About BOYERTOWN, PA


POPULATION:  


Borough of Boyertown - 3,702;
Boyertown School District - 38,171


LOCATION:  


20 miles east of Reading and 41 miles northwest of Philadelphia


RECREATION & SITES OF INTEREST:  

Boyertown American Legion Baseball:  

610.367.0206

Boyertown Area Senior Center:  

610.367.2313

Boyertown Area YMCA:  

610.369.1011

Boyertown Park and Swimming Pool:  

- information at Borough Hall
  610.369.3028

Boyertown Area Historical Society:  

610.367.5255

Boyertown Museum of Historical  
Vehicles:  

610.367.2090
and www.boyertownmuseum.org

The National Centre for Padre  
Pio, Inc.:  

- just outside Boyertown in Barto
  610.845.3000

Zerns Farmers Market and Auctions:  

- just outside Boyertown in Gilbertsville
  610.367.2461


SERVICE CLUBS:  


Ambucs, Exchange Club, Jaycees, Junior Women's Club, Kiwanis, Lions, Oddfellows, Optimists, Rotarians


HISTORICAL INFORMATION:  


Boyertown arose at a crossroads where Henry Boyer purchased an inn across from a store built by his brother, Daniel, in the year 1801. The area was originally settled in the early 1700ís by Germans, Swiss and French Huguenots. By 1750 furnaces and forges formed a major source of industry for the area where large deposits of iron ore, abundant forests, and water power encouraged this new business. In 1814 a German Lutheran Church was established and the Reading Ave. / Philadelphia Ave. crossroads became known as "Boyers". Between 1865 and 1900 the railroad came to town creating the most significant and lasting change. The borough was founded in 1866 and many small factories of mass-produced goods brought more people to the area. The ensuing building boom added many lovely Victorian structures to Boyertown, many of which are wonderfully maintained to this day. On January 13, 1908 the Boyertown Opera House in the Rhoads Building on Philadelphia Ave. was the scene of a tragic fire. A kerosene lantern was accidentally knocked over starting a fire on the stage and igniting gas from the stereopticon. In the panic that followed, 170 men, women and children perished when they were unable to escape from the second floor auditorium. It was later determined that the crowd was unable to find and use fire escapes, and that the doors people were trying to exit through could not be opened outward, therefore the crush of bodies effectively locked people inside the burning building.

The Pennsylvania State Legislature passed two bills into law in May of 1909 as a result of the Boyertown Opera House Fire. Act 233 addressed installation of safety features in similar buildings such as doors which open outward, more than one exit from second floors, properly lit exterior doors from backstage areas, easily accessed and visibly marked fire escapes, and so on. Act 206 required fire proof booths for projector machines and stereopticons.

Sources for the above information include the books by Mary Jane Schneider entitled "Midwinter Mourning" (vol. 1) and "A Town in Tragedy" (vol. 2) and the Tricounty Chamber of Commerce publication "Greater Boyertown, Pennsylvania: A Special Kind of Place". More information can be found by visiting the Historical Society or by accessing www.realnetworks.com/festival for a narrated slide show.


MAJOR INDUSTRIES:

Historical:  

Iron Mines,
Knitting Mills,
The Boyertown Autobody Works
    (makers of the Boyertown Trolley),
The Boyertown Casket Factory

Current:  

Boyertown Planing Mill,
Cabot Industries,
Campbell Corp. (pipe fittings),
Eastern Foundry,
Federal Mogul (Automotive Lighting)
and many others

Agriculture:  

AGRICULTURE of many kinds surrounds Boyertown. Most noteworthy are the Dairy Farms, Orchards and several Wineries. For more information on local businesses access the TRICOUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE website at www.tricopa.com


LOCAL EVENTS:


Boyertown Fun Days (Carnival and Concerts at Boyertown Park in early June)
Annual Sidewalk Expo (in late June)
Duryea Days (Auto Show on Labor Day Weekend)
Heritage Days (each Fall)
Halloween Parade (largest in the area, end of October)
Der Belsnickel (Show and Sale of work by Juried Artisans, in the Fall)
Santa Celebration (first Sunday of December)

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© 2005 - Boyertown Community Library