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Park History


(swiped this from a website (http://www.pennridge.org/works/nockhistory.html) and either need to get permission to use it or have someone else write something up). 

The Native American tribe called the Lenni Lenape were the first inhabitants of the land now called Nockamixon State Park. Many settlers arrived in the area between 1730-40's with early settlements in the area as early as 1720. The Lenni Lenape lived primarily along the Delaware River and the Neshaminy Creek. The Shawnee were reported moving through the are as they migrated to the Susquehanna River region twelve years before the organization of Nockamixon Township in 1742. The other Native Americans were not forced out until between the years 1730-40. Settlers arrived in large numbers and cleared land for farming and built many structures including homes, churches, schools, and mills. During the nineteenth century, timber was a major local industry until the resource was exhausted.

The name Nockamixon comes from the Native American phrase "nocha-miks-ing" which has been interpreted to mean "at the place of soft soil" in the Lenni Lenape language. The name came from a reference to the topography in the area the "great swamp". (There is some discrepancy over this translation and there are those who disagree with this interpretation) The name Tohickon means "driftwood stream". There are several known Native American sites at Lake Nockamixon.

Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters , proposed the park in 1958. Dr. Goddard envisioned a state park system in which every Pennsylvanian would be within twenty-five miles of a state park. This park was designed to fill the needs of the Philadelphia and Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton areas.

The land acquisition and construction of the park began in 1961. In the year 1965, the construction of Lake Nockamixon began. A total of 290 properties in Bedminster, East Rockhill, Nockamixon, Haycock, and Tinicum Townships were condemned to build the park. The construction of the dam began in October 1968. The dam was completed in June 1973 and the lake began filling at that time. It took about six months for the lake to fill completely. The relocation of Route 563 began in September of 1970 and was completed in 1972. Park electrical, water, and sewer system development took place between 1973 and 1975.

The park was originally named Tohickon State Park, after the principal stream flowing into Lake Nockamixon, it was renamed Nockamixon State Park by the State Geographic Board in 1965.




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