About Franklin Township

Situated 40 miles Northwest of Pittsburgh, Franklin Township is located in the very Northeast top of Beaver County. Both Butler and Lawrence Counties form the East and North border of the Township. The Connoquenessing Creek forms the Southwest Boundary. Franklin Township was established by an Act of Legislation on February 28, 1850. 


Square Miles


Early records indicate Franklin Township was predominately a farming community. Early settlers of the area consisted of stone masons, stock raisers, farmers, and grain raisers. Coal mines also existed. In 1814, Dr. Detmar Basse created Bassenheim Iron Furnace along Old Furnace Road. There iron pigs and castings were created, approximately five tons a week.

In the mid 1800’s the churches included St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lillyville Church of God, and Camp Run Presbyterian Church. Camp Run Presbyterian and Lillyville Church of God still exist today.

Transportation consisted of horse and wagon, soon followed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad. Residents were also transported along the Harony Short line until 1937. The major road through the township today is State Route 288. The Township has a combined mileage of 66.3 miles of State and Township Roads. The Zelienople Municipal Airport is located in the township. It houses both private and local plane owners and several corporate aircrafts.

The population has grown from 300 to over 4,000 today. One major attraction in our area is the Red Barn Theatre, a Summer Stock Playhouse located along State Route 288. Our community provides a Public Park known as Franklin Park where summer sports activities are constantly in play.

Visit www.FombellHistory.org for more history.