This is the first in a series of three or four articles on the history of Joppatowne – note I said Joppatowne and not Joppa.
The history of the colonial town of Joppa is one that has been discussed at great lengths already and is to me frankly not that interesting. It’s important and one of the neater parts of living here, but save for a few noteworthy events, it’s mostly just same as any other colonial village.
Also, quick side note, in recent years many Joppatowne residents have taken to dropping the E from the end of the name, they do this because they overlook the history of the 1962 development. However, unless you live on Rumsey island you don’t live in the town of Joppa. Before Joppatowne was Joppatowne, most of it was swamp and green bean farms, not a colonial village.
Anyways. The idea for Joppatowne came from the mind of one of the more forgotten real estate “geniuses” of his era. Mr. Leon Panitz and his brother.
One of the bigger arguments people like to make is on whether or not Joppatowne was the first P.U.D (Planned Urban Development) or not.
I personally believe it is. While Levvittown and others came earlier,
they didn’t have all the features Joppatowne was to have. Many of which did not come to fruition because of the Panitz brothers bankruptcy, which will be discussed in our final issue of the history.
The development of the PUD Joppatowne started in early 1960, when, after having the idea since the beginning of the post war period, Leon Panitz finally acquired the majority of the land that was to be Joppatowne. Most of the land was owned by small homeowners and farmers while a good bit of it, and this was the last bit to be acquired (in mid to late 1961) was owned by one Frank R Chell. This being the C, D, and some of the F streets.
Mr. Panitz and his company had very big plans for the quaint waterfront plot of land they purchased besides just housing. We will get into all of that and more in the next issue of The Towne Crier.
In other News:
• The Old Joppa road 95 overpass is closing till 2020. This will cause issues with HCPS bus transportation. As well as food delivery from The Towne Pub for anyone who lives past the bridge. Any specific questions call either of those establishments.