As one familiarizes one’s self with the river-towns that dot Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a trend becomes apparent; these charming villages embody a balance between astounding natural beauty and sophisticated, small-town living. Frenchtown, an hour and fifteen minutes from both New York and Philadelphia, is a gleaming example of a charming river-town.
Frenchtown has gone by a few names over its years. Its current name derives from the French-speaking settlers who arrived around 1800, though there is little, if any, linguistic evidence of these early settlers. Modern Frenchtown grew from a pre-Industrial Age ferry port along the banks of the Delaware River. Ferries would transport travelers, settlers and merchants hither and yon Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 1841 a covered bridge was constructed connecting the town and Uhlerstown, Tinicum Township, Pa., across the river. This bridge and its subsequent replacements fueled Frenchtown’s growth.
Today, Frenchtown is a photogenic river town with a bustling main street. Its business district is lined with boutique shops, galleries, café’s, the substantial Frenchtown Inn, a farmers’ market, churches, salons and more. With access to the New Jersey canal path, the village is a popular stop for bikers and joggers. Outdoor dining is popular in Frenchtown. It’s a great place to spend a day browsing with time out for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Each July, the town holds a festive Bastille Day celebration on the weekend closest to July 14.
Home options abound. River Mills, a new, 20-unit townhouse community on the river in Frenchtown, is being built by George E. Michael & Co. with residences starting at $595,000 and topping out at just over $1,000,000. The main residential grid, just outside of the business district, is lined with well-maintained homes. Classic Victorians, single-family detached colonials, brick duplexes and Cape Cods make up these adorable village blocks. Most homes have off street parking. Many have roofed front-porches as well. The quaint size of Frenchtown translates to a very walkable town.
Frenchtown residency connotes a walkable, small town lifestyle and unparalleled access to the natural beauty of the river valley.