Falls Township officials hope a local organization or historical group can make better use of the 300-year-old Three Arches home. The property, which has ties to William Penn, sits empty most of the time and is underused.
Falls has owned the Three Arches property, located at 335 Trenton Road, since 1971.
The township has meticulously preserved and maintained the residence, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
This year, the township will replace the home’s roof. In recent years, Falls has undertaken preservation efforts to replace weathered windows, doors, shutters, and a bulkhead basement door.
Even with the township’s penchant for historical preservation over the last five decades, officials are wondering if it might be time for new ownership of Three Arches.
A new owner could potentially open the home – and its beautiful grounds – to tours, school field trips and hold local history events there.
In the past, Falls had rented the space out for small gatherings and had previously held Christmas tree lightings there.
Limited parking and tight quarters inside the home have made regular use more difficult.
For now, Falls is seeking interest from nonprofit organizations and groups interested in acquiring the 17th century property.
Falls is also amenable to offering a donation to help with future preservation efforts.
“It’s a shame to see a piece of our township’s history essentially closed to the public,” Falls Supervisors Chairman Jeff Dence said.
The homestead dates to 1684 when the first owner of record was granted the land from William Penn’s Commissioners.
The historical importance of the property centers on owners John and Mary Sotcher, who were believed to have built the first stone section around 1712, with substantial additions around 1760 and 1806.
At the outset, the Sotcher Farmhouse was a one-story stone structure.
Future additions morphed it into a 2½ story, four bay fieldstone structure incorporating the home’s unique three arches.
The Sotchers were trusted friends of William Penn and worked as steward and housekeeper for him at Penn’s estate in Pennsbury in the early 1700s.
Penn attended the Sotcher marriage in 1701 at the Falls Meeting. Penn signed the marriage certificate, as well as Phineas Pemberton and James Logan and other notable Bucks County figures.
If interested in acquiring the Three Arches property, call Parks and Recreation Director Brian Andrews, at 215-949-9000 x220, or email email@example.com.