On August 13, 1813, Bushkill Township officially was born. The 26-square mile township is located in northcentral Northampton County and is surrounded by Plainfield Township and Blue Mountain, along with the Appalachian Trail bordering the summit of Blue Mountain. Before its formation, this land was a part of the composition of Plainfield Township and early settlement in the area can be traced back to as early as 1742. Today, Bushkill Township has approximately 8,200 residents that call “the Plains” their home, according to the 2010 census.
The area has always been dedicated to serving and preserving the community. The majority of the early settlers were German farmers who had mostly log houses and livestock barns. The use of natural resources has been an integral part of the development of the area. Bushkill Creek, in fact, was one of the main power resources for mills in the area. Sobers Run, which is located solely in Bushkill Township, provided water supply to farms and mills of the area. Both streams are filled with native and wild trout, are surrounded by breathtaking greenery and trails that many local residents take advantage of for hiking, sightseeing and fishing. Bushkill Township has managed to maintain the true and natural beauty of its humble beginnings.
What began as mostly an agricultural community flourished into residential community that still is strongly rooted as a historically rural area. The community has expanded and funded its own Open Space program since 2007. Thanks to this program, over 1,000 acres of farmland has been preserved. Bushkill Township is committed to the continued development of their growing community while still conserving the natural beauty and resources. The Open Space program provides landowners with options to the sale of their property. Instead of selling to simply meet financial goals, landowners that meet the criteria of the Bushkill Township Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) can choose the best solution for their individual needs. learn more about the Open Space program, you can visit bushkilltownship.com/openspace.html.
Places to Eat
Beck’s Land and Sea House
Serving their best seafood delicacies, Beck’s Land and Sea House on Bushkill Center Road in Nazareth continues to “wow” their clientele with signature dishes, such as their award-winning Maryland crab cakes. Every Wednesday, they showcase what the restaurant refers to as “Crabby Wednesdays,” which features their broiled or fried crab cakes. While they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Beck’s is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The area has always been dedicated to serving and preserving the community.
Things to Do
This type of dedication to the land has given residents the opportunity to utilize it in unique ways. The 18-acre Fehr Farm has an Equine Sensory Trail, which the Equi-librium project uses for their program. The trail provides a different therapeutic approach to both children and adults with special needs such as autism and cerebral palsy, stroke symptoms, multiple sclerosis and social, emotional or behavioral challenges like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants in Equi-librium benefit from the stimulation by having to use all of their five senses along the way, actively engaging them along the way. To learn more about the Equi-librium program, visit equi-librium.org.
Another scenic staple of Bushkill Township is the Jacobsburg State Park. This park features the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. The center provides recreational programs for all ages. All 1,168 acres are available to the public to appeal to all of their residents’ interests. From historic education and picnicking to cross country skiing and hunting, residents of Bushkill Township are able to enjoy Jacobsburg State Park throughout all four seasons. A deep history is also embedded in this center. At one point, the Henry Rifle which was famous for being the weapon of choice at Little Big Horn, was made on premise. The Jacobsburg National Historic District, which is almost entirely based on the center, educates visitors on the manufactory of colonial guns. For more information on the park and the events held by the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center can be found at dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/jacobsburg/index.htm.
The inhabitants of Bushkill Township are always looking for ways to give back to the place they call ‘home.’ This is why the Bushkill Township Volunteer Fire Company holds an annual carnival, which is held on the fire company’s grounds. The carnival is four days of rides, food, fun and includes a silent auction. Many businesses and organizations across the Lehigh Valley participate every year to give the event a distinctive community-driven feel and representation. Last year, Pink Heals – Lehigh Valley Chapter (which is a non-profit that provides support and comfort to women battling all types of cancer) had Sally, their signature pink truck, make an appearance. The fundraising benefits go to right back into helping support the first responders and fire companies of the area. You can learn more about the Annual Carnival at bushkilltownshipfireco.com/annual-carnival.html.
Bushkill Township thrives through its commitment to its history and community members. Today, Bushkill Township is known as a great place to live and raise a family.
Photography by Nicholas A. Tonelli