Ye Olde Spring House – Sinking Spring

The building is now Bean Funeral Home, and its address is 3825 Penn Avenue.  The restaurant’s address was formerly 425 Penn Avenue.

“Our Sinking Spring funeral home has a fascinating history. The two story early-colonial structure was constructed in 1802 as a farmhouse, and was used through the years as a private school for boys and girls known as the Charter Oak Academy. The late Thomas K. Oberlin was Founder and Headmaster of the school until he operated the Oberlin Peony Gardens on the site until his death sometime after World War 2. In 1963 it was purchased by Edgar L. and Janet Paulsgrove, former operators of the Riveredge restaurant, who renovated the building and operated a very popular restaurant known as the Ye Old Spring House.”

Charter Oak Academy
Oberlin Peony Gardens
Thomas K Oberlin, Founder and Headmaster of the Charter Oak Academy)
Today – Bean Funeral Home

This home was built in 1802 by Aaron and Henry Mull. Since their death in 1843, was deeded to their direct descendants, until the first purchase was made in 1963 by Edgar and Janet Paulsgrove. The first deed still remains in the medallion at the bottom of the stair rail.

This historical building, which before the turn of the century, approximately 1884, housed what was known as the Charter Oak Academy, a private school for boys and girls, which was named after an old oak tree on the grounds.

The headmaster and founder was the late Thomas K. Oberlin, who later went into the flower business on this site specializing in lilac trees and imported rare peony bushes and trees from the Orient and Holland. This site was then known as Oberlin Peony Gardens, which was the largest of it’s kind in the world. Each springtime thousands of people visited this magnificent display of peonies and lilac trees.

There remains lilac trees and peony trees and bushes on these grounds from the fruitful efforts of Mr. Oberlin.

Special thanks to reader David Procter who gathered this information

Born and raised in Berks, I am fascinated by the style, design & culture of the mid-late 20th century. I started this website to research and build a collection of the places, things and stories I have heard about my entire life. Read more here.

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