43 S. Chestnut Street
Boyertown, PA  19512
General email:
Museum and Library:
Office Manager:
Web Site:
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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

No Program Meetings Until October 5, 2016

December 7, 2016
Open House for Members and their children only!
View a collection of vintage and
antique Christmas ornaments at the home
of a Society member.  
Refreshments will be provided.

Life in Boyertown on
this date:
These vignettes of life in Boyertown were researched by Margaret Harner
Information on the Boyertown Opera House Fire is contained in
two articles on the daily news page from January 1908.
Use the
Daily News link to access this page.

June 25, 1898
A fire at the Swamp Hotel was discovered this morning around 10:00 by the proprietor, Jeremiah
Rhoads, and his brother Jonathan, the hostler. Neighbors were soon on the scene, but owing to the
dry condition of the woodwork in the old building, it was impossible to save the structure, and by 4:
00, the building was a heap of ashes and ruins. During the course of the fire, the hotel stables and
barn and Leidy’s store were in great danger of being devoured, but a bucket brigade, by persistent
and judicious work, succeeded in saving them. Men were stationed on the roofs, others carried the
water, and in this manner, they were effective in containing the conflagration. The brick and log
two and a half story hotel was more than 100 years old, and had been substantially constructed.
Shortly after the flames were discovered, Mrs. Rhoads attempted to save some antique quilts from
the attic, but was overcome by the heat and smoke. She was rescued by her neighbor, Washington
Leidy, the storekeeper. She is severely burned about her face and arms. The family’s furniture was
removed to Dr. Septimus Knipe’s home, where the Rhoads family is being sheltered now. Rhoads
intends to rebuild, and will temporarily set up his barroom in the hotel shed opposite the ruins.(Ten
years later, at the age of 50, Jeremiah Rhoads was killed in the Opera House fire. It was reported
that he had escaped the building, but went back in to rescue his nieces, who had accompanied him to
the theater. They were Dr. Knipe’s daughters, Emily, age 23, Catherine, age 26, and Lizzie, age 35,
who also perished in the fire. The aged doctor insisted on looking for the bodies of his daughters in
the ruins. It was reported in the Philadelphia Press, “Dr. Knipe found the bodies of all of his
daughters and watched, grief-bowed, as the shrouded forms were carried to a waiting hearse.” The
Swamp Hotel was auctioned off in March.)

The Dough Boys Are Home  
June 26, 1919
All of Boyertown has turned out to welcome our boys home from the Great War in Europe. Two
blocks on North Reading Avenue have been roped off to traffic and the parade started at 3 PM with
all of our brave soldiers, school children and many citizens marching up Philadelphia Avenue,
accompanied by the Keystone Band. There was a community sing, a banquet at the Keystone Fire
Company, and dancing in the streets. Major Charles B. Dotterer and the 10 men from Boyertown
who enlisted with him and traveled together to France two years ago have all returned safe and
sound and are all at this celebration. Major Dotterer was the Field Director of the 305th Sanitary
Train in France and was credited with establishing the best hospital in the First

June 27, 1973
The Boyertown Area Multi Service began today with two rented rooms, a second hand desk, a
telephone, $13,000, a totally dedicated staff of one, Jo Guerre-Chaley and a vision of bringing a
variety of agencies to Boyertown to serve the community. From its first office in the Community
Center on West Philadelphia Avenue, Multi Service has grown exponentially and far exceeded
anyone’s wildest dreams. The secret of its success was that it has responded to the needs of the
community in so many ways, providing numerous different services. It was recognized for its vital
work in 1985 when it received the Governor’s Keystone Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service
and dedication to the needs of the community. Mrs. Guerre-Chaley was named the 1986 Boyertown
Citizen of the Year for her leadership in developing the Boyertown Area Multi Service into what it
is today.

Copyright, 2016. Boyertown Area Historical Society
Boyertown Area
Special Exhibit
Boyertown's Centennial
Museum Hours:  
6:00 PM-8:00 PM Tuesday
10:00 AM-3:00 PM Wednesday

Help us save History!
2016 Memberships
are due!  
Please use this
Link for
information and
an application.
Next Meeting
Wonder What was in
Centennial Time
View items found in
the Time Capsule.  
at the Boyertown Area
Historical Society
Der Belsnickel Craft Show
Use the craft show  link for information
on the Belsnickel Craft Show.
Registration forms for the 2016 show have
been emailed or sent USPS to those
craft people who are juried and approved
to participate in the Belsnickel.
Confirmations and post cards will be mailed by USPS  the
second week of July 2016
Quilt Show and Sale
Celebrating Boyertown's Sesquicentennial
September 16 to 18, 2016
Opening Event: A Review of the
Antique Quilts on Display by a
Quilt Historian
Show Hours listed on the Events and the Quilt Page
Use this
Link for the Quilt Page and
information on displaying a quilt.
The Show is an event not to be missed!