North East Borough land was first purchased from the state by a man named Brown, who sold it to an Eastern speculator by the name of Gibson in 1804. In 1808, a tavern was built on the site of what is now Haynes House. A village formed around the tavern and was called Burgettstown. In 1819 the name was changed to Gibsonville in honor of the speculator, who owned most of the property and who had donated the park in the center of the borough.
On February 27, 1834, the village was incorporated as the Borough of North East.
North East Township was first called Lower Greenfield. But when it was organized, the name North East was given because of its position as the most northeastern township of the original sixteen (16) townships. North East was the first of the lakeshore townships to be settled. Joseph Shadduck, who came from Vermont, was the first, purchasing a tract in 1794 near the center of the township. George and Henry Hurst, from New Jersey, followed and, with Shadduck, made a settlement. By 1820, the township had 1,068 residents; by 1880, it had 2,152.