Rural Historic District contains more than 575 acres of
land in Tinicum Township. The terrain is characterized
by exposed shale, steep slopes, creeks, winding roads,
open fields, and woods. The name for this historic district
comes from the 1891 Atlas, in which this area was
labeled Ridge Valley School District. The architecture
consists mostly of 19th-century farmsteads, typically
with 3-bay farmhouses built of red shale, bank barns,
and other outbuildings creating a distinctive type of
traditional Bucks County vernacular farm architecture.
Settlement of the Ridge Valley began in the late 18th
century and farming flourished on the hilly terrain through
the 19th century. Ridge Valley farming did not modernize
in the 20th century and few farms weathered the Great
Depression. The unique survival of the 19th-century characteristics
of Ridge Valley farmsteads results from the efforts of
an influx of New York city artists, who began moving to
Bucks County in the 1920s and 30s. Personalities who moved
to Tinicum Township included artist Charles Rudy, screenwriter
John Wexley, actress Miriam Hopkins, songwriter Jerome
Kern, playwright S.J. Perelman, and satirist Dorothy Parker.
Views of the Ridge
Valley Rural Historic District, illustrating the
typical landscapes and 19th-century farm buildings
Photographs from National Register collection
The Ridge Valley Rural Historic District encompasses
all of Sheep Hole Rd. and parts of Headquarters, Geigel
Hill, Red Hill, Tabor and Bunker Hill Rds. in Ottsville
(Tinicum Township). Take a right off Durham Rd. in Ottsville-the
core of the Ridge Valley Historic District is the valley
cut by the Tinicum Creek through which Sheep Hole Rd.
travels. The properties located in the district are
privately owned, but the main roads are public.