New Hope, Pennsylvania

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New Hope, Pennsylvania
New Hope station, October 2010
New Hope station, October 2010
Location in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Location in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
New Hope is located in Pennsylvania
New Hope
New Hope
Location in Pennsylvania
New Hope is located in the United States
New Hope
New Hope
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°21′51″N 74°57′5″W / 40.36417°N 74.95139°W / 40.36417; -74.95139Coordinates: 40°21′51″N 74°57′5″W / 40.36417°N 74.95139°W / 40.36417; -74.95139
CountryUnited States
 • MayorLaurence D. Keller
 • Total1.42 sq mi (3.67 km2)
 • Land1.27 sq mi (3.29 km2)
 • Water0.15 sq mi (0.38 km2)
69 ft (21 m)
 • Total2,612
 • Density2,056.69/sq mi (794.08/km2)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes215, 267, and 445
FIPS code42-53712
GNIS feature ID1182332[3]

New Hope is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,612 at the 2020 census. New Hope is located approximately 30 mi (48 km) north of Philadelphia, and lies on the west bank of the Delaware River at its confluence with Aquetong Creek. The two-lane New Hope–Lambertville Bridge carries automobile and foot traffic across the Delaware to Lambertville, New Jersey, on the east bank.

New Hope's primary industry is tourism.


Lehigh Canal, Sunset, New Hope, PA, by New Hope artist Joseph Pickett, circa 1918
Main Street in New Hope

New Hope is located along the route of the Old York Road, the former main highway between Philadelphia and New York City. It was generally regarded as the halfway point, where travelers would stay overnight and be ferried across the Delaware River the next morning. The section of U.S. Route 202 that passes just north of New Hope is still named York Road, and the original route is now known as Bridge Street (PA 179).

New Hope was first called "Coryell's Ferry," after the owner of the ferry business. The current name came into use following a fire in 1790 that destroyed several mills in the area; their reconstruction was considered a "new hope."

The night prior to George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, he is said[by whom?] to have lodged in New Hope. He destroyed the ferry so the British could not follow him, and after the battles of Trenton and Princeton, when British troops were sweeping the area for the American forces, there was no response when they rang for the ferry. The British assumed the town was sympathetic to the Colonial forces and shelled the town. Several of the older structures in the town still claim to have unexploded British ordnance lodged in their roofbeams.

Historic former residents include James A. Michener and Aaron Burr.

The North Pennsylvania Railroad finished construction of their New Hope Branch in 1891, later being taken over by the Reading Railroad. Passenger service to Philadelphia's Reading Terminal as well as all other passenger activity was terminated in 1952 from Hatboro, also the end for electrified track, and New Hope. Between 1952 and 1966, only freight trains were seen entering and leaving New Hope, mostly to deliver paper pulp for the Union Camp Paper Corp. and to deliver sand and gravel to James D. Morrissey Materials Co., a cement company and a division of James D. Morrissey, Inc. In 1966, the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad was formed and bought 16 mi (26 km) of track from New Hope southwest to Ivyland. Scenic tourist excursions started the same year. Freight service to New Hope was then handled by the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad. In 1972, SEPTA, who by then took over Reading Railroad's passenger operations, extended the electrified route to Warminster, where the current interchange for both SEPTA and NHRR is. Freight service to James D. Morrissey Materials Co. ceased sometime in the late 1970s and to Union Camp Paper Corp. in 1985. The New Hope and Ivyland Railroad continues to provide scenic tourist excursion passenger trains between New Hope and nearby Lahaska.

In 1983, NBC network anchorwoman Jessica Savitch and her boyfriend drowned after their car overturned into the Delaware Canal. The canal passes by Odette's Restaurant, where the couple had dined on a rainy evening when visibility was poor and two warning signs were missed.[4]

In 2004 and 2006, New Hope was flooded when the Delaware River overflowed its banks. On both occasions, the downtown businesses reopened within several days. Compared to the Great Flood of 1955, the 2004 and 2006 floods did not cause severe damage or fatalities.


New Hope as seen from Goat Hill Overlook in Lambertville, New Jersey

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), of which 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (11.19%) is water. Much of that water is the Delaware River.

The borough is located at the confluence of the Delaware River and Aquetong (Ingham) Creek, which begins its two-mile course in neighboring Solebury Township at Ingham Springs, the most productive spring in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The name Aquetong comes from a Lenape word meaning "spring in the bushes,"[5] while Ingham refers to Samuel D. Ingham, an industrialist, congressman, and advocate of the canal that would run through the town. Near its end in New Hope, the creek forms a scenic millpond and waterfall near the Bucks County Playhouse, a former mill.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission operates two bridges over the Delaware River between New Hope and Lambertville, New Jersey. One is the free, two-lane New Hope–Lambertville Bridge, and the other is the New Hope–Lambertville Toll Bridge, which carries U.S. Highway 202.

The former place names Hood and Hufnagel are now part of the Borough.[6]


According to the Köppen climate classification system, New Hope has a hot-summer, humid continental climate (Dfa). Dfa climates are characterized by at least one month having an average mean temperature ≤ 32.0 °F (0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature ≥ 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. Although most summer days are slightly humid in New Hope, episodes of heat and high humidity can occur with heat index values > 107 °F (42 °C). Since 1981, the highest air temperature was 103.3 °F (39.6 °C) on July 22, 2011, and the highest daily average mean dew point was 74.8 °F (23.8 °C) on August 13, 2016. The average wettest month is July which corresponds with the annual peak in thunderstorm activity. Since 1981, the wettest calendar day was 7.46 inches (189 mm) on August 27, 2011. During the winter months, the average annual extreme minimum air temperature is −0.3 °F (−17.9 °C).[7] Since 1981, the coldest air temperature was −12.1 °F (−24.5 °C) on January 22, 1984. Episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur, featuring wind chill values below −11 °F (−24 °C). The average annual snowfall (Nov-Apr) is between 24 inches (61 cm) and 30 inches (76 cm). Ice storms and large snowstorms depositing ≥ 12 inches (30 cm) of snow occur once every few years, particularly during nor’easters from December through February.

Climate data for New Hope, Elevation 151 ft (46 m), 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1981-2018
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71.5
Average high °F (°C) 39.6
Daily mean °F (°C) 30.9
Average low °F (°C) 22.2
Record low °F (°C) −13.0
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.47
Average relative humidity (%) 65.8 62.1 57.9 57.1 61.9 66.5 66.4 69.0 70.0 69.0 67.6 67.5 65.1
Average dew point °F (°C) 20.8
Source: PRISM[8]


Historical population
Census Pop.

As of the 2020 census, the borough was approximately 85.2% White, 1.0% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 3.1% Asian, and 4.4% identified as some other race. 6.0% of the borough identified as two or more races and 0.1% identified as three or more races. 8.0% of the population was of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. No one was of Native Islander or Other Pacific Islander ethnicity.[13]

There were an estimated 2,612 people and 1,192 households residing in the borough. The population density was 1,843.3 people per square mile (711.72/km²). There were 1,481 housing units at an average density of 1,045.2 per square mile (403.54/km²)[13]

Of the approximately 1,192 households, there was a count of 690 families. Out of all the households, 14.2% housed one or more children under 18, and 53.5% housed one or more adults over the age of 60. Of the 1,336 occupied housing units, 34.5% had married couples living together, 3.1% had a female householder with no spouse present, and 2.2% had a male householder with no spouse present. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.70.[13]

In 2020 estimates, 11.8% were under the age of 18, 7.1% are 18 to 24, 15.2% are 25 to 44, 43.1% are 45 to 64, and 23.0% are 65 years of age or older. The estimated median age was 56.2 years. The estimated male to female ratio is 1.25 to 1.[13]

The median income for a household in the borough was estimated at $107,000, and the median income for a family was an estimated $173,750. The 2020 census found that 2.5% of New Hope's population is without healthcare coverage.[13]

In 2020, an estimated 63.6% of the population had a bachelor's degree or higher. New Hope's estimated employment rate was 59.6%.[13]

Arts and culture[edit]

Old Town Hall serves as the Visitor's Center

New Hope's primary industry is tourism. New Hope has historically been a location where Broadway theater shows were "tested and fine tuned," and many notable stage actors bought weekend homes in the area. Bucks County Playhouse featured many plays and musical productions. In 2010, the Playhouse was closed after lenders foreclosed the property. In 2012, the Playhouse re-opened after an extensive renovation.[14]

New Hope was the location of an art colony, founded by Edward Willis Redfield and William Langson Lathrop, that produced noted regional work.[15] Members or associates of the colony included George Sotter, Daniel Garber and Fern Coppedge. Artists also associated with an art colony in nearby Phillips Mill.[16]

New Hope became a popular gay resort in the 1950s, and continues to have an active and large gay community.[17] New Hope also attracts motorcyclists on weekends in the warmer months.[citation needed]

Union Camp Corporation had a bag production facility in New Hope until the mid 1990s, which employed about 100 and was located uphill from the railroad. The former factory complex, now known as Union Square, has been re-purposed into tourism-related shops and businesses.[18]

In 2010, the New Hope and Lambertville area Chambers of Commerce conducted a fireworks show every Friday night during the summer to increase tourism and merchant revenue. Bars and restaurants benefited from the fireworks show, but residents criticized the weekly event, claiming it was disruptive and reduced parking. In 2014, the New Hope Chamber of Commerce canceled the firework show, citing a rise in shoplifting, garbage, and an overall decline in store traffic and Friday night revenues.[19]

Historic sites[edit]

Cintra, Joshua Ely House, Honey Hollow Watershed, William Kitchen House, New Hope Village District, Rhoads Homestead, and Springdale Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Honey Hollow Watershed is also designated a National Historic Landmark District.[20]


The New-Hope Solebury School District offers a public education to residents of New Hope and neighboring Solebury. The school districts of New Hope and Solebury were integrated in 1957.[21]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced in 2011 that St. Martin of Tours School was closing as the number of students had declined.[22]

Notable people[edit]

Impressionist artists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: New Hope
  4. ^ Kerr, Peter (October 24, 1983). "JESSICA SAVITCH OF NBC-TV KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT". New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  5. ^ "Indian Place Names in Bucks County" (PDF). Lenape Nation - A Tribal Community. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  6. ^ MacReynolds, George, Place Names in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Doylestown, Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, PA, 1942, P1.
  7. ^ "USDA Interactive Plant Hardiness Map". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  8. ^ "PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University". Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  12. ^ "Census 2020".
  13. ^ a b c d e f "New Hope borough, Pennsylvania". Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  14. ^ Reed, Bill. "The curtain rises Monday at the refurbished Bucks County Playhouse". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  15. ^ Alterman, James (2005). New Hope for American Art. Jim's of Lambertville. ISBN 0-9772665-0-8.
  16. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Gwen R. Davis (October 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Phillips Mill Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  17. ^ "New Hope celebrates its Pride". EDGE Media Network. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  18. ^ Friestad, Thomas. "$30 million Union Square in New Hope up for grabs". Bucks County Courier Times. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  19. ^ "Shoplifting rose, revenues fell during weekly fireworks with Lambertville, says New Hope business group". January 21, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  20. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  21. ^ "The History of the New Hope Solebury School District". James A. Michener Art Museum. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "Three Catholic schools closing in Bucks County". Bucks County Courier Times. March 1, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2020.

External links[edit]