Special Report

100 American Towns Founded Before the American Revolution

Source: Acroterion / Wikimedia Commons

91. Shepherdstown, West Virginia
> Founded: 1762
> Population: 1,578

Colonial settlers migrating into Shenandoah Valley founded Shepherdstown.

Source: Justin A. Wilcox / Wikimedia Commons

92. Romney, West Virginia
> Founded: 1762
> Population: 2,301

Romney was founded by colonial settlers and is West Virginia’s oldest town.

Source: AnnaCrossan / iStock

93. Allentown, Pennsylvania
> Founded: 1762
> Population: 119,624

Allentown was originally called Northamptontown by its founder William Allen, chief justice of colonial Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court.

Source: JillLang / iStock

94. Charlotte, North Carolina
> Founded: 1768
> Population: 808,834

Colonists named the town after King George III’s wife, Charlotte, who was born in what is now Germany.

Source: Thinkstock

95. San Diego, California
> Founded: 1769
> Population: 1,374,812

San Diego was founded by Spanish missionaries and it was the first settlement by Europeans in what would become California.

Source: Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

96. Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
> Founded: 1770s
> Population: 5,771

Prairie du Chien was founded by French missionaries, explorers, and fur traders.

Source: Scott Saghirian / Wikimedia Commons

97. Ellicott, Maryland
> Founded: 1772
> Population: 70,780

Brothers Joseph, Andrew, and John Ellicott who were Quakers founded Ellicott’s Mills after buying property west of Baltimore.

Source: FloNight / Wikimedia Commons

98. Harrodsburg, Kentucky
> Founded: 1774
> Population: 8,409

Harrodsburg was founded by James Harrod, and claims to be the oldest permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Source: Packbj / Wikimedia Commons

99. Tucson, Arizona
> Founded: 1775
> Population: 527,586

Tucson was founded by Irishman Hugh O’Conor for the Spanish crown. The settlement was originally called San Agustin de Toixon, a name shortened and modified to Tucson.

Source: JackieNix / iStock

100. Lexington, Kentucky
> Founded: 1775
> Population: 311,529

American colonists gave the town its name in honor of the Battle of Lexington in Massachusetts, the first battle of the American Revolution.