Chalfont Borough
Historic Building
Credit: Mark Glidden

Chalfont History

How Chalfont Got Its Name

Before our time, this area was occupied by Lenni-Lenape Indians. The thirteen tribes were represented by Chief Tamanend, who signed a treaty with William Penn giving him a large portion of land in 1683. Penn, in turn, granted a large tract to the Free Society of Traders including New Britain Township and what would become Chalfont Borough. Legend has it that Chief Tamanend is buried in Chalfont near the confluence of the North and West branches of the Neshaminy Creek, but the site is unknown.

'Tamanend', Raymon Sandoval, 1995, Front & Market St. in Philadelphia. Photo by Joey Blue

In 1720, Simon Butler purchased 176 acres of the land grant from Penn. The Village of Chalfont was a part of the purchase, along with a portion of New Britain Township.

Butler's house and mill were completed in 1730. In 1745, he purchased an additional 465 acres and owned most of the land now known as Chalfont and the village was named Butler's Mill. As the only Justice of the Peace in this part of the county, Butler settled disputes between neighbors, wrote wills, surveyed land, settled estates, and helped lay out public roads such as Limekiln Pike. A later Simon Butler Mill House stands today at 116 East Butler Avenue, the current Route 202.

After Butler's death, the land was divided into many parcels. George Kungle operated a hotel in 1761 on the corner of Routes 202 and 152 (burned several times, the current structure houses Borghi's Restaurant) and the village was renamed Kungle's Tavern. In 1815, when a man named Barndt purchased the hotel, the town was called Barndtsville. William Stevens secured the first post office in 1845 and once again the town's name was changed, this time to Whitehallville.

In 1869, the North Penn Railroad came through and named the station Chalfont after the village of Chalfont St. Giles in England where William Penn met his wife, Gulielma, and where John Milton stayed in 1665 while a plague raged in London. It is believed that his great epic Paradise Lost was finished in a cottage there. Once again, the name of the village was changed, this time to Chalfont, which it has remained ever since. It is little wonder that the leaders of the town rallied when SEPTA wanted to tear down the historic station, now owned and maintained by the Borough. Most of the lovely Victorian houses gracing our streets date from the era the railroad came through.

Finally, in 1901, Chalfont was incorporated as a Borough and has remained Chalfont ever since.

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Chalfont Borough Hall
40 North Main Street
Chalfont, PA 18914

Phone: (215) 822-7295
Fax: (215) 822-5528

Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 AM - 4 PM

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