Quakertown Alive! is your local nationally accredited Main Street program. Founded in 1998, then certified in 1999, our mission is to create strong broad-based partnerships that provide the leadership and resources necessary for a successful revitalization effort in downtown Quakertown, PA, resulting in an enhanced quality of life for all in and around the Borough.
Ultimately, the purpose of Main Street is to increase the value of downtown: the value of buildings, certainly, but also the value of businesses, value to the city as a source of tax revenues, value to the customers, value to citizens throughout the community, even value of the downtown for those who aren’t even born yet. The active involvement of volunteers build a sense of ownership to Main Street, which makes investment numbers so strong. If you had to pay volunteers what they are worth, the leverage of public investment wouldn’t look nearly as good. Local businesses provide a financial boost as more of their sales revenue remains in the community, in comparison to chain stores. In downtown, one couple renting an apartment for $750 a month will spend more than $9,000 a year in the immediate downtown area.
Jann Paulovitz, President
Zack Irick, VP
Scott Orzehoski, VP Finance
Sherrie Rotenberger, VP Events
Craig Gillahan, Treasurer
Sara Friedman, Secretary
Naomi Naylor, Executive Director
Main Street Manager
Our Vision & Mission
Quakertown Alive! seeks to enhance life in our community through continuing development of a thriving downtown center. Dedicated volunteers and strong broad-based partnerships serve as a catalyst for our non-profit organization to lead Quakertown forward.
Welcoming Community and Regional Destination:
Quakertown Alive! will enhance the quality of life for our community and bring regional visitors to our downtown. We accomplish this by sustaining current amenities, embracing the growing diversification of the town, and attracting new commercial, retail, recreational, cultural, and social activities to serve the residents of the Borough of Quakertown and the surrounding communities. We leverage our strengths including recreational areas; historical landmarks; proximity to County and State Park lands, regional trails, economic hubs, and sporting facilities; and our reputation for a safe welcoming downtown.
We encourage the safe utilization of our parks and public lands. We seek and support businesses that have the products, services, and knowledge to meet the needs of local residents and regional visitors. We encourage the growth of a pet-friendly environment in all facilities.
A Heritage Development Environment:
The central business district actively supports programs for historic preservation and education. The environment is strengthened by a commitment to visitor hospitality and unique retail opportunities including a renowned antique district.
Quakertown Alive! promotes the growth of a high-quality arts environment through sponsorship and promotion of public events and cultural activities.
History of Our Program
The town of Quakertown was officially organized in 1855. It has seen many visitors and undergone much transformation from its early days as a wilderness to its era of farmland surrounding manufacturing centers to its present mix of suburbia and tranquil countryside.
The area had many names in its early years including “Great Swamp,””Great Meadow,””Flatland and “Richland.” The final name became prominent, most likely because of the fertile soil that was an attraction for the farming settlers.
The first land grant was obtained from William Penn in 1701 by English and Welsh speculators. On February 14, 1703 “the Great Swamp” was surveyed. Large tracks of land were called townships. Although the land had previously been purchased, it wasn’t until 1712 that John Ball and his father-in-law John Lester actually moved into the township known as Richland, a wilderness at the time.
They moved north from the Welsh Quaker track near Gwynedd, Montgomery County, because it was becoming crowded. The people who followed them until 1720 were mainly Quakers. In 1720 the town had 12 dwellings, two stores, three taverns and a simple Quaker Meeting House.
From 1720 to 1750, German settlers started moving to the area. In 1750, the Quakers established the Richland Meeting House. It also accommodated residents of Springfield, Haycock, Milford, and Rockhill townships, since the nearest place of worship was 20 miles away at Gwynedd Meeting.
When a post office was established in 1803, it used the name “Quakertown,” in recognition of the meeting house and early Quaker settlers. When the town was incorporated into a borough in 1855, the name became official. At the time, the town stretched from Main street to 9th street.
If you lived in Quakertown about 100 years ago, you almost certainly would have worked with your hands. Maybe you would have rolled cigars, molded iron stoves, made saddles, repaired shoes or driven a delivery wagon. In 1905, Quakertown was very much a workingman’s town set in the countryside.
Fifty years after its 1855 incorporation, the borough had grown to about 3,400 residents and become a major commercial and employment center in Upper Bucks County. A 1905 borough directory lists 930 male residents over 21 years old and their occupations. The directory doesn’t include women, but photographs from the era show women working in factories and other jobs.
If you are interested in learning more about the town’s history, we suggest you contact the Quakertown Historical Society located here at 26 Main Street (215) 536-3298 or obtain a copy of two recent books “Images of America: Quakertown” by Carolyn E. Potser, John T. Pilecki and Nancy Walp Bosworth (printed 2002, reprinted 2003) or Fries’s Rebellion by Paul Douglas Newman (printed 2004).
The Bucks County Visitor’s Bureau is also available through www.bccvb.org or by calling (215) 639-0300.
In addition, the James A. Michener branch of the Bucks County Free Library, named for the esteemed local author and located at 401 W. Mill Street, is also an excellent source of local information. Call (215) 536-3306 or use the links from our site.