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Berks County > Municipalities > Robeson Township

A Very Brief History of Robeson Township

Robeson Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania was established in 1729, named for either Andrew Robeson, Jr. or his son Israel Robeson.

trolleyAndrew Robeson, Jr. bought 600 acres of land in 1716 in what would become Robeson Township. He never lived on this land, but his son Israel did.

This 600 acre tract of land is bounded by present-day Schuylkill River to the North, Cedar Hill Road to the West, the area around Cedar Hill Flowers Corporation to the South and the Robeson Township - Birdsboro Borough municipal boundary line to the East.

In the 1700s Robeson Township was home to early European settlers and native Indians who lived peacefully among each other. The early settlers were starting their forges and mills along the many creeks of the township and became very prosperous.

mansionIn the 1800s came the Schuylkill Canal, Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad through the northern portion of the township. With them came major changes in the township. Industry became much larger due to the fact that they now had upgraded transportation to ship their products to Reading, Philadelphia, New York or elsewhere. They no longer had to rely on very crude road paths. With more industry came more residents and many one-room schools, churches and hotels were built for the increased population. In 1845 there was a plan to divide the township in half. The southern half would have been renamed Hay Creek Township, but on March 7, 1846, the proposal was rejected.

quarry trainThe early 1900s brought the Birdsboro Trolley through the northern portion of the township that ran from Birdsboro to Reading. The demise of the early forges and mills were continuing. Thanks to the Gickersville resident, Sylvester S. Squibb, and others, there were many photographs taken of various aspects of township life at the turn of the century. By the mid-1900s became the demise of the Schuylkill Canal and the Birdsboro Trolley line. The late 1900s brought in many housing developments just about everywhere in the township where there was a farm or open land, but luckily, Robeson Township still has many beautiful farms and open space for us to enjoy while driving the back roads.

This short history was submitted by the Robeson Township Historical Society.