Spring City, Pennsylvania

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Spring City is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,305 at the 2000 census. Spring City is a member of the Owen J. Roberts and Spring-Ford Area School Districts.

It is situated along the Schuylkill River, which divides Chester and Montgomery Counties. Directly across the river is the Borough of Royersford.

Contents

History

The first people in this area were the Lenni-Lenape Indians, who inhabited the Schuylkill watershed long before European colonization. The first non-Native American, arriving in the late 17th century, was a French Canadian fur trapper named Pierre Bezallion. The Leni Leanpe, who hunted and fished in the area, traded with Bezallion. As a result, William Penn called upon him when needed to act as an arbitrator in Indian affairs. Bezallion used a natural cave that was in Spring City to store his furs and to stay over when he was trapping in this area. However neither he nor the Indians made this area their permanent home. Pierre Bezallion died in 1740 and is buried over in Compass (near Coatesville).

As this area was settled it came to be referred to as “Pump Town,” so named due to a public pump frequented by citizens and visitors. The early residents had quite a battle over settling on an official name. There was a group who fought for the name “Pumptown” and others who liked Jamestown. Eventually the natural springs in the area proffered an obvious name and “Springville” was chartered on August 12, 1867. Yet even this choice wouldn’t stand as it was discovered that Pennsylvania already had a “Springville ”. So, in 1872 the name was changed to Spring City.

It was the opening of the Schuylkill Navigation Canal in 1824 that can be directly attributed to the early development of this small town. In 1840, the first bridge to connect Spring City to Royersford across the Schuylkill was completed. It was a covered wooden bridge. Canal born industries such as the American Paper Company and the Spring City Stove Company were operating as early as the 1850s and people were coming to live in Springville. As the people came, with them came the houses, churches, schools, and of course local government. Other industries such as glass making and knitting mills would soon follow.

Main Street was the center of activity in Spring City. It was where the businesses, stores and banks were located. The National Bank of Spring City, The Gem Theatre, the Spring City Hotel, and Mowery-Latshaw Hardware were but a few of the many establishments that were downtown on Main Street. Spring City had a large industrial development at the lower end of town on South Main Street and the Valley Forge Flag Company on North Main at the foot of Yost Avenue. The Spring City Hotel is located downtown at the corner of Main and New Streets. The cornerstone for this hotel was laid in 1892. When it was completed, it was the show place of the town. The hotel had gas and electric lights, flush toilets, and hot and cold running water in the bathrooms. This hotel is still in operation today and features a dining room and cocktail lounge. The Spring City National bank first opened for business in 1872. The building is still in existence today and is now a private residence. The Valley Forge Flag Factory was at the corner of Yost Avenue and Main Street in Spring City. The company began operation c.1932 in Spring City when the property was acquired from the Reiff shirt factory. Although flag manufacturing has ceased in Spring City, today the buildings have been given a new lease on life as the Flag House apartments for senior citizens. In 1864 a Post Office was opened in Spring City. John Sheeler was the postmaster and the office was located on the west end of the canal bridge in the vicinity of the current day Turkey Hill store.

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