Zeswitz – 812 Penn Street

Zeswitz
812 Penn Street pictured in 1953

Zeswitz is a music store that most Berks Countians recognize, but some of you may remember when one of the locations was in downtown Reading on the 800 block of Penn Street.

Zeswitz was founded in 1923 by Philadelphia native William “Bill” Zeswitz Sr. According to Zeswitz’s website he was, “master luthier and maker of world-class violins, and founded the company to serve the Reading Symphony Orchestra and musicians in the area.Read Full Article

Jake’s Sandwich Shop – Mt. Penn – Then & Now

inside in 1961
Google user image – Andy Shean

Jake’s was opened in 1946 and sits at 232 Carsonia Avenue in Mt. Penn. It will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The establishment was opened by Jake Meyers at its original location on Perkiomen Avenue. By the 1960s it was located in its current spot on Carsonia. The menu started out with burgers, hot dogs and fries and has since expanded to include all sorts of hoagies, wraps and salads.… Read Full Article

Bowl-O-Rama

Bowl-O-Rama opened its doors in 1957; a dream of its five shareholders who bought the land and built the alley on Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township. It was home to local bowling leagues, social events and gatherings over the years. There was a bar and grille in the establishment as well as 40 bowling lanes.

Bowl-O-Rama closed its doors for good on April 23, 2017, six full decades after opening.… Read Full Article

Marvel Ranch – Then & Now

Marvel Ranch
Pictured in 1972
Marvel Ranch
Google Street View 2020

Marvel Ranch is a restaurant located on the northwest corner of 4th & Penn Street in Reading. It opened in 1959 as a breakfast and lunch joint where many Berks natives have enjoyed a hot meal for the past 60 years. The establishment has changed hands over the course of its existence, but the mantra has remained the same: “Come eat where we know your name”.… Read Full Article

Meckley’s Hat Shop

If you ever visited Sinking Spring to purchase a hat from Meckley’s Hat Shop, you may have been acquainted with my great-grandfather, Ernest Meckley. He grew up in Fritztown and his career began in 1938 at Bollman Hat Factory in Adamstown. Ernie’s career with hats didn’t begin in retail but the manufacturing of the product. His retail experience began as friends and neighbors asked him to bring them hats at wholesale prices.… Read Full Article