What was it that brought Mounce Jones, Andrew Robeson, George Douglass and countless others to our Amity Township three hundred years ago? What brought them west by way of the Schuylkill River and the trails of the native tribes to this plot of earth? If you look carefully at why this occurred, and look how the township grew along later wagon roads and William Penn-era property lines, I think you’ll grow to experience the essence of our deep township history.
First it was the sparkling waters of the the Schuylkill and then the Menhaltanink and Menakasse Creeks. The creeks were eventually renamed Manatawny and Monocacy respectively, but their waters still flow and nourish the land and all that grows along those banks. People followed that flow of life away from the founding river into the heart of our township.
Later, it was the rich land which provided the axes and plows of our predecessors with the resources required to provide shelter and sustenance. The land of Amity still provides a place to establish our shelters and provide necessities 300 years later. Individual homes, then villages and the growth of commerce crisscrossed and transformed Amity’s soil into the network we see on our maps today… a network that was established by the development of Amity from a colonial community to a more complex network to satisfy the needs of those who commit to call Amity “home”. An 1897 quote by historic Amity resident and scholar D.B. Brunner states, “If a council of wise men were called to devise measures to conjecture what new thing they suggest to give us a nobler and keener fruition of the blessings we already have…” suggests that he recognized even then that the wealth of facets of life that made, and still make, Amity Township were remarkable. Dr. Brunner seems to question, What could possibly make life here any better?
The exploration of the 300 year history of Amity Township can not be an effort to explore or recognize any one person, family or village. Our lives are way too mingled by time to make sense of that approach. The true history of Amity rests within its array of natural resources and the subsequent cumulative efforts of the men, women and children: the population who call Amity Township home then and now.