Ivyland, Pennsylvania

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

Borough incorporated December 8, 1903, and erected from part of Warminster Township, near the Warminster-Northampton Township line. The town was laid out in the 1870s by Edwin Lacey, of Wrightstown. Lacey was tall, angular, and red-haired, with a pleasant voice which he could use upon occasion with persuasive effect. His plans for Ivyland were ambitious—a town laid out in squares, streets crossing at right angles, with horse cars traversing the leading avenues on railway tracks and large business houses and industrial plants at eligible locations. He first built a big hotel with a French roof, an architectural style quite popular at the time. A two-story porch surrounded it on all four sides. The building remained untenanted for twenty years or more. The first street laid out was Gough Avenue, named for John G. Gough, the temperance lecturer. Bennett Carrell built the first houses on Gough Avenue. One of these was used as a general store, with a dwelling attached. It was separated from the hotel by ground sufficient for a proposed street. The store was run by Wilmer Carr in the 1880s and for some years later. Carr was appointed first postmaster October 26, 1889. While Lacey’s municipal dreams were never realized, he nevertheless anticipated the coming of the railroad and gave impetus to what has since become a thriving, well-planned business town. The prime mover in bringing the Northeast Pennsylvania Railroad to what is now Ivyland was Samuel Davis, whose father, Seth Davis, had moved from Dolington to Warminster in 1840. At Seth Davis’ death, two-thirds of his farm went to his son Samuel and the remaining third to his son Jonathan. The railroad runs on the southeastern edge of the Samuel Davis farm for over half the distance from Johnsville station to Ivyland. For most of this distance, a heavy fill was required, together with a bridge to carry the tracks over a stream. Samuel Davis quarried the stone for the bridge, supplied horses and carts for the grading, and boarded the construction gang while it worked on the Davis place. In payment he took stock and bonds. The company offered him in addition a pass over the railroad, good for his lifetime. He declined the pass with thanks and is reported to have said, “I never knew dividends to be paid out of passes. I have asked friends to put their money in this railroad, promising them interest on their investment, and I can’t let them down. Furthermore, if I cannot afford to pay my way on the train, I had better stay home.” The stretch of the railroad from County Line to Bristol Road was opened November 9, 1874. At that time the station at Bristol Road was called Hartsville, which was later changed to Breadyville. The Breadyville and Ivyland stations were consolidated in 1891 under the name of Ivyland and the present Ivyland station was erected to take care of the traffic of both stations. The town also took the name of Ivyland at that time.


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

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