December 12, 1965: Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles Opened to the Public


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

December 12, 1965: The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles was officially opened to the public today with a Dedication Ceremony at 2:00. The brain child of the President of the Boyertown Auto Body Works Paul Hafer, this magnificent Museum will be a wonderful addition to Boyertown’s cultural scene.

In a welcoming speech to more than 100 people attending the ceremony, Hafer explained that the purpose of the Museum was to highlight the contributions Berks County has made to the transportation industry since the early 1800’s, citing the example of the Fleetwood Carriage Works that made the body for the Cadillac model, appropriately named the Fleetwood. It also honors the work of the automobile pioneer Charles Duryea and many other people and industries in the area.

There are 18 motor-driven vehicles, 12 horse-drawn carriages and one bicycle on display. Moving forward 52 years, the greatly expanded Museum, now located in the former main factory building of the Boyertown Auto Body Works on South Walnut Street features dozens of road vehicles, a display of buggies and wagons built by the Boyertown Carriage Works, as well as trucks that were manufactured by the Body Works in the building in which they are now displayed.

The original 1872 Jeremiah Sweinhart Carriage Factory, which evolved into the Boyertown Auto Body Works, is part of the Museum complex, with a reconstructed blacksmith forge. Also reconstructed on the premises are a 1921 Sunoco gas station and the 1938 Fegely’s Reading Diner.

Hafer was recognized as the 1960 “Man of the Year” for his commitments to the development of many community efforts in Boyertown.

More News from Boyertown
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified