Devils Half Acre, Pennsylvania

How did Devils Half Acre, Pennsylvania get it’s name? This page provides a brief history about the naming of Devils Half Acre, Pennsylvania, the people who settled it, and the industry rising within it.

A house and patch of land lying between the Delaware Division Canal and River Road (Route 326) in Plumstead Township, between Lower Black Eddy and Lumberville. It has been known by the name Devils Half Acre for at least 150 years. Seventy years ago Thomas Black, a descendant of the founder of Lower Black Eddy, said it had always been so named. It is mentioned in the reports of the Delaware Division Canal superintendents (1828-1832). There is a tradition that during and before the building of the canal the old stone dwelling was occupied by two families. Whiskey was sold without license and the place became the scene of drunken revelry, and it thus obtained its name. About 1845 the place came into the possession of Stephen Durand, who was a different type from the former occupants, and still later was the home of a former member of the Legislature. Durand improved the buildings, made an attractive flower garden and planted fruit and hemlock trees. He was pious, industrious and honest and a friend of the wayfarer. Soon after the assassination of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, two traveling Mormon preachers, greatly fatigued, were entertained for several days by Durand until they were able to resume their journey. Much later, after Durand’s death, the place was unoccupied for years and became quite dilapidated. It is now owned by Mrs. Charles Earle, Point Pleasant, Pa., who has again made it an attractive home. A newspaper correspondent some years ago suggested the name “High Rock Villa” for the place, but nobody ever used it.

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

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