History of Evansburg State Park
During 1684, when William Penn purchased the portion of his American Province that is now Evansburg State Park, the inhabitants were the Unami of the Lenni Lenape Nation. Shortly thereafter, the area was settled according to the plan of Penn’s “Holy Experiment.”
The area developed rapidly. By 1714, the Skippack Pike was constructed to provide access to the Philadelphia market. An eight-arch, stone bridge spanning the Skippack Creek on the Germantown Pike was constructed in 1792. It is the oldest bridge in continuous, heavy use in the nation.
The Skippack Valley remained an agrarian economy through the early part of the twentieth century. Following World War II, the pace of change quickened. Prior to acquisition of park lands, the rural charm of the area was in danger because much of the countryside was being threatened by urbanization.
Project 70 Plan
Background studies were critical to planning for Evansburg State Park. The earliest of these was the Tri-State Commission Regional Open Space Plan which identified the site in 1933. During 1962, the State Planning Board identified Evansburg as an area to be acquired under the “Project 70” plan.
During the late 1960s, the “Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act” provided the funding for acquisition of the 3,349 acres which is Evansburg State Park. In 1975, plans for the first phase of development were approved. Project 500 (Land and Water Conservation Fund) provided the monies necessary to develop the park’s major recreation area that officially opened for public use on June 28, 1979.
Today, Evansburg State Park preserves a significant area of unspoiled, natural beauty in Montgomery County and serves as a buffer between highly developed areas. As the communities surrounding the park continue to grow and expand, it will continue to provide a place for outdoor recreation, education, and solitude.
Friedt Visitor Center
This historic farmhouse was built in the early 1700s and now interprets the lifestyles of the German Mennonite families who owned the home for 190 years. Outside, the root cellar, well, and herb and sensory gardens add to the eighteenth century atmosphere.
An exhibit room in the house is devoted to the natural history of the area, and the house also provides an area for visitors to watch songbirds and other wildlife. Contact the park office to schedule a visit to the center.