The moment we stepped inside the Giant Arena in Hershey, Pa., it was clear history would be made that evening.
The Pennsylvania state 6A basketball featured Erie-area Kennedy Catholic (ranked 10th in the nation) and Pennridge, a suburban Philadelphia public school making its first appearance in Hershey for a state basketball championship.
Kennedy and Pennridge players during the anthem
The press said the game was a David and Goliath contest; after all, Pennridge had 2,327 students and Kennedy Catholic just 244. However, the media portrayed Kennedy Catholic as Goliath, citing its ability to attract students outside its boundary area to play for the team. State rules prevented Pennridge from doing that.
Starting today, I am changing the emphasis of my Perkasie blog to our Borough’s history and its preservation. Since 2015, I’ve spent a lot of time, and also some money, researching the Borough’s history with the intention of doing something meaningful with that research.
This week, Perkasie Borough starts the process of applying for the National Register of Historic Places for its Town Center overlay district. That was my project in Bucks County Community College’s Historic Preservation program from 2015 to 2017. You can see that project in the lower right column of this blog.
Our Borough Council’s Historical Committee is also working with the Perkasie Historical Society to save our covered bridge. My Masters in History project at Arizona State was the creation of the first extensive historical website about the county’s 51 covered bridges. Only 12 now remain. You can see the entire project at https://bucksbridges.com. This project represents 10 months of research and includes more than 100 images never seen in public. Thanks again to the Museum and the Bucks County Commissioners for all their support!
And as a bonus, I’ve included the first high-resolution, text-searchable PDF of the 1929 Perkasie Borough 50th Anniversary book. Ancestry.com and others have low-res versions, but I scanned this personally using the latest Adobe software, so it looks great. I also need someone’s help counting all the times the word “Moyer” appears in the book. I lost track after 100.
My hope is that these resources will keep the discussion alive about Preserving Perkasie. Our town is special for many reasons, and it reflects the work of generations of people who cared about our community. Please let me know if you have any history to share.
And we will have several events over the upcoming year where you can help Preserve Perkasie, if you’d like to participate.
Perkasie took two important steps this week toward preserving its heritage, with the unofficial announcement of the Covered Bridge project and the Council’s Historical Committee statement of making historic preservation a priority in Perkasie Borough.
Before 1958, there were few efforts to save Bucks County’s covered bridges. But after the South Perkasie covered bridge’s rescue in August 1958 by the town’s citizens, state and county officials adopted policies to preserve local covered bridges when feasible.
Today, Bucks County is fortunate to have 12 covered bridges for its citizens to enjoy, thanks to preservation efforts in 1958 and 1959 related to the highly publicized effort to save South Perkasie’s Covered Bridge.