Bristol Borough is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Center City Philadelphia, opposite Burlington, New Jersey on the Delaware River. Bristol Borough predates Philadelphia, being settled in 1681 and first incorporated in 1720. After 1834, the town became very important to the development of the American Industrial Revolution as the terminus city of the Delaware Canal providing greater Philadelphia with the days High Tech Anthracite fuels from the Lehigh Canal via Easton. The canal and a short trip on the Delaware also gave the town access to the mineral resources available in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York via each of the Morris Canal, the Delaware and Hudson Canal, and the Delaware and Raritan Canal, and connected the community to those markets and trade from New York City. These were among the factors spurring development of Bristol and nearby towns, explaining in part the industries which developed in the region.
Although its charter was revised in 1905, the original charter remains in effect, making Bristol Borough one of the older boroughs in Pennsylvania. Bristol Borough had 7,104 residents in 1900; 9,256 in 1910; 10,273 in 1920; and 11,895 in 1940. The most recent census has the population at 9,631 2017 census. The current Mayor is Joseph A. Saxton. Bristol Borough is served by SEPTA's Trenton Line.
Lions Park on the Delaware River
Location of Bristol Borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Bristol Borough in Pennsylvania
Bristol (the United States)
|• Mayor||Joseph A. Saxton|
|• Total||1.96 sq mi (5.07 km2)|
|• Land||1.70 sq mi (4.40 km2)|
|• Water||0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)|
|Elevation||20 ft (6 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||4,913.77/sq mi (2,165.00/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||215 Exchanges: 781,785,788,826,874|
|Designated||January 13, 1949|
Samuel Clift founded the Borough of Bristol, having received a land grant from Edmund Andros, Governor of New York. The grant became effective on March 14, 1681 (new style) or March 4, 1681 (old style) at the same time as William Penn's Charter from Charles II became effective. Clift was required by the grant to maintain ferry service across the Delaware River to Burlington, New Jersey, and to run a public house or inn. The inn later became known as the George II.
Bristol Borough was settled in 1681, and named after Bristol, England. It was originally used as a port and dock. Bristol Borough is rich in history, boasting many historic and restored houses that line the streets of Radcliffe and Mill.
From its earliest days Bristol Borough was a center of textile mills, foundries, milling, and miscellaneous manufacturing. With the building of the 60 miles (96.6 km) long, forty feet wide, and five feet deep Delaware Canal—it became a transshipment gateway[notes 1] connecting the anthracite barges flowing down the Lehigh Canal's end terminal at Easton to Philadelphia. Bristol Borough was chosen to terminate the Delaware Canal because it already had regular shipping connections to other parts of Philadelphia and Delaware River ports by both the era's typical animal powered barges and era typical coastal/inland shipping vessels. Its docks also had regular ferry services to New Jersey and other points east from as early as 1681 until 1931, and the town would receive early steamboat service as that technology came to be.[notes 2]
The expense of digging the canal was justifiable as the banks of the Delaware southerly from Easton were less suitable, there was insufficient real estate for extensive additional docks, so the legislature figured the Delaware Canal avoided the need to transship barge loads of coal to boats, drastically saving costs and time. Since Bristol Borough's long established docks were accessible to the Delaware River, the town also became the Delaware Canal's southern (main distribution) terminal end.[notes 3] Consequently, later, the Pennsylvania Railroad would also connect to the anthracite flowing through the canals, to the riverine barge and boat traffic, and to provide rail depots servicing the manufacturies. Even before the canal, Bristol Borough was located along a main land route to New York City, Trenton, and New England so with construction of the canal and railroads, it became a major center of transportation and an even more attractive location for industry.
By the 1880s Bristol Borough was home to many factories, including companies manufacturing wall paper and carpet. In World War I, the Bristol Borough docks had sufficient space for a shipyard to construct twelve building slips for the construction of merchant vessels. In 1917 Averell Harriman organized the Bristol Borough shipyards founding the Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation (later called Merchant-Sterling) and given the U-boat menace, would land a contract to build 40 identical cargo ships for the war. The residential area that developed around the shipyards was soon named Harriman, Pennsylvania, and most of the housing built therein is still in use today. In 1922 Harriman was annexed by Bristol Borough. Most of the shipping was finished too late to enter World War I, but some of the shipyard's output was used post-war in relief and troop support missions. The majority of the contracts were canceled in 1919, and the ship yards rapidly became excess real estate. Between the world wars, the eighty-acres of the shipyard were let out to various concerns, including one area converted to building amphibious planes—the flying boats technology which was the heart and soul of long distance air travel until the technological advances theretofore the middle years of World War II.
In 1961, Bristol Borough gained national attention when the song "Bristol Stomp", by The Dovells hit #2 on the Billboard pop chart. The song remains a local favorite, and it is often played at ceremonies, parades, and sporting events. The Merchant Shipbuilding site returned to the news in the 1990s when the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority using state and federal funding targeted the area as a priority for urban redevelopment.
Given its riverfront location, the old shipbuilding site was ranked highest in priority, and on 20 October 2000 various legislators and officials held a press conference at the former shipyard heralding the construction of the residential development already under way, known as the 'Riverfront North Project', and publicizing how derelict portions of the slipways were being removed. The project also established a park with four monuments celebrating the towns past in the redevelopment.
Today the preserved elements of the shipyard, and other buildings once important in Bristol Borough's past service are enshrined and celebrated in the Bristol Historic District, Bristol Industrial Historic District, and tourism sites celebrating the towns history and rich ethnic diversity. Various annual festivals, in particular keep a multi-ethnic cultural identity alive and well.
Historic sites in the town such as the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, Dorrance Mansion, General Stores and Mold Loft Building-Harriman Yard of the Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation, Grundy Mill Complex, Harriman Historic District, Jefferson Avenue School and Jefferson Land Association Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal is also designated a National Historic Landmark District.
U.S. Route 13 passes southwest-northeast through Bristol on Bristol Pike, heading southwest toward Bensalem and Philadelphia and northeast toward Levittown and Trenton, New Jersey. US 13 connects to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 95) at the Delaware Valley interchange north of Bristol, just west of the Delaware River–Turnpike Toll Bridge over the Delaware River that connects the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the New Jersey Turnpike. Pennsylvania Route 413 passes north-south along the western edge of Bristol, heading north on Veterans Highway toward Langhorne and south to the Burlington-Bristol Bridge over the Delaware River that leads to Burlington, New Jersey. PA 413 connects to Interstate 95 at an interchange north of Bristol.
The Bristol station is served by SEPTA Regional Rail's Trenton Line that provides service between Center City Philadelphia and the Trenton Transit Center. Trains along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor pass through Bristol but do not stop; the nearest Amtrak station is in Trenton. SEPTA provides Suburban Bus service to Bristol along Route 128, which runs between the Neshaminy Mall and the Oxford Valley Mall, and Route 129, which runs between the Frankford and Knights Bus Loop in Northeast Philadelphia and the Oxford Valley Mall. TMA Bucks operates the Bristol Rushbus, which offers peak-hour shuttles between a connection with the Trenton Line train at the Bristol station and certain businesses in Bristol.
Bristol Borough is located at (40.103382, -74.851448).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (10.81%) is water.
As of a 2014 estimate, the borough was 69.2% Non-Hispanic White, 16.4% Black or African American, 1.5% Native American and Alaskan Native, 0.2% Asian, 3.5% Some other race, and 3.4% were Two or more races. 15.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry 
As of the 2010 census, the borough was 81.1 White, 9.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 3.5% were two or more races. 14.2% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. There are 661 veterans living in Bristol Borough.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,726 people, 4,237 households, and 3,926 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,016.5 people per square mile (2,322.0/km2). There were 4,207 housing units at an average density of 2,550.8 per square mile (984.4/km2).
There were 4,004 households, out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough in 2016 was $42,962. Males had a median income of $28,6530 versus $19,278 for females. About 8.2% of families and 16% of the population were below the poverty line.
During the summer months, frequent episodes of high humidity occur. Occasionally, heat index values exceed 100 °F (38 °C). On average, the wettest month of the year is July which corresponds with the annual peak for thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, wind chill values occasionally fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). On average, the snowiest month of the year is February which corresponds with the annual peak for nor'easter activity. Bristol has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) bordering on Dfa and the hardiness zone is 7a.
|Climate data for Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania (1981 – 2010 averages). Elevation 23 ft (7 m).|
|Average high °F (°C)||40.9
|Average low °F (°C)||24.3
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.61
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||7.6
|Source: PRISM |
The Bristol Borough School District comprises two public schools: Warren Snyder-John Girotti Elementary School (K-8) and Bristol High School (9-12). Other schooling opportunities in Bristol are offered through the Roman Catholic parish school of St. Mark Church (K-8), located in the borough. Conwell-Egan Roman Catholic School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania provides private/parochial schooling for children in grades 9-12. Higher education in Bristol Borough includes Pennco Tech.
USCensusEst2016was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
(Between Bristol Borough's docks & Easton), quote: `the (Delaware) canal was sixty miles long, forty feet wide, and five feet deep'.
Charles Saxton (born November 7, 1989 in Bristol, Pennsylvania) is an American film, television and video game actor.
He had a supporting role as Bug, one of the band members, in Bandslam. He was featured in Hung, an HBO comedy-drama series, playing the son of Thomas Jane's main character. He also provided the voice of Melvin in the video game Bully. He is the voice of Toby on Guillermo Del Toro’s award-winning animated series, Trollhunters.Charlie also stars as the wrestler "Lone Wolf" in The Wonder Years music video for Melrose Diner.Chris Jackson (gridiron football)
Christopher Jackson (born February 26, 1975) is an American football coach and former Arena football wide receiver of the Arena Football League (AFL). He began his football career in junior college at Orange Coast College before moving onto Washington State Cougars after one year.
In both 1996 and 1997, Jackson was a starter for the Cougars and was considered a favorite target of Ryan Leaf. After going undrafted in the 1998 NFL Draft signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spent the season on their practice squad. Following his stint in Tampa Bay he would spend three seasons split with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. In 2000, after failing to appears in a National Football League (NFL) game, Jackson signed with the AFL's Los Angeles Avengers. He spent three seasons with Los Angeles and was named the AFL's Rookie of the Year and totaled 3,255 yards, 238 catches and 67 touchdowns.
He currently serves as a defensive assistant for the Chicago Bears.Costello Tagliapietra
Costello Tagliapietra is a fashion house, established in New York City, founded and directed by Jeffrey Costello (born in Bristol, Pennsylvania) and Robert Tagliapietra (born in Pleasantville, New York).Daniel W. Bursch
Daniel Wheeler Bursch (born July 25, 1957) is a former NASA astronaut, and Captain of the United States Navy. He had four spaceflights, the first three of which were Space Shuttle missions lasting 10 to 11 days each. His fourth and final spaceflight was a long-duration stay aboard the International Space Station as a crew member of Expedition 4, which lasted from December 2001 to June 2002. This 196-day mission set a new record for the longest duration spaceflight for an American astronaut, a record simultaneously set with his crew mate Carl Walz. Their record has since been broken, and as of 2016 it is held by Scott Kelly, who flew a 340 day mission during Expeditions 43, 44 and 45.G String Divas
G String Divas is an American documentary series that aired on HBO. The show was filmed in 2000, and follows the lives of strippers working in a Bristol, Pennsylvania gentlemen's club.Ileen Getz
Ileen Getz (August 7, 1961 – August 4, 2005) was an American actress, most recognized for her role as Dr. Judith Draper in the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Getz was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Northwestern University, she joined the Econo-Art Theatre Company and Practical Theatre Company, both in Chicago, Illinois.
She began her television work in 1995, with appearances on shows such as Law & Order and Seinfeld. In 1996, Getz became a recurring cast member on 3rd Rock from the Sun, playing a professor of women's studies with no personality. Her film career included minor roles in such films as Celebrity, Lovely and Amazing, The Station Agent, Changing Lanes, and the posthumously-released Friends with Money and East Broadway.
Getz also worked in New York City theatre, on Broadway and at the Lincoln Center, as well as the Manhattan Theatre Club, at which she starred in Night and Her Stars, written by Richard Greenberg. Greenberg later wrote a lead role for her in Hurrah at Last which premiered at South Coast Repertory in 1998.
Getz died from a Brain tumor at the age of 43 in New York City.Jeff Manto
Jeffrey Paul Manto (born August 23, 1964) is a former journeyman Major League Baseball player and hitting coach.
He is currently the Minor League Hitting Coordinator for the Baltimore Orioles, Baseball Consultant and Motivational Speaker. He is a member of 8 Halls of Fame.Jim Cawley
James Cawley (born June 22, 1969) is an American politician who was the 32nd lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, from 2011 to 2015. A Republican, he previously served on the Board of Commissioners of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.Joe McEwing
Joseph Earl McEwing (born October 19, 1972) is a former Major League Baseball player who spent most of his career with the New York Mets, where he played from 2000 through 2004. Nicknamed "Super Joe", he was the prototypical utility player who could play any position on the field well. McEwing is currently the bench coach for the Chicago White Sox.
McEwing played college baseball at the County College of Morris in Randolph Township, New Jersey. He played high school baseball at Bishop Egan High School (now known as Conwell-Egan Catholic High School) in Levittown, Pennsylvania.John Ruan House
The John Ruan House is a historic mansion in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1796 as the home of Dr. John Ruan (June 9, 1771, St. Croix, West Indies – July 2, 1845, Bristol, Pennsylvania), a physician and community leader.
The 2½-story house, the oldest of its size and stature still standing in Frankford, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places on January 3, 1985.It has been continuously occupied since its erection and is now the home of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library. The museum houses Civil War and Grand Army of the Republic artifacts, books, and memorabilia, and is open Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays from 12 noon to 4 p.m.. Other days are by appointment.John Thompson Dorrance
John Thompson Dorrance (November 11, 1873 – September 21, 1930) was an American chemist who discovered a method to create condensed soup, and served as president of the Campbell Soup Company from 1914 to 1930.Joseph McIlvaine
Joseph McIlvaine (October 2, 1769 – August 19, 1826) was a United States Senator from New Jersey from 1823 until his death. He served as the Mayor of Burlington, New Jersey.Lauren Holly
Lauren Michael Holly (born October 28, 1963) is an American-Canadian actress. She is known for her roles as Deputy Sheriff Maxine Stewart in the television series Picket Fences, Director Jenny Shepard in the series NCIS, and Dr. Betty Rogers on Canadian series Motive; as well as playing Mary Swanson in Dumb and Dumber, Linda Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Darian Smalls in Beautiful Girls, Cindy Rooney in Any Given Sunday, and Gigi in What Women Want.Lumberville, Pennsylvania
Lumberville, Pennsylvania is a village on the Delaware River in Solebury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with a ZIP code of 18933. It is seven miles north of New Hope, Pennsylvania, and is located along River Road.
The village was settled by Colonel George Wall, a Revolutionary War officer and Bucks County Sheriff. As such it was originally named Wall's Saw Mills and Walls Landing. Ultimately, William Tinsman purchased the lumber mills in 1869, and the mills are operated by his descendents to this day.
The Black Bass Inn was built in the early 1740s, and was last refurbished in 2009. It continues to provide food and lodging into the 21st Century, and is now owned by Jack Thompson, owner of the Thompson auto dealerships in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
In 1835, a covered bridge was built across the Delaware River to Raven Rock, New Jersey. The river is approximately 800 feet wide at this point. One span of it was carried away in the flood of 1903. That section of the bridge was rebuilt as a steel span. The bridge was used until 1946. In 1949, a new bridge was built on the piers of the original, but it was built only for foot traffic so that the people of Lumberville could have access to the Pennsylvania Railroad commuter passenger service in Raven Rock. See: Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge. The rail service was discontinued in 1952.
The Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal runs along the river between Lumberville and the river. Lumberville was the location of Lock #12, a set of locks to raise and lower the barges that travelled between Easton, Pennsylvania and Bristol, Pennsylvania. The lock house was washed away in the flood of 1955.
From 1839 to 1840, Lumberville was the home of John Greenleaf Whittier.Lumberville was also the birthplace of the 19th-century artist Martin Johnson Heade.
Paul and Julia Child were married in Lumberville on September 1, 1946.
The Lumberville Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.Neal Burns
Neal Burns (June 26, 1892 – October 3, 1969) was an American film actor, screenwriter, and director. He appeared in 198 films between 1915 and 1946. He was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania and died in Los Angeles, California. He was the younger brother of fellow actor Eddie Barry.Poul Anderson
Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction author who began his career in the 1940s and continued to write into the 21st century. Anderson authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and short stories. His awards include seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards.Ronald C. Kessler
Ronald C. Kessler (born April 26, 1947) is an American sociologist and a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.Todd Weiner
Todd Dewberry Weiner (born September 16, 1975 in Bristol, Pennsylvania) is former American football offensive tackle of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played college football at Kansas State.
Weiner also played for the Atlanta Falcons.William Rodman
For the North Carolina political figures, see William B. Rodman and William B. Rodman, Jr..William Rodman (October 7, 1757 – July 27, 1824) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
William Rodman was born in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, near Bristol, Pennsylvania. He served in the American Revolutionary War as a private and subsequently as brigade quartermaster. He commanded a company during the Whisky Rebellion in 1794. He was a justice of the peace from 1791 to 1800, and a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate for the 1st district from 1799 to 1803.Rodman was elected as a Republican to the Twelfth Congress. He died at "Flushing" near Bristol and is interred at the St. James Episcopal Churchyard in Bristol, Pennsylvania.