Berks Heritage Center Distelfink Reading PA Historical Sites
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Beidler House

1130 Old River Road, Gibralter, PA 19508 | 610-372-8939

The Beidler House was built in 1783 by Conrad Beidler to serve as a home for the operator of the nearby grist mill. Ths mill, built in 1766 was destroyed by fire and only the stone walls remain. The house is open by appointment and for special programs.

Berks Heritage Council

Berks Heritage Council

Reading, PA | 800-443-6610

Discover our Pennsylvania German culture, exciting historic sites, and fascinating museums. Attend our meetings featuring heritage experts. Use our resources for researching your family’s history and that of our county. Ride through our beautiful countryside to see our covered bridges, canals, mills, caves, iron furnaces, and distinctive architecture. Introduce your family to frontiersman Daniel Boone, automotive pioneer Charles Duryea, Indian treaty maker Conrad Weiser, and other figures. Visit our collections of vintage railroad memorabilia, aircraft, firefighting equipment, antiques, folk art, and fine art. For general information, call the Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Central PA African-American Museum

119 N 10th St., Reading, PA 19601 | (610) 371-8713

Bethel A.M.E. Church, now known as the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum, is a historic African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was originally built in 1837, and is a 2 1/2-story brick and stucco building with a gable roof. It was rebuilt about 1867-1869, and remodeled in 1889. It features a three-story, brick tower with a pyramidal roof and topped by a finial. The church is known to have housed fugitive slaves and the congregation was active in the Underground Railroad. The church is now home to a museum dedicated to the history of African Americans in Central Pennsylvania.

Centre Park Historic District

707 N. 5th Street, Reading, PA 19601 | (610) 375-7860

Visit Centre Park, Reading’s premier historic neighborhood. Stroll through the neighborhood and view beautiful Victorian homes, or visit the Artifacts Bank where you’ll find loads of salvaged items perfect for rehabbing and repurposing.

Conrad Weiser Homestead

28 Weiser Lane, Womelsdorf, PA 19567 | (610) 589-2934

The Conrad Weiser Homestead is a Pennsylvania state historic site located in Womelsdorf on Route 422. Conrad Weiser was an 18th century German immigrant who served as an Indian interpreter and helped coordinate Pennsylvania's Indian policy. He played a major role in the history of colonial Pennsylvania. The homestead includes period buildings and a new orientation exhibit on a 26-acre Olmsted-designed landscaped park. Open Charter Day through the first weekend in December, on the first Sunday of every month, noon to 4 pm, plus regularly scheduled events. Special tours by appointment. Closed January and February.

Cornwall Iron Furnace

Cornwall Iron Furnace

94 Rexmont Road, Cornwall, PA 17016 | 717-272-9711

The only surviving intact charcoal cold blast furnace in the Western Hemisphere. An extraordinary example of the furnaces that dotted the Pennsylvania countryside in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Daniel Boone Homestead

Daniel Boone Homestead

400 Daniel Boone Rd, Birdsboro, PA 19508 | (610) 582-4900

The Daniel Boone Homestead is the birthplace of the famed frontiersman. The Boone House, constructed in three stages throughout the eighteenth century, is a 10-room, furnished, stone structure on 579 acres of rolling countryside. Tours, special events & programs, and recreational opportunities are provided throughout the year.

Ephrata Cloister

Ephrata Cloister

632 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522 | (717) 733-6600

Ephrata Cloister was one of America's earliest religious communities. Nine original buildings remain today. Celibate members of this community were known for their self-composed music, Germanic calligraphy called "Frakturschriftern," and printing. A terrific educational and cultural experience.

Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County

PO Box 245, Douglassville, PA 19518 | (610) 385-4762

Formed in 1964, the Trust is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and maintain historic sites and structures in Berks County as memorial to the character and fortitude of American colonists. The Trust cares for eight 18th-century buildings throughout the county. Guided tours by appointment.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Birdsboro, PA

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets an early American industrial landscape from natural resource extraction to enlightened conservation. The site is surrounded by the 73,000 acre Hopewell Big Woods, the largest forest in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Showcasing an iron plantation and it surrounding countryside, all of the park’s facilities are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day. It is closed other federal holidays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, while the Visitor Center and historic village are closed, the grounds and restrooms remain open. A featured stop on Pennsylvania’s Civil War Trails, Hopewell Furnace is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off of Route 345. Admission to Hopewell Furnace is free. For more information stop by the visitor center or contact us at hofu_superintendent@nps.gov. Visitors with specific needs may contact the park for assistance before their visit.

Nicholas Stoltzfus House

1700 Tulpehocken Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610 | 717-808-7785

Nicholas Stoltzfus was an Amish pioneer who arrived in America, with his family, in 1766. The house they lived in is being restored. Explore the web site and find some history on Nicholas, the early Stoltzfus family and Amish settlements in the Reading and Lancaster, PA area.

Old Belleman's Church

697 Penn Valley Road, Bernville, PA 19506 | (610) 488-1400

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings in America, Belleman’s Old Church was built in 1815. It features an interesting wine-goblet-shaped pulpit and a single hand-pumped Bohler organ. As might be expected, there is no electricity, heat, or plumbing in the building. All are invited to attend our unique worship services! Annual Hymnsing, 2:30pm on 4/26; Church Services, 7:45 and 10:15am on 6/8 and 8/10; PA German Services, 2:30pm on 9/27. Handicap accessible.

Old Morlatton Village

PO Box 245, Douglassville, PA 19518 | (610) 385-4762

Morlatton Village is Berks County's first settlement site along the Schuylkill River at Douglassville. The site includes the Mouns Jones House, built by Swedish settlers in 1716, the oldest in Berks County. Other buildings include the White Horse Tavern, c. 1750-1762, the George Douglass Mansion, c. 1763, and the Covered-Bridge Keeper's House, c. 1780. Morlatton Village is along the Thun Trail section of the Schuylkill River Trail. Nearest trailheads are Grosstown Road in Montgomery County and Birdsboro in Berks County.

PA German Cultural Heritage Center

22 Luckenbill Road, Kutztown, PA 19530 | (610) 683-1589

The Center was established to gather, preserve, and distribute knowledge of Pennsylvania German rural life in southeastern Pennsylvania. The collections and functions carried out aim to authentically portray Pennsylvania German life. Annual events open to the public include Harvest Fescht, Christmas on the Farm, and Easter on the Farm.

The Pagoda

98 Duryea Drive, P.O. Box 7304, Reading, PA 19602 | 610-655-6271

Located atop Mt. Penn, the City-owned Pagoda has been cared for by the people of Reading for over 100 years. This historic icon serves as an observatory with a breathtaking view of the city and surrounding areas, attracting visitors from around the world. Visit our Café and Gift Shoppe and check for Pagoda activities on our website.

William Penn Memorial Fire Tower

Skyline Drive, Reading, PA 19603

This imposing stone and reinforced concrete tower is 120 feet tall and sits atop Mt. Penn, overlooking the City of Reading and its surroundings. The tower is situated in a park setting on Skyline Drive, one mile from Reading's landmark Pagoda. From the top of the tower there is a 60 mile panoramic view. The tower is 950 feet above 5th and Penn Street, the center of the city, and 1,015 feet above the Schuylkill River, and 1239 feet above sea level. The tower, which is owned by the City of Reading , was built in 1939 as a fire observation tower and tourist attraction. It is constructed entirely of fire-proof materials.

 
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