Buckwampun Mountain in Pennsylvania

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

This bold hill rises to a height of 820 feet in the eastern part of Springfield Township, northeast of Bursonville. It lies between the Durham Road and Bethlehem Road, and can be seen from either of these highways as a conspicuous feature of the landscape. William J. Buck, the historian, was the first writer to describe the mountain and chronicle its tales and traditions.1 The Buckwampun Historical and Literary Association, founded in 1888 and discontinued in 1903, held its first annual meeting on the mountain, June 14, 1888, and its many papers contain copious references concerning it. Buckwampun is an Indian name signifying “a round bog,” and a swamp on the top of this mountain is one of its anomalies. The Indian word is P’tuk-womp-unk (p’tuk, “round,” or “curved,” and wom-paso, “swamp,” or “bog”), and this was corrupted by the whites into Buckwampun. It is sometimes spelled with a final “m,” but this is obviously incorrect, as the letter in the Indian termination (unk) is “n,” not “na.” Strictly speaking, the name should probably be “Pukwompun,” but corruptionists of Indian names were not fastidious about reducing sounds to letters, and at any rate it may not be best to change for slight reasons the spelling of a name sanctioned by custom or long usage. The geology, botany and scenic beauty of the mountain are well known. To the botanist it is a paradise. Among its unusual plants is Sheep Laurel or Lambkill (Kalmia augustifolia), a rare shrub found nowhere else in the county north of Bristol and Tullytown, while the vanishing Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens) still thrives there. Eight species of orchids, including the very rare Purple Fringed Orchis (Habenaria psycodes), have been collected on the mountain. In the large bog on its eastern side the Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), thrives. Northern or white hares were common on Buckwampun as late as 1830. Indians appear to have remained there much later than in other parts of the county. Tradition says they hunted over Buckwampun and resorted to its springs for water as late as the Revolutionary War period.


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

  1. History of Bucks County (1855), p. 104, and Local Sketches and Legends (1887), pp, 142-162. []

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