Category: Laureldale

  • How the Fairgrounds almost ended up in West Wyomissing

    The earliest years of the Reading Fair were held at City Park and then a plot on North 11th street. During the early 1910s the Berks County Agricultural Society was tired of leasing the land at North 11th Street and wanted a more permanent location they could call their own. On April 3rd, 1914 it…

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  • Muhlenberg Township High

    In 1830, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted a law requiring all municipalities to have separate school districts. Muhlenberg Township became a municipality in 1851. At this time the Muhlenberg School District was officially established with a one-room school called Schlottman School which was located on Kutztown Road. Muhlenberg Township High School was built in 1924-1925…

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  • Kmart – 45 Years in Berks

    Kmart has been a staple nationwide big box store since the 60s. The company, originally called S. S. Kresge Corporation, dates back to 1899. It wasn’t until 1974 when it broke into the Berks County market, opening a store at the 94,500-square-foot Cumru Township location in Shillington Plaza. According to the Reading Eagle, it featured…

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  • General Battery and Ceramic Corp

    The roots of General Battery can be traced to 1921, when Bowers Battery & Spark Plug Co. was founded in Reading by Clarence P. Bowers. Bowers sold it in 1956 and it was renamed General Battery and Ceramic. Source General Battery was bought by Exide in 1987. Exide operated a lead smelter and recycled lead…

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  • 5th Street – 1971 Then & Now

    Below are Aerials shots from 1971, showing what Fifth street highway/Route 61/Kutztown Road looked like just north of the city. A few of the notable  structures are the Reading Fairgrounds, Bellevue Diner, and Gethsemane Cemetery. The Warren Street Bypass was also noticeably not extended past 5th street at the time of this photo. Five years…

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  • Rosedale Knitting Mill

    Rosedale Knitting Mill was once Berks County’s third largest knitting mill, behind Berkshire and Textile. It was opened in 1914 as a manufacturer of men and women’s stockings by a man named William C. Bitting. By 1921, Rosedale employed nearly 3,000 people who settled close to the site of operations within areas that eventually became Laureldale…

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  • Reading Drive-In Theatre

    The Reading Drive-in Theatre

     The Reading Drive-In Theatre opened on August 26, 1949. It cost 65 cents to per adult to watch “Perils of Pauline” on opening night. The Reading Drive-In was located on the 5th Street several miles north of Reading in Temple, Pa. The opening day newspaper ad boasted that the cost to build the entire outdoor theatre and…

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  • Fairgrounds Square Mall

    The Fairgrounds Square Mall

    The Fairgrounds Square Mall was built on the site of the old Reading Fairgrounds. The Mall opened in October 1980 The Mall’s opening ribbon-cutting ceremony happening on October 20th 1980, on the first day of the 125th Reading Fair which was held on its premises. A New Shopping Mall was opened in Berks County on…

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Berks Nostalgia