Beaver Creek in Pennsylvania

How did Beaver Creek in Pennsylvania get it’s name? This page provides a brief history about Beaver Creek in Pennsylvania, the people who settled on it, and the industry rising around it.

Rises on the township line between Bridgeton and Nockamixon, southeast of Cauffman Hill, but soon enters Nockamixon, flows southwesterly across that township into Tinicuin Township and empties into Tinicum Creek near Overpeck’s bridge east of Ottsvile. It is Tinicum Creek’s main tributary. The upper part is sluggish, flowing through flat swampy country. Below Schwar’s bridge the stream enters hilly territory. Beavers were doubtless plentiful on this stream in provincial days. The Indians called it Atnochhhanne-Amochk, beaver, and hanne, creek. Early white settlers, however, preferred the English word and called it Beaver Creek. Two features of the stream worthy of notice are Beaver Dam and Beaver Falls. The dam is formed by a natural deepening and widening of part of the creek between Schwar’s bridge and Beaver Falls. Upon first sight, after listening to the marvelous tales about it, the darn is quite disappointing. It is only about seventy-five feet long by twenty-five feet wide. It was reputed for years to be “without a bottom,” and it was claimed that all efforts to sound its depth had failed, but it is now said to be actually about ten or twelve feet deep. The falls are some distance farther down stream in a wild and beautiful glen, where there is an outcropping of trap rock. The descent is precipitous, but the “falls” for the most part are rapids tumbling over and under the rocks. Permission has been granted to copy the following description of the falls, written by a visitor there in 1913: “We climbed down long, steep, stony banks through country new to us, guided towards a stream by sound of rushing water. The rocks increased in size and number as we approached the creek and soon the ‘falls’ lay revealed before us. For the distance of an eighth of a mile above and below, the steep-sided ravine was gorged with boulders, some standing erect, some lying fiat, some edgewise, some patched gray with lichens, others green with mosses, and still others polished smooth by the action of the water, and over, between and beneath these gigantic stones the stream hissed and gurgled, now bursting forth in a miniature waterfall, now churning in backlashing currents in pools formed in hollows of the rocks, then disappearing entirely, to reappear some distance below in sprays that sparkled in the May sunlight. We climbed to the top of the falls and were entranced by the weird scene unfolded before us. We had heard much about the unusual display of Nature’s whims around these falls, but after seeing them we realized that words feebly describe them.”

Source: MacReynolds, George. Place Names in Bucks County Pennsylvania, 2nd Edition. Doylestown, PA: The Bucks County Historical Society, 1955.

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