Hurricane Agnes – Berks County’s Worst Natural Disaster

Hurricane Agnus - Reading PA 1972 - Schuykill River

50 Years Later –

Article originally published on June 22, 2017

Hurricane Agnes caused extreme damage to Berks County residences and businesses when it hit June, 22nd 1972. In Reading, the Schuylkill River crested to a record high of 31.3 feet. Hundreds of people were evacuated and over a hundred homes destroyed. By the time the storm ended on the 23rd about 8.6 inches of rain had fallen on Berks in only a little over 24 hours.… Read Full Article

3rd & Washington Street – On this Day 1970

Chiarelli Parking Garage

The empty stalls tell the story. When parking meters were in use on the 3rd and Washington streets parking lot, this 9:30am scene would have been different, with all the spaces occupied. Today marked the first time the new ticket system, similar to that used at Franklin Plaza, was in use. The higher cost that came with the system apparently drove most of the normal parkers elsewhere, leaving the lot pretty barren.Read Full Article

Temple Oheb Sholom Explosion – On this Day 1969

Temple Oheb Sholom

On Saturday night, May 24th 1969 someone detonated a small bomb behind the Temple Oheb Sholom on Perkiomen avenue in Reading. Windows were shattered all along the 200 block of South 13th Street, and the exact spot of detonation was quickly determined to be right behind the synagogue.

Temple Oheb Sholom
This is the front of the Temple Oheb Sholom behind which Saturday night’s blast occurred.
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The Haag Hag – Mt. Penn’s Mysterious Maiden

It was once a beautiful mountain resort nestled atop Mount Penn, right off of Hill Road. In the late 1800’s when the popularity of the Gravity Railroad was in full swing, Sphuler’s Hotel was a very popular winery and also served as lodging for those who needed a place to stay. It was just one stop of many along the Gravity Railroad’s loop which served to entertain locals as well as drew tourists from all over the region.… Read Full Article

503 Penn Street

The building located at 503 Penn Street in its footprint dates back to the 1800s and has hosted numerous businesses over the proceeding centuries. In 2016 this building was purchased by Weidenhammer Systems Corp and redeveloped by Muhlenberg Greene Architects.

In 1872 there was a fire which wiped out the entire north side 500 block of Penn Street. The fire originated in the Stichter’s Hardware Store building next door.… Read Full Article

Berks Nostalgia