Londonderry Township Historical Society
There has been some interest recently in creating a Historical Society in Londonderry Township. In order to do this we are looking for items that are a part of Londonderry Township. It could be anything from Indian arrowheads that have been found here, a township newsletter from years past or a newspaper article about an incident that happened within our borders. Or, if you know of property, or a landmark, with historical value or interest you could write an article about it, or call us and we'll do the research and document the history for you.
Our history is important and should be documented for future generations. If you can help in any way, please call us so that your part of Londonderry's history is never forgotten and always treasured.
If you are interested in helping with the formation of the Londonderry Township Historical Society, or have any information you could share with us, please contact either Beth Graham, Londonderry Township Office at 717-944-1803 or Andy Doherty, Township Supervisor at 717-554-9368. You may also send an email to: email@example.com
The area known as Londonderry was believed to first be inhabited by the Susquehannock, a murderous tribe of Indians, which were quite skilled in fabricating and repairing weapons which they used in removing all opposition in order to extend their trading empire.
William Penn traveled up the river as far as the mouth of the Swatara Creek and in 1690 proposed locating a city at or above the mouth of the creek. The word Swatara translated from the Indian means "where we fed on eels". Historically the Scotch-Irish are accepted as the first settlers. Not Irish by blood, but Scottish religionists of rigid Presbyterian faith who were compelled to leave Scotland or be prosecuted. These people migrated to Ireland, but as they did not want their children to be under the Irish Catholic influence for too long a time, they soon migrated to America. Many other nationalities were soon to follow as a result of Penn's promise of religious and political freedom. Because the Scotch-Irish did not appreciate intermarriage with Germans, and the Quakers still did not permit free suffrage, many settlers migrated south, leaving almost entirely people of German descent to settle this area.
Lancaster County was formed in 1729, which was comprised of all the territory west and north of Chester between the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna Rivers, and west of the Susquehanna. Derry was one of the first Townships formed in the new county. Lancaster further divided the county in 1785, and Dauphin County was formed. Londonderry Township originally was part of Derry Township. Since the Township was so large and difficult to govern, the residents petitioned the court in 1767 to subdivide the land into two parts, the western section to remain Derry and the eastern to be Londonderry.
The Township has extensive water frontage along the Swatara and Conewago Creeks and the Susquehanna River. There are several islands included in the Township. Chief among them are Shelly's Island, Elliot's Island (now called Three Mile Island, the site of the famous nuclear power plant) and Hill Island.
Port Royal, now known as Royalton, was the first and largest village in the Township. It was one of the main stops for the Union Canal.
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