Prior to 1735, North Valley was divided into two townships - Pennsboro and Hopewell.
In 1850, Upper Allen Township was formed from East Pennsboro Township, and in 1867, a village began taking shape about one-half mile south of Mechanicsburg along the road to Shepherdstown.
This early settlement was named Kohlerstown after its original settlers and was followed soon after by another settlement named Bowmansdale, named after Jacob Bowman, a former Cumberland County Sheriff.
Bowmansdale became a terminal for the Harrisburg and Potomac Railroad and included a store, two lumber and coal yards, a carpenter shop and a grist mill. Between 1749 and 1818, in addition to agricultural activities, a handful of mills and lime kilns operated along Yellow Breeches Creek.
The mining of iron ore also played an important role in early development of the area. In 1840, a hermatite mine began operating just west of Shepherdstown, and within eight years, 2,900 tons of ore had been taken out for furnaces in Dauphin and Boiling Springs. The distilling of whiskey was another early industry to be established in the township. It was more economical for farmers to convert their grain to spirits and transport it than it was to move large amounts of bulk farm produce over poor roads. The whiskey was taken to Philadelphia and Baltimore where it was traded for dry goods, groceries and hardware.
Since becoming a First Class Township in 1967, Upper Allen Township has continued to experience significant, orderly and planned growth. Although commercial and industrial development is underway in those areas set aside for such uses, large farms still exist throughout the area, providing a tranquil setting within minutes of Harrisburg.
The Township of Upper Allen has, over the years, passed through a process of legislative change common to many American communities. While only a few simple laws were necessary at the time of the establishment of the Township, subsequent growth of the community, together with the complexity of modern life, has created the need for new and more detailed legislation for the proper function and government of the township.
The recording of local law is an aspect of municipal history, and as the community develops and changes, review and revision of old laws and consideration of new laws, in the light of current trends, must keep pace. The orderly collection of these records is an important step in this ever-changing process. Legislation must be more than mere chronological enactments reposing in the pages of old records. It must be available and logically arranged for convenient use and must be kept up-to-date.