Monocacy Hill has a deep and rich history. We put together many projects that provide educational historical information about the area.
As Amity Township celebrate its 300 year anniversary, the Monocacy Hill Conservation Association thought it fitting to provide a look at some history of Monocacy Hill and its immediate surrounds. This will clearly not be exhaustive compendium of all historical records and events surrounding this little quirk of nature. It may, however, provide a few tidbits to tease your curiosity about Monocacy Hill and make you want to inquire further into both its recent and far distant past!
The historical map, above shows the location of “The Hill” (highlighted) located in the southern part of the township. Clicking on the map takes you to another map that you can expand to see Monocacy Hill’s proximity to several towns and property tracts that have existed over the years. The southern border on the map is the Schuylkill River.
Of course the geological history of Monocacy Hill spans millions of years! We provide just a brief glimpse of that history here. There is a fascinating article written by Michael Caton in January, 2017. Michael Caton offers the theory that Monocacy Hill, along with several other local geological phenomena, is the remains of a very long ago (+200 million years) VOLCANO! Read his post here (Monocacy Hill is discussed about half way through the article).
The first human inhabitants to walk here, for whom we have archeological evidence, were the Native Americans know as the Lenni Lenape, which loosely translates from their native language to “original people”. There is a wealth of information out there about the Lenape Tribe that inhabited the area where Monocacy Hill is located. They are presumed to be the long ago descendants of the nomadic stone age people who crossed the Bering Strait into what is now Alaska some 12,000 to 20,000 years ago. Several references are provided here for those interested in pursuing further. Perhaps the best summary of the Lenape Indians is found at this Wikipedia Site . There is also a work by David B. Brunner (1835 – 1903) titled “The Indians of Berks County PA, Being a Summary of All Tangible Records of the Aborigines of Berks County…” .
It is fascinating reading that goes into great detail regarding the complex interactions among the European settlers and the Native Americans who lived here during the earliest days of contact. The book is a free e-book and, for those wanting to delve further into this history, it is a most worthwhile read!
The first Europeans to settle near Monocacy Hill were Swedes! The account of their arrival here and their interactions with the Native American people whom they encountered is found in a variety of sources – including the aforementioned book by David Brunner. Other sources include the historical sections of the Amity Township 250th Anniversary Brochure (1719 – 1969) and a little 11 page booklet written by John Lincoln Bower, M.D., entitled “A Little Visit To The Monocacy Creek And Its Country” (third printing – November 1939).