Special Report

102 American Towns Founded Before the American Revolution

40. Greenwich, Connecticut
> Founded: 1665
> Population: 13,429

Settlers from Massachusetts were the first to purchase the patch of land that is now Greenwich, right between the Asamuck and Patomuck rivers.

Source: John Phelan / WIkimedia Commons

41. Lyme, Connecticut
> Founded: 1667
> Population: 2,406

Lyme was named after the coastal town of Lyme Regis in England. The town separated from Saybrook in 1665 and was named Lyme in 1667.

42. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
> Founded: 1668
> Population: 13,420

Founded by French settlers, Sault Ste. Marie is the oldest city in Michigan.

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

43. Charleston, South Carolina
> Founded: 1670
> Population: 137,566

King Charles II of England gave the Carolina territory to eight friends who helped restore the monarchy. The town of Charleston is named after him.

44. Edgartown, Massachusetts
> Founded: 1671
> Population: 649

Edgartown was settled by English immigrants Thomas Mayhew Sr. and his son Thomas Jr.

45. Nantucket, Massachusetts
> Founded: 1671
> Population: 7,830

Nantucket was populated by the Wampanoag Native American tribe until the land was deeded to Thomas Mayhew Sr. and his son Thomas Jr.

46. Derby, Connecticut
> Founded: 1675
> Population: 12,755

English fur traders were among the first Europeans in the area of Derby. Native American tribes such as the Paugassetts and the Pootatucks had inhabited the area long before the English.

Source: ghornephoto / Getty Images

47. Peoria, Illinois
> Founded: 1680
> Population: 110,417

French explorers, including Robert Cavalier Sieur de LaSalle, founded Peoria, Illinois. Peoria is the name of the predominant Native American tribes in the Illinois confederacy.

Source: kinglear55 / Flickr

48. Ysleta, Texas
> Founded: 1680
> Population: 9,232

Ysleta, now a section of El Paso, was founded by Franciscan missionaries and Spanish settlers.

Source: S. Greg Panosian / Getty Images

49. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Founded: 1682
> Population: 1,584,064

William Penn and the Quakers founded Philadelphia as a place of religious tolerance.