May 23, 1875: Boyertown Citizens Assist Firefighters to Save Their Town


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

May 23, 1875: The citizens of Boyertown have helped to save the town from destruction. A fire broke out in the stable on Dr. J.B. Bower’s property in the first block of West Philadelphia Avenue, believed to have been started by sparks emitted from the engine house of the Phoenix Iron Company.

The fire department was promptly on the ground with the wagon, but water from the fire plugs was barely sufficient and the was a heavy southwest gale blowing at the time that carried the flames to the neighboring buildings. Water was finally obtained from the Phoenix mines and the firemen, aided by our citizens, men, women, and children, went to work with a will.

The stable was completely destroyed and nearby buildings at the intersection of Reading and Philadelphia Avenues, the ancient Mennonite meeting house, D.B. Boyer’s store, D.S. Erb’s cigar factory, Worman’s saddler shop the Union House, Dr. Bower’s and Mr. Worman’s dwelling suffered fire damage, but it went no further, thanks to the efficient service of the fire company and their helpers. But for them, the entire town might well have been left in ashes.

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