Cooks Creek in Pennsylvania

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

This stream drains the entire eastern part of Springfield Township and almost the whole of Durham Township. It rises in the western part of Springfield and empties into Delaware River near Durham Furnace. It has many small tributaries, three of which rise in Northampton County, and the courses of both main stream and its feeders are tortuous as they wind in and out of the deep valleys. It is the only stream in the county in which brook trout are native today. On maps of the Geological Survey the creek from its source to Springtown is marked Cooks Creek and the remaining portion Durham, although the name Durham is often popularly applied to the whole main stream. The portion called Durham doubtless takes its name from the township of that name, but the origin of the name Cooks Creek is less easily explained. Historian Edward Mathews thought it may have obtained its name from Arthur Cooke, an extensive landowner (not a settler) before 1700 in Springfield, Durham and other townships. However, this is doubtful. In a deed, executed February to, 1727, between Samuel Powell, of Philadelphia, grantor, and Jeremiah Langhorne and others, of the same place, grantees, for large tracts of land in Durham Township, this creek is named Scooks Creek, indicating that Cooks is a corruption of the word Scooks, probably a family name. This creek, one of the most beautiful streams in the county, played an important part in the operations of Durham Iron Works and also in supplying water to the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal in its early days.


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

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