriton, Pennsylvania.
- Act of April 28, 1899 (P.L. 104, No. 86).
- Lichtenwalner, Muriel E. Lower Pottsgrove: Crossroads of History. Lower Pottsgrove Bicentennial Commission, Inc., 1979, pp. 145-146.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Lichtenwalner, Muriel E. Lower Pottsgrove: Crossroads of History. Lower Pottsgrove Bicentennial Commission, Inc., 1979, pp. 26-33.
- Lichtenwalner, Muriel E. Lower Pottsgrove: Crossroads of History. Lower Pottsgrove Bicentennial Commission, Inc., 1979, pp. 33-41.
- "Zoning Map." Township of Lower Pottsgrove. Retrieved on November 9, 2008.