On Saturday September 10th I had the pleasure of visiting John Updike’s childhood home at 117 Philadelphia Avenue in Shillington. John lived here from his birth in 1932 until he was 13 years old. It is widely known that Shillington and the city of Reading were the inspirational foundation behind many of his stories and novels.
His most famous 4-part “Rabbit” novel series was set around a character living in Reading; though the locations were renamed in the book.… Read Full Article
Wilbur “Lefty” Reeser was born on June 28th 1918 in West Lawn to Herbert and Mary Reeser. Judging from Lefty’s senior yearbook excerpt below, he was an all-around athlete during his adolescence. During his senior year at Wilson he led Berks County in boys basketball scoring and also took the Prexies baseball team to the county title serving as their pitcher and captain.… Read Full Article
Josiah Dives was born in 1851 in Chartham, Kent, England. He started his business career after moving to London at the age of 13 following his Father’s death. When coming to America in 1872, his first residence was Hartford, CT. This is where he met George Pomeroy and John Stewart. Together they came to Reading and founded Dives, Pomeroy, and Stewart Deptartment Store, which later became known as just “Pomeroy’s”. … Read Full Article
Pensupreme was the trade name of Penn Dairy; which originated in Lancaster County. The dairy had restaurants referred to as “Pensupreme Shoppes” which served food and ice cream. They also branched into “Grocerettes” which were basically convenience stores in various places around eastern PA. The main milk processing plant was in York, PA. In Berks County, there was one “Shoppes” style restaurant/ice cream place located on Lancaster Avenue on the border of Shillington, Kenhorst and what is considered Reading proper.… Read Full Article
The Berks County Almshouse was located just outside of Shillington along route 724 or Philadelphia Avenue. The land on which the Almshouse was built in 1824 was owned by Governor Thomas Mifflin. His actual residence, the location of which has been long debated amongst local historians, was rumored to be one of the buildings on the Almshouse grounds.
The Berks County Almshouse opened officially in 1826, when a state law was passed requiring every county in the state of Pennsylvania to have a “poorhouse”.… Read Full Article