Bristol is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Center City Philadelphia, opposite Burlington, New Jersey on the Delaware River. Bristol was first incorporated in 1720. Although its charter was revised in 1905, the original charter remains in effect, making Bristol one of the older boroughs in Pennsylvania. 7,104 people lived in Bristol in 1900; 9,256 in 1910; 10,273 in 1920; and 11,895 in 1940. The population was 9,726 at the 2010 census. The current Mayor is Joseph Saxton. The first female Mayor was Margaret Stakenas, elected in 1979.
Bristol was first settled in 1681 as Buckingham (for Buckingham, England). It was originally used as a port and dock. Bristol is rich in history, boasting many historic and restored houses that line the streets of Radcliffe and Mill.
Until 1725 Bristol served as county seat of Bucks County.
From its earliest days Bristol was a center of milling. With the building of the Delaware Canal and the Pennsylvania Railroad it became a center of transportation and an attractive location for industry.
By the 1880s Bristol was home to many factories, including companies manufacturing wall paper and carpet.
In 1917 Averell Harriman organized the Bristol shipyards. The area around the shipyards was named Harriman. In 1922 Harriman was annexed by Bristol.
During World War II the old shipyards were used to build airplanes.
In 1961, Bristol gained national attention when the song "Bristol Stomp", by The Dovells hit #2 on the Billboard pop chart. The song remains a local favorite, and it is often played at ceremonies, parades, and sporting events.
The Bristol Historic District, Bristol Industrial Historic District, Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, Dorrance Mansion, General Stores and Mold Loft Building-Harriman Yard of the Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation, Grundy Mill Complex, Harriman Historic District, Jefferson Avenue School and Jefferson Land Association Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal is also designated a National Historic Landmark District.