In 1722 Sir William Keith, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, laid out a tract
of land west of the river. Prior to the coming of the first settlers in 1736, Newberry Township was
inhabited by the Susquehannock Indians. Before 1736, all settlement in Pennsylvania was kept
east of the Susquehanna River, but the Indian Treaty of 1736 extended Lancaster County's
boundary westward indefinitely. Quaker families from Lancaster and Chester counties
immediately set out across the Susquehanna to find new land. These settlers utilized the
Middletown Ferry to access the west bank of the river, and once they reached what is now
Newberry Township, settled throughout the Fishing Creek and Bennetts Run valleys. Newberry
Township was organized in 1742 and included what is now Fairview Township.
Prior to the start of the Revolutionary War, the early Quaker settlers became dissatisfied with
the quality of the farmland within Newberry Township and began moving out of it. [The name "Red
Lands" was given to the area because of the color of the soil and the red rocks on which it was
based.] German families from central York County, and Berks and Lancaster counties, soon
arrived to take over the vacant farmland.
By the late 18th century, several towns had sprung up throughout the township. Lewisberry and
Newberrytown were early Quaker settlements. Newberrytown began as a 42-acre tract of Quaker
meeting land, with a log meetinghouse built in 1745. Later, a new meetinghouse was built halfway
between Lewisberry and the Newberrytown meeting land, and the tract was developed as a town
in 1791. Newberrytown was situated on the road from Lancaster to Carlisle (which crossed the
Susquehanna River at the York Haven Ferry) and became an important stopping place along the
way. Lewisberry was also surveyed and platted in the 1790s. Its stores became busy and
prosperous. Schools were operated in both communities.
In 1803, Fairview Township was formed from the northern half of the original Newberry
Township. Lewisberry incorporated as a separate borough in 1832, as did Goldsboro in 1864 and
York Haven in 1892. With these losses of population and area, Newberry Township reached the
beginning of the 20th century with a population of just over 2,000 (only 296 more people than in
"In the area about 1825, a military organization was effected and named the Lafayette Guards.
Then the Lafayette Rifles were formed in 1832. These companies wore grey uniform with yellow
trimmings, had fine guns, knapsack, and ostrich feathers for plumes. At the time of the “Buckshot
war”, in 1839, they marched to Harrisburg, expecting that their services might be needed but they
returned the following day. Other military organization in the area were called “Cornstalk Guards”
and “The Twelve Apostles”. The “little muster day” for these organization was on the first Monday of
May. It was in preparation for the “big muster day” or “Battalion Day” where all the area
organizations got together to show off and be inspected. That was held in the second Monday of
May in Lewisberry or Dover. That day was also filled with food stands, vendors, cooking contests
and ended with a large dance.