Happy 140 Years Royersford!
"Royersford has all the conveniences and essentials of urban life. A good place to live because of the typical American spirit" ~radio broadcast by KYW in 1944
Let's see how things started 140 years ago!
We're going to go up to at least the early 1960's. I apologize for any errors as I have pulled much of this information from our books on our Golden Anniversary in 1929, our 75th Anniversary in 1954, and our Centennial Celebration in 1979
June 14th 1879 Royersford becomes a Borough! (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROYERSFORD BOROUGH!)
On July 17th of the same year the 1st ballot was cast at the first election by James Place.
At a meeting of Council, held on August 13th 1879, the road leading to the Schuylkill Bridge received its new name of "Main Street" And our present Second Avenue was named "High Street."
Also in 1879 The first church was erected by the Baptist denomination.
From 1871 to 1891 eight churches were started right in Royersford.
The 1880 census, 558 residents.
1883 - The Humane Fire Company was organized, originally named the Humane Hook and Ladder Hose Company. The Need for a fire company in Royersford was brought about by the burning of the Brook and Isett store on Main Street at 2nd Avenue. The building was totally destroyed. Reorganized as The Humane Steam Fire Engine Company in 1885.
1884 - October of that year, the streets were lighted by gasoline, the contract for the service going to the Penn Globe Gas Light Company.
In 1886 an ordinance was passed for "prohibiting fast driving horses," and The National Bank of Royersford was organized.
1887 - The Home Water Company is established formally known as the Royersford Water Company. The piping was completed in 1890 and on June 4th of that year, at 6:00 p.m., William Essick tapped the pipe for the first time and obtained a glass of cold, clear water.
1889/1890? The first graduating class of Royersford High School takes place, 3 graduates, all girls.
1890 - The Weekly Advertiser newspaper was first issued on February 22nd.
Also in 1890, a Board of Directors for a new cemetery was formed which became Fernwood Cemetery. The first person interred in this Cemetery was Mrs. Reuben Tyson on August 23rd 1890.
Population in 1890 was 1,815.
In 1892, our manufacturers got the benefit of railways. On June 14th of that year, the Burgess of Royersford called the council together at 7 o'clock and ordinance No. 65 was passed. It granted the Pennsylvania Railroad Company the franchise to lay tracks and sidings on River Street which is now our 1st Avenue. The next morning there was 2,300 feet of track laid, up to the Schuylkill Bridge. The first engine with two coal cars came over to the Gas Works property on December 30th 1892.
Also in 1892, The town was broken up into Wards. The West side of Main Street below 4th Avenue was the 1st Ward and then West side of Main Street above 4th Avenue was the 3rd. East of Main Street below 4th lies the 2nd Ward and above 4th, East side, the 4th Ward.
1893 - In addition to the gasoline lamps still used, the town was lighted by thirteen arc lights. The electric current being supplied by the Schuylkill Valley Illuminating Co., whose supply station was at Phoenixville. They were turned on at 7:15 p.m.
Also in 1893, we had three physicians and the first Board of Health was organized in town.
1896 - Permission was granted for the Keystone Telegraph and Telephone to erect poles and wires.
1897 - The Friendship Hook, Ladder and Hose Company was organized, it was incorporated in 1898. The Ladies Auxiliary to the Fire Company was also formed in 1898.
1898 - The Free Public Library in Royersford was created.
1901 - Telegraph services started.
1902 - Pipelines were installed.
1906 - Royersford Opera House opened.
Also in 1906, A horse drawn chemical and hose wagon was purchased by the fire company...1912, the first automotive equipment was put into service.
1910 - A committee was formed with Friendship Fire Company, Humane Fire Company and Liberty Fire Company for the purpose of adopting some form of alarm system to indicate the location of fire in either town.
1912 - The first ordinance about auto speed in the borough was passed and policeman on duty had a stopwatch for violations.
1914 - The Women's Club started to organize out of the Library Auxiliary, it became the Women's Club in 1918.
1916 - A Red Cross Chapter was organized in Royersford to work under the Pennsylvania Charter.
1918 - From the month of October through November, all public places were closed by the State Board of Health due to an epidemic of the Spanish influenza.
1919 - The American Legion Post Number 164 was organized, in 1925 it moved to its official facility at 554 Main Street.
Also in 1919, Memorial Day, The Friendship Fire Company created a memorial, "Victory Park" planting eight elm trees and placing tags on them with the names of the eight servicemen who died during the war.
1921 - The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion was organized.
1926 - Sixteen men become Charter Members at a meeting for The Royersford Rotary Club.
1929 - The Royersford Chamber of Commerce was organized. Royersford celebrates it's Golden Anniversary.
1930 - The first Community Day at Lakeview park was held. The new grade school was built which is the present day Royersford Library.
1931 - The new Royersford High School was built, which is presently the 8th grade center at 7th and Washington Streets.
1932 - Our current train station was built.
1935 - The sewer system was started.
1936 - The American Italian Bocce Club is organized.
1937 - The new Post Office opens at 5th and Main Street. Today it is Giovanni's Restaurant. The Post Office was housed in four different buildings on Main before it found it's home at 5th and Main.
1938 - The Lions Club was organized. The First Girl Scout Troop was organized in Royersford.
1941 - The completed addition of the Hookies new recreation center. Royersford Community Chest is organized. The Mason's celebrate 50 years. The American Italian Bocce Club finds their new home on Pine Street.
1942 - February of that year the first blackout for the war takes place.
1943 - Royersford Trust Company building becomes current day Borough Hall.
1944 - The Red Cross War Fund Drive netted $9914, the second highest amount collected in Montgomery County.
1946 - The VFW is chartered, it's first meetings are held at Friendship Fire Company and in 1950 they moved to their current facility. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary organizes.
1947 - The Chesmont Business and Professional Women's Club is organized. The Cub Scouts first pack organizes in Royersford.
1948 - The Friendship Fire Company Community Ambulance was started.
1949 - The Optimist Club receives their charter. Also under the sponsorship of the Women's Club, a local X-ray unit for chest x-rays is installed in town. A resuscitator for the ambulances is gifted from The Lions Club. The Royersford Business Men's Association is organized. The first zoning ordinance is passed.
1950 - The first traffic light at 4th and Main is installed.
1956 - The first Little League Baseball game at the Junior High School is played at 7th and Washington Streets.
1958 - Bell of Pennsylvania expands service in Royersford. 4425 telephones are served in town.
1960 - Victory Park Baseball field is dedicated.
1967 - Royersford Borough starts acquisition of Victory Park. Victory Park was officially dedicated on May 20th 1979!
What else do we know?
A pretty cool finding was what our street names used to be!
The 1888 Sanborn maps revealed the following:
River Road...First Avenue High Street...Second Avenue Winter Street...3rd Avenue Airy Street...4th Avenue Cherry Street...5th Avenue Council...Adam's Street Hickory...Washington Street Springer...Spring Street Latshaw...Arch Street Vine...Green Street
And of course the movies filmed here:
*Parts of the 1958 Classic Horror Film, The Blob *Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson, in 2007 *A scene from M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit, was filmed at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Washington street.
You probably can imagine that I could go on and on with the history of our wonderful little town!
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the important dates that shaped Royersford! I'm excited to see what the future holds for our little Borough as we now start making our way toward our 150th celebration!!!