Honey Hollow in Pennsylvania

This page provides a brief history of Honey Hollow in Pennsylvania, the people who settled on it, and the industry rising around it.

This is the name of a small valley around the source of Lahaska Creek in northwestern Solebury Township. It lies northwest of Lahaska and northeast of Street Road (the Proprietary’s Road). The stream which drains the valley and is locally named Honey Hollow Creek, though actually Lahaska Creek, rises about a quarter mile above the Hollow and is reinforced by springs on the Cadwallader (now Braemer) farm, just above the Hollow. It winds southwardly and southwestwardly down the gentle slopes back of Buckingham Meeting House, crosses York Road (Route 202) and passes through the Colonel Henry D. Paxson estate to a point southeast of Holicong, where it is joined by a tributary nearly as big as itself coming in from Mechanicsville through Holicong.

Honey Hollow is mostly if not entirely located within the limits of land grants made by William Penn on 4-mo. 22, 1682, to Nicholas Waln; April 4, 1683, to Spike Anke, and 7-mo. 13, 1681, to Thomas Rowland, of Bristol. These grantees were not settlers. In 1686, Jedidiah Allen, of Shrewsbury, N.J., bought a part of the Waln tract, 230 acres, and was probably a settler; Paul Wolfe, a Germantown weaver, bought the Spike Anke tract of 500 acres in 1700, but may not have been a settler, and Edward Hartley, an actual settler, bought 300 acres of the Rowland tract on 3-mo. 28, 1702. John Hartley, a son of Edward, bought part of the Anke tract in 1730, and by that year practically all of Honey Hollow had come into the possession of Edward Hartley, the family pioneer, and his sons, John and Thomas. Among the generations of various families who have cultivated this rich valley since the days of the Hartleys were many husbandmen who figured as leaders in their vocation.

An early mention of Honey Hollow is found in a road draft and survey marked “State Road from Lumberville,” made by Isaac B. Williams on August 5, 1830.1 The name seems to be very old and its origin and signification are lost in the mists of the past.

Fifty or more years ago a little stone house under a big pine tree (now Mrs. Beecham’s home) was occupied by Enos Lake. Across the road lived Thomas and Eliza York, an aged and respectable colored couple. Eliza lived a long time after her husband died. She had some priceless old furniture, among other things two fine Chippendale chairs, one of which is still in the neighborhood. She also possessed beautiful old chinaware with which she served tea to callers. Once in a while she gave tea parties, issuing invitations to the surrounding gentry. Among her guests would be Dr. William R. Staveley, of “Bleak House,” whose Maryland ancestor received his original grant of 100 acres of land from “Charles, absolute lord and proprietor of the province of Maryland and Lord Baron of Baltimore”; Chief Justice Edward M. Paxson of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, several members of the Ruckman family, and perhaps others. It was always understood, though not requested, that the guests should bring a slight token. After teacups were drained, Aunt Eliza, beaming with pride, would bring forth a marvelous collection of clean, nicely preserved patchwork quilts, gay-colored with blocks depicting Biblical scenes. After spreading her treasures before the wondering eyes of her distinguished guests, in a slow, low voice she would explain in the lingo of her race the intricacies of the work she had done with her own hands, some of it down in a little cabin in the southland almost a century ago.

Today on the seven farms that now comprise the watershed of Honey Hollow, under the leadership of P. Alston Waring, is in progress an important experiment for the control of erosion in soil conservation.2 Nobody except the intelligent farmers of the land would have suspected serious soil erosion in Honey Hollow. But the Honey Hollow culturists did suspect it. One day they called in a representative of the United States Soil Conservation Service, who after an inspection confirmed the farmers’ fears. They at once began to revolutionize their methods of farming, discarding the old style of square patchwork field farming, and started the Soil Conservation Service policy of making their rows of crops conform to the land contour and alternating belts of crops that are water retarding with those that are less so. Owners of farms the country over are now watching the Honey Hollow conservation project with great interest.


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

  1. The original of this curious old draft, with five small buildings and two large ones crudely figured, grouped along River Road (Route 326) and marked Lumberville, and also bearing the old names of Halifax (Mechanicsville) and E. Wilkinsons (Buckingham), is in the collection of old road drafts in the Library of The Bucks County Historical Society. []
  2. A most interesting story of this experiment, from the pen of Mr. Waring, appears in the September, 1940, number of the illustrated magazine, Towpath, New Hope, Pa., edited by William F. Taylor. []

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