Volunteers Wanted!
There are a wide variety of areas
needing volunteers from creating
displays to assisting researchers....
Please consider volunteering at the
Historical Society.  
Copyright 2014: Boyertown Area Historical Society

2014 Programs resume in October
From a church tour and organ
recital to model railroading and
Christmas ornaments
....come and
enjoy the many excellent
programs scheduled for the
remainder of 2014
Go to the
program page for
additional information.
Copyright, 2015. Boyertown Area Historical Society

43 S. Chestnut Street
Boyertown, PA  19512
General email:
Museum and Library:
Office Manager:
Web Site:
Follow the Society on Facebook:
Wednesday 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM
Tuesday 5:00-9:00 PM
Please contact the
Museum and Library Director or Office Manager
for Information on Group Tours and Educational Programs.
Closed Holidays
use this link to access the Historical Society By-Laws

7:00 PM
First Wednesday of the Month,
October to June
Society Building
(no meeting in January)
A $5.00 donation is being asked of all non-members
who attend the monthly meetings.
2015 programs.
October 7, 2015
Hank Frecon will talk about Apple Cider,
its production and importance to the community.
November 4, 2015
Robert Gerhart talks about Annie Funk of Bally,
a 38 year old missionary who
became a victim of the Titantic tragedy.
Boyertown Area
Historical Society

What is the difference between a ghost, a
spirit, and a spoo
Discover another side to Boyertown.
Take part in a Ghost Walk, a Haunted Train Ride,
or a Paranormal Investigation....
Ghost walks are the fourth Saturday of the month.
Go to the events page for details on these exciting offerings
including a DVD on the Rhoads Opera House Fire and
Charles Adams III's book,
Haunted Boyertown, about the
strange and mysterious happenings in the area.
Der Belsnickel Craft Show
Nationally Recognized for Excellence
For more information, use the
Craft Show link
Registrations are currently being processed for
the 2015 Belsnickel.
the Ghosts
are back!
After the Fire
the Fire
Has this 1908 fire tragedy
and the loss of almost
200 people
affected Boyertown's
Haunted History?
Take a Ghost Walk and
investigate the
other side of Boyertown.
Events Page
provides information on
the date and ticket price
of Boyertown's
Historic Ghost Walks.
Thank you to Margaret Harner for researching and supplying these
vignettes of life in  Boyertown.
This date in the
Boyertown area:
Use this link, Daily News, to read previous articles

June 28, 1891 and June 30, 1948
Two milestones in the life of Four Star General Carl A. Spaatz, celebrated two days apart. June 28,
1891 was the inauspicious beginning of his life; his father, the editor of the Boyertown newspaper,
didn’t even mention his birth in his paper! June 30, 1948 was a very auspicious day, commemorated
with as much “pomp and circumstance” as the General would allow. That was the day he retired from
the United States Air Force after an illustrious 34 year career. He would permit no parade or massive
fly-over; there was a small ceremony in the Pentagon. He had tried to retire three years earlier, at the
end of World War II because he was “bone tired,” both physically and emotionally exhausted after four
years of war. He agreed to remain as the leader of the army air force only as long as it took for that
branch of the service to establish its independence. He now faced  the decision of what to do with the
rest of his life.  According to his wife, he considered returning to Boyertown and buying back the
Boyertown Times, the successor to his family’s newspaper. It is unlikely that she was too excited
about that option, since she had been living in the Washington, D.C. area for many years. There was
some talk of his running for Governor of Pennsylvania, which he “quickly turned aside.” He felt that
writing memoirs was too “self-serving,” and that idea was rejected. He had no interest in corporate life,
but Newsweek’s offer of a position as its military editor was appealing. That job combined his
newspaper experience in Boyertown helping with dad’s paper and obvious military background with
an opportunity to espouse his support for the causes of airpower and preparedness, and time off for
his hobbies. He quickly accepted the offer and took off for Mexico on a month-long fishing trip. He
wrote articles for the news magazine for 13 years, including time as a war correspondent during the
Korean War. He and his wife Ruth kept busy, and he could now spend time on things he loved to do,
including with his grandchildren. He was not at home much as his own daughters were growing up, and
he had a wonderful time with the next generation.

June 29, 1894
Little Jimmy Wentzel, a man in years (27) but not in size (slightly over 3 feet), had an exciting
adventure that he won’t forget in a hurry. He and Ed Mowday were about to leave the Little Oley
Hotel with Jimmy in Mowday’s carriage, when the horse shied, took a wild plunge and started off on a
mad run towards Boyertown. Jimmy had no lines to hold the horse, so he grabbed his tail, attempting
to stop him. The horse kept on running, and jerked Jimmy about in the carriage “in a manner that was
more exciting than agreeable.” Jimmy pluckily stuck to his seat, awaiting an opportunity to jump out.
When they reached the old Phoenix mine site in town, where there is a slight upgrade, Jimmy got down
over the side of the carriage and dropped to the ground with only a small cut on his finger. The horse
kept going in a wild gallop, and did not stop until he reached Kulp’s Hotel in Gilbertsville, where he
turned in and was caught. The wild flight caused a bit of excitement in town, and little Jimmy was the
hero of the hour for his miraculous escape. Mowday said he had never been so worried in his whole life
until he heard that Jimmy was safe, expecting to find him bleeding and mangled somewhere along the

June 30, 1811
Rev. Jacob Miller has recorded two baptisms that he performed today. This is the first written activity
of the Boyertown Lutheran congregation, and it has become the official beginning of St. John’s
Evangelical Lutheran Church. It has been a preaching point of the mother church, Falkner Swamp New
Hanover Lutheran Church, the oldest German Lutheran congregation in the United States, at least since
1809, and possibly earlier. The baptisms were of Samuel Leaver, son of Johannes and Catherine Leaver,
whose sponsors were Charles and Maria Luphold and Rebecca Sassaman, daughter of Heinrich and
Elizabeth Sassaman, whose sponsors were Heinrich and Sarah Boyer, owners of the tavern known as
Boyers, which became the original name of the congregation as well as the village where it was located.
Samuel Leaver will become a leader in the incorporation of Boyertown as an independent borough in
1866, its first “Burgermeister,” a member of the borough council, and the editor of the local newspaper,
The Boyertown Bauer (farmer). His great granddaughter Marguerite Leaver Macpeak will bequeath
more than $6,500,000 to St. John’s in 2001 (See April 21 post.)