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History of Yardley

In 1682, William Yardley and his family emigrated from England and founded "Prospect Farm" with an agreement with William Penn to purchase 500 acres for ten pounds. William Yardley and his family died in 1693.

Thomas Yardley, William's nephew, came from England to settle the estate, and stayed. In 1710, he started a ferry line which ran from Letchworth Avenue to New Jersey. This became an important link between New Jersey and roads leading to Philadelphia via Falls, Langhorne, and Newtown.

In the early 1800's Yardley began its development into a village, with a population of 820 by 1880. The first post office was established in 1828 with the name "Yardleyville." When the Reading Railroad came into the area, the name was changed to "Yardley."

During the American Civil War, Yardley was a station for the Underground Railroad, an escape route for slaves. Known hiding places were under the eaves of the Continental Hotel (now the Continental Tavern), in bins of warehouses on the Delaware Canal (completed in 1862), and at the General Store (now Worthington Insurance). At Lakeside, the yellow house facing Lake Afton on N. Main St., one brick-walled cellar room is also thought to have been a hiding place.

Yardley Borough was incorporated on March 4, 1895.

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