Boyertown, Pennsylvania

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Boyertown is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,940 at the 2000 census.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 kmĀ²), all of it land.


Boyertown's history goes back more than a century before the war for independence. As early as 1601, the acres compromising the present day town were part of a grant given to Thomas Baylor in Bristol, England. At that time, the area's rolling hills were covered with virgin timber the likes of which are known only by records settlers kept.

Thomas Baylor did not settle the land. King Charles II of England gave the land to William Penn as a debt payment. It was suggested that the land be named New Wales or Sylvania but the king decided to call it Pennsylvania, meaning "Penn's Woods" would be more appropriate. Penn called this land a "holy experiment" as we wanted it to be settled by those who sought refuge from religious persecution.

Soon after Penn established his "Holy Experiment", the German refugees came to Pennsylvaniain in 1683 and settled the Germantown area of Philadelphia. As the area grew, a number of German settlers moved westward where many excelled at farming and animal care.

Since 1738, the settlers of the country far to the west of Philadelphia had tried to establish a new county because of the difficulty in transacting legal business in the county seat of Philadelphia. This was finally accomplished on March 11, 1752 when Berks became the seventh county with Reading as the county seat. By 1811, the population of Berks was 3,000.

During this same time, a vital industry in the area began to grow - mining of iron ore. In 1716, Thomas Rutter came to the area to start a business. He left Germantown and came to the banks or the Manatawny Creek where he built a forge called "Pool Forge".As he started other businesses, he named them after places in England. Names such as Warwick, Stowe, Coventry and Colebrookdale still exist today.

In Germantown, there also lived a Welsh family named Potts. Thomas Potts had been born in Wales, brought up among Germans and educated by the Quakers. He also went to the Manatawny iron area where he joined Ratter at the Colebrookdale furnace and forge.

In 1830, Thomas Potts acquired 250 acres of the Colebrookdale Estate from the Rutters. Here he erected a large house and called it Popodickon after an indian chief named Popodick. This mansion still stands near Gablesville. Other mines opened and flourished.

Once the war for independence started, a need developed for iron ore and other goods and services. This is when the indian trails of Berks County became major roads. One of these roads was the "Great Road" (now 422) that ran between Philadelphia and Reading. In 1723, a road serving the Colebrookdale mines was laid through Greshville and Pine, fording the Manatawny at Douglassville and climbing a hill where it met the "Great Road". These roads formed an important intersection for the Colebrookdale Iron Works.

In 1690, the Mennonite meeting house was built on land purchased from Henry Stauffer. Here they held service every 4 weeks. This building also served as the areas first school. This building was located on North Reading Avenue near the old post office.

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