Bensalem is a large township in southeastern Pennsylvania, located on the northwest border of the city of Philadelphia. Because Bensalem is so close to Philadelphia, there's a wide variety of entertainment, shopping and dining just a short drive away. Bensalem is made up of several smaller communities, many of which maintain their own unique personalities and identities. The town is nearly as old as Pennsylvania itself, founded just 10 years after the state, in 1692.
The History of Bensalem
It's difficult to determine the exact origins of the name of Bensalem, but most local history tells one primary story. The area had a town named Salem in records dating as far back as 1692, and the prefix "Ben" was added in 1701.
Most people trace the town's name to a settler named Joseph Growden, who received a grant for about 5,000 acres of land where Bensalem now stands. Growden built a manor he called The Manor of Bensalem, in honor of William Penn, a Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, combined with the Semitic term for peace, "salem."
Living in Bensalem
Bensalem has a small-town atmosphere, but still provides plenty of interesting things to do and see. The Philadelphia Park Racetrack and Casino is a major attraction in the area, featuring a 1-mile horse racing track. More recently, the large Parx Casino was opened in the area, providing gaming and a major entertainment venue in Bensalem. The Penn Community Park Amphitheater is also host to many concerts and local performances.
If you're looking for shopping, you can take advantage of Bensalem's Neshaminy Mall and its more than 120 stores and restaurants. The town also offers a large movie theater, which is the biggest and busiest in the entire state.
One of Bensalem's most unique attractions is the Mongkoltepmunee Buddhist Temple, an exact replica of a large temple in Bangkok, Thailand. The only temple of its kind in the country, it serves as a functioning temple for a local group of Buddhist monks.
Students who live in Bensalem attend schools in Bensalem Township School District. The district offers a career and technical center at Bucks County Technical High School, providing specific education paths based on students' profession of choice.
Resources for Moving to Bensalem
Here are a few helpful resources to make your move to Bensalem as easy as possible:
Utilities: Bensalem's major utilities providers include Aqua Pennsylvania, Peco Energy and Bucks County Water and Sewer.
Garbage and Recycling: You'll choose a private company for trash and recycling collection services. Most of these companies assign your collection day based on your location.
Transportation: SEPTA operates several public rail routes through Bensalem and its neighboring communities. Amtrak also facilitates Metroliner commuter rail service in the area.
You may be surprised to learn that Bensalem homes are, on average, more expensive than the Philadelphia metro area average. However, the town provides a comfortable suburban lifestyle within close proximity to the city, making it a desirable place to live. The market provides many options, so you'll have a range of choices whether you're looking for an apartment, a town home or a single-family home.