Carved out of Pequea Township in 1729, Salisbury Township, named for Salisbury in England, whose cathedral spire dominates the countryside, became a refuge for families fleeing religious persecution in Europe and a fertile ground for farming & related businesses. In 1701, William Penn himself, struck by its beauty and fertility, kept 200 acres of Salisbury Township for his own use in The Gap, already known for its strategic position between the hills.
Though most settlers began as farmers in Salisbury Township, industry and commerce emerged to suit the needs of the citizens. Grain and lumber mills appeared along the Pequea. Villages developed at the crossroads, some of the dwellings housing two businesses at once. These villages creating strong identities often centering around the country store or post office took such names as Puddintown, later Jacksonville and Bethania, Buyerstown, Meadville, Mast, South Hermitage, Buena Vista, Cains, Mount Airy, Vinola, Springville, Spring Garden, Limeville, Roseneath, Salisbury Village and Cambridge. As people became increasingly mobile, the villages lost their original commercial focus but retained their rural, historical charm as residential centers with a few businesses continuing to flourish.
Though copper and nickel mining began as early as 1718, unprofitability ended the effort. The lime-burning business, though, began as early as the first farmers who built their own kilns for their own use. By 1850 ten businesses had sold over 150,000 bushels of limestone. Continuing today, limestone quarries remain a vital part of Salisbury Township's industry.
The Gap, once a point of convergence for travelers in the early days and a commercial center with the advent of the railroad, has again become a magnet for mercantile activity with the development in 1996 of The Village at Gap, a mini-mall with a great variety of stores and services.
The establishment of Salisbury Community Park in 1984 with its variety of recreational equipment and activities for every age group has been busy since it opened. Well-cared for and kept up-to-date with ecological and human needs foremost it can be a model for people and land working together.
Salisbury Township, like most townships in the United States of America and the world, stands at its own crossroads. Preservation names one signpost; progress the other. The choice is not clear cut as a migration of folks enters our bounds to experience country living, as landowners agonize over how to sell land they can no longer keep, as agents stand poised to substitute blacktop and rooftops for the natural design of hills falling into each other, watercourses tumbling naturally from the surrounding hills, springs bubbling up from their limestone beds, grains blanketing the fields, horses and cows feeding freely in the meadows.