Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Bucks County Map

Bucks County, one of three counties established in 1682 by William Penn (1644-1718), originally stretched northward along the Delaware River all the way to the Delaware Water Gap and westward past Allentown. Even after shrinking dramatically when Northampton and Lehigh Counties were carved from its territory in 1752, the county still encompassed multiple regions that developed along different historical trajectories. A largely bucolic Upper Bucks County remained distinct from the areas that became blue-collar Lower Bucks County and the white-collar townships of Central Bucks County. This tripartite division shaped many institutional patterns, from colonial-era disputes about where to locate the county seat to twentieth-century decisions to create three chambers of commerce and divide the county’s community college into three campuses. 

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