Local History

My writings and research on the history of Perkasie.

Bucks County Herald covers Perkasie’s Historic Preservation project

Thanks to Melinda Rizzo for taking the time to speak with me about Perkasie Borough’s Historic Resource Survey project. You can read her article by clicking here.

If you are a professional historic preservationist (with at least one project that completed for a Resource Survey accepted by the state), you can get the RFP by contacting the Borough directly. Here is the info:

A historic moment in sportsmanship at Hershey

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.

A new look and name for my Perkasie blog

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.


Tour Perkasie Town Center’s Historic Buildings

The railroad and trolley era led to the creation of Perkasie Borough’s Town Center district and we can boast about some the best examples of that age’s architecture in Bucks County.

When was the South Perkasie covered bridge really built?

For the past year, I have been researching the 51 covered bridges that once existed in Bucks County, and one question I’ve been asked is how do we really know that Perkasie’s bridge was built in 1832?

The meaning of Christmas in Perkasie 100 Years Ago

Today, we celebrate the holiday season in different ways, but maybe we can learn something from a difficult Christmas 100 years ago when war and an epidemic were unwanted guests in Perkasie.

How Perkasie celebrated Thanksgiving in the 1880s

Thanks to our Historical Society’s project to digitize the Perkasie News-Herald’s archives, we can now look back to 1881 and see how Perkasie Borough celebrated Thanksgiving Day during that decade.

After 111 years, a new Walnut Street Bridge for Perkasie

On Wednesday, November 21, 2018, Perkasie will witness an event that only happens every century or so – the opening of a new bridge on Walnut Street over the Perkiomen’s East Branch.

The Delaware River Covered Bridge Network (Part 2)

The first wooden covered bridges built in Bucks County bore little resemblance to the dozen that survives today. At one time, 11 great bridges spanned the Delaware River from Riegelsville to Trenton. 

Discovering Bucks County’s Covered Bridges (Part 1)

Bucks County is well-known for its history and an important part of that story is its collection of wooden covered bridges. Currently, 12 of the structures remain in the county, with 10 of the original bridges listed on the National Register of Historic Places.