You probably know the common history of Lake Galena a beautiful lake in New Britain Township Bucks County and the park that surrounds it: Peace Valley. The lake was created when the county flooded the lake in 1972.
According to its Wikipedia entry, the lake is supplemented by water from the Delaware River Point Pleasant Diversion Project for the purpose of augmenting public drinking water supplies for approximately 150,000 people in Bucks and Montgomery counties. Lake Galena supplies water to the North Penn Water Authority and the North Wales Water Authority. The water supply intake is downstream of the dam at the confluence of Pine Run and North Branch Neshaminy Creek.
Did you also know that there is a town under that lake?!?
According to The Unknown History of Lake Galena and LivingPlaces.com, in 1860, two men from Doylestown, Christian Moyer and Daniel Brandt were digging post holes on the Brandt property east of the Hilltown road. They uncovered a large stone so heavy that it was almost impossible for the two men to recover it from the hole. To find out what exactly they had discovered, they took pieces of the stone into town to the local blacksmith where the pieces were smelted. What the two men had discovered was lead, otherwise known as Galena.
Galena, which is also known as lead glance, is an important source of silver and is one of the most abundant and widely distributed sulfide minerals on Earth. It’s the main source that lead is made from, which has uses dating back to ancient times.
Jacob Neimeyer, a Pennsylvania German, heard of Moyer’s and Brandt’s findings and purchased their farm for $21,000 in cash. Neimeyer, a former California gold miner and Illinois lead miner, knew of the excavation methods required to dig up the blocks of Galena. Neimeyer excavated the grounds; hauling blocks of Galena weighing as much as 700 pounds and making shipment invoices for as much as $5,000. Word spread about Neimeyer’s success, and soon, galena findings were popping up everywhere around the area.
The area soon became a hot spot for galena mining, and tourists poured in to fill their curiosity. As a result, the nearby towns were flourishing as real estate prices rose, and the local economy began to flourish. The area soon became known as New Galena.
Neimeyer began to experience difficulties mining the grounds due to the flooding that would frequently fill the mines and stop his business in its tracks. Neimeyer sold the land for an alleged $75,000, and moved to Ohio, where he retired.
The town’s post office was established in 1898, and was forced to change its name to Levin since there was already a town named Galena. The post office was discontinued a few years later, and the name New Galena was re-used by the locals. The town was virtually abandoned up until 1974, when the county decided to flood what was left of the remains. From that, what is known today as Lake Galena was created