A brief history of Peace Valley Park


Chase Brody

Peace Valley Park’s Lake Galena on a beautiful spring day.

The weather outside seems to be getting warmer and warmer every day, which can only mean that winter has drawn to a close and the glory days of spring have sprung.  Along with this change comes the long walks, outdoor sports and activities people will partake in.  

One such place where many people spend lots of time in the warm weather is Peace Valley Park, a park with trails surrounding a reservoir in Doylestown.  The lake and dam seem to be the oldest and most iconic areas of the park, and the history of the park outlives the lake itself. Most people know very little of the history of the park, which is far more interesting than you may think. 

The plot of land that the park sits on used to be a town, where people lived, slept, and worked.  The town itself was called Levin.  And a large plot of land in the immediate area was eventually purchased by a Pennsylvania Dutch-mining tycoon named Jacob Neimier (who participated in the California Gold rush) from Doylestown miners Christian Moyer and Daniel Brandnt.  The purchase was $20,000 for the entire property.  This all took place during the lead rush of the 1860’s and 70’s.

The lake around the park is called Lake Galena. Many don’t take into consideration that ‘Galena’ is a mineral that is essentially the rawest form of lead, and an ingredient in silver, which was commonly used for a very long time by various civilizations such as Rome, Carthage, and Egypt.  It was mainly used to protect eyes from the glares of the sun and was a fly repellent back in the day.  Galena was also found in internet connection routers during the early days of the internet.  Galena’s most well known title was that it was an ingredient in paint, which was especially used by Native American tribes.  This made it very valuable in the eyes of the public at the time.

A lot of revenue, resources and labor went into mining the area, as a direct result, a town built on mining the would-be lake began to spring up in the early 1860’s.

Eventually, Niemeier and his business stopped mining there because flooding would frequently occur.  Alongside that the plot of land was sold and the mining community around it went dry, and left.  The town was a ghost town until the 1970’s, when Bucks County parks and recreation purchased the land, and made a decision to flood what was left of the former mine.  Only a year later were trails carved and the dam built, which became what is now Peace Valley Park.

With the weather getting warmer comes great memories to be made in the hot sun, but on top of the memories made, there are many memories underneath the soil.

Source; https://www.livingplaces.com/PA/Bucks_County/New_Britain_Township/New_Galena.html