Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. i

Introduction 1

Stories of Early Perkasie (1683—1854) 9

The Stout Family: Early Founders. 13

The Strassburgers and the Groffs. 17

The Landis Ridge Train Tunnel 23

Samuel Hager’s Ghost Town.. 28

Bridgetown’s Development in the 1860s. 34

Early Victorian Perkasie (1879—1900) 39

A Rare Look at Early Perkasie. 44

Another Artistic Visitor to Perkasie. 48

The Perkasie Park Camp-Meeting. 50

The Menlo Park Association.. 54

The Grand Army of the Republic. 59

A Town Built on Cigars (1900–1920) 67

Benjamin (or Bridgetown) Joins Perkasie. 71

The Trolley Battles in Perkasie. 74

Community and Culture in Victorian Perkasie. 79

A Tree Shines at Christmas. 82

A Town Crazy about Baseball 84

Professionals and Community Service. 91

Perkasie’s Classic Architecture. 95

Global War and a Pandemic. 102

Between Wars: The Great Depression and Recovery (1919–1941) 111

Perkasie and the Great Depression 115

Efforts to Fight the Depression 118

Life in South Perkasie. 126

Local Controversies. 132

Perkasie during World War II (1941–1945) 139

Postscript. 155

Bibliography. 157

Appendix A: Early Maps. 165

Appendix B: Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1913. 169

Appendix C. Census and Jobs Data, 1880-1940............. 188

Index. 189

Figures


Figure 1. Perkasie Borough in 1887 3

Figure 2. Perkasie's Train Depot, Early 1900s 4

Figure 3. Benjamin West's idealized version of the
Shackamaxon meeting in Philadelphia 10

Figure 4. Howell's 1792 map shows Rockhill Township and the Stout's farm. 12

Figure 5. Perkasie’s first tombstones, as photographed in 1922,
in the Stout family cemetery 14

Figure 6. Reverend J.A. Strassburger. 17

Figure 7. South Perkasie Covered Bridge, 1919. 22

Figure 8. North Pennsylvania Railroad route plan, 1853. 24

Figure 9. The Great Train Wreck of 1856. 26

Figure 10. The Perkasie Tunnel after 1900. 27

Figure 11. Hager's store expanded in the Victorian era. 29

Figure 12. Joseph A. Hendricks 30

Figure 13. An 1871 ad for the Hendricks brothers 31

Figure 14. Perkasie Village in J.D. Scott's 1876
Atlas of Bucks County. 33

Figure 15. St. Andrew's Union Church served two
congregations 35

Figure 16. The Perkasie-Bridgetown Turnpike, 1887. 36

Figure 17. The Pennsylvania, Reading, and Lehigh Valley
Railroads, and their connections, 1884. 41

Figure 18. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Depot
in the early 1900s 42

Figure 19. An early view of the southbound train tracks into Perkasie. The old hay press building is on the right. 43

Figure 20. Abraham Housekeeper used his penmanship
skills for his own calling card trademark. 44

Figure 21. The “Mammoth Photography Wagon”. 46

Figure 22. A.R, Agnes, Emmanuel and Mary (or M. C.)
Housekeeper at Perkasie Park. 47

Figure 23. T.D. Fowler's 1894 Panoramic Map of Perkasie. 49



Figure 24. The Perkasie Park Camp-Meeting Auditorium. 51

Figure 25. A.R. Housekeeper’s view of Perkasie Park,
winter of 1887. 53

Figure 26. Menlo Park’s toboggan slide. 55

Figure 27. A gathering at Menlo Park, early 1900s. 56

Figure 28. Inside Menlo Park's refreshment stand 57

Figure 29. At the National Guard encampment at Tunnel
Hill farm, in 1907. 58

Figure 30. Portrait of Civil War veteran Benjamin Althouse. 60

Figure 31. Henry K. Trumbore (bottom row, second from right)
in a Brotherhood of America group picture, 1929 61

Figure 32. John Schwartz. 63

Figure 33. Perkasie's Memorial Day ceremony in the 1890s. 64

Figure 34. The Roig & Langsdorf factory (left). 68

Figure 35. J.G. Moyer's Building did double duty as a cigar factory 69

Figure 36. Benjamin or Bridgetown was a bustling village,
as shown in this 1891 E. S. Noll map 72

Figure 37. Moyer's General Store and the Bridgetown Hotel
in South Perkasie 73

Figure 38. In 1915, a round trip from Philadelphia to Perkasie was 90 cents, by trolley or automobile. 75

Figure 39. Passengers at tracks hail a trolley at Perkasie Park 76

Figure 40. Perkasie's trolley station appears in a 1914 film, “A Honeymoon Trip to Delaware Water Gap.” 77

Figure 41. The trolley station in 1929. 78

Figure 42. Original St. Stephen's Reformed Church in
a colorized postcard 79

Figure 43. Trinity Lutheran in a colorized postcard 80

Figure 44. Samuel R. Kramer 82

Figure 45. Cornelius Hendricks in 1889. 86

Figure 46. The Baseball Grounds on Fifth Street, 1913
(upper left). 87

Figure 47. Ambler's Slaughter (right) at the 1909
championship game against Perkasie. 88

Figure 48. Baseball stars Coombs, Morgan, Bender and
Oldring in the lost 1911 film, The Baseball Bug. 89

Figure 49. Perkasie's first champions. Eldridge (back row, far left); Hendricks (back row, center, with cane) 90

Figure 50. Original First National Bank 92

Figure 51. Harry Grim's office (left) is still used today
by the family law firm. 93

Figure 52. Charles W. Baum (left), John Sprenkel (right) 94
Figure 53. Milton Bean's design for Dr. John Irwin 96

Figure 54. Oscar Martin's Perkasie Improvement Company Block 97

Figure 55. Cressman’s Building (with livery stable sign) in the background of the 1917 parade for World War I recruits 98

Figure 56. Thompson's Hardware Store 99

Figure 57. The Arch Street School 100

Figure 58. Looking down Main Street, South Perkasie. 101

Figure 59. Local recruits wait for southbound train, 1917. 103

Figure 60. Miriam V. Moyer. 104

Figure 61. Rosie Crouthamel's death certificate. 105

Figure 62. Calvin Hartzell and Earl Crouthamel 107

Figure 63. The Marie Brown building. 112

Figure 64. Jobs data, Perkasie, 1880-1940. 114

Figure 65. An aerial photo of Perkasie, 1938, shows mostly undeveloped South Perkasie on the right and the Horn tract northeast of the borough. 116

Figure 66. The Sell-Perk High School 117

Figure 67. Electric Department Superintendent Ed Frey's
house on the Wert track 118

Figure 68. Menlo Park's old footbridge 120

Figure 69. The Park's Roebling bridges in the early 1940s 121

Figure 70. Original bridge plans. Source: Perkasie Borough. 122

Figure 71. H.E. Snyder Cigar Factory in 1929 125

Figure 72. E.W. Crouthamel's Hotel, 1929 127

Figure 73. W. Elmer Savacool, 1929 128

Figure 74. The South Perkasie Flour and Feed Mill 129

Figure 75. The Hubbert family 130

Figure 76. E.S. Leister's farm, South Perkasie. 131

Figure 77. State Police archives show the Tunnel Hill
Klan's demise in 1933 and 1934. 134

Figure 78. The Perkasie Silk Mills, 1929 135

Figure 79. Royal Pants' modern factory in South Perkasie. 140

Figure 80. Aerial photo of U.S. Gauge Plant, 1938. 141

Figure 81. The USS California at Pearl Harbor. 142

Figure 82. Maurice Neinken 143

Figure 83. Meat rationing was unpopular at first. 145

Figure 84. WAVES Abbie Freed and Mary Heverly 147

Figure 85. Normandy Invasion, 1944. 149

Figure 86. Perkasie’s Hank Eisenhart with the
Cincinnati Reds. 150

Figure 87. Private Henry L. Young 152

Figure A-1. John Chapman's 1730 Map of Perkasie Manor 165

Figure A-2. Reading Howell's 1792 Map of Rockhill 166

Figure A-3. 1850 Map of Bridgetown and Perkasie 167

Figure A-4. Map of Bridgetown and Perkasie, 1860 168

Figure B-1. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Perkasie, 1913 169

Figure B-2. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Key 170

Figure B-3. Menlo Park 171

Figure B-4. Perkasie Park Camp-Meeting 172

Figure B-5. J.G. Moyer’s Store and Keller’s Store 173

Figure B-6. Cressman’s American House Hotel Block 174

Figure B-7. Cressman’s Hall Block 175

Figure B-8. First National Bank 176

Figure B-9. Union Hotel (1872), Perkasie Central News 177

Figure B-10. St. Stephen’s Church and Arch Street School 178

Figure B-11. Roig Cigar Factory, Trio House 179

Figure B-12. Crouthamel Clothing, Mennonite Meeting 180

Figure B-13. Trinity Lutheran, Perkasie High School 181

Figure B-14. Perkasie Silk Mill on Ninth Street 182

Figure B-15. Perkasie Opera House 183

Figure B-16. South Perkasie Hotel 184

Figure B-17. The Savacool Mill and Harpel’s Store 185

Figure B-18. St. Andrew’s Church and Savage’s Mill 186

Figure B-19. Main Street in South Perkasie 187