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Muhlenberg Township: How Laureldale Retained its Sovereignty

Sep 07, 2017 • by Berks History Center
October 9, 1915 edition of The Reading Eagle from the BHC Research Library

Excerpt written by Donna Reed

Before becoming part of Laureldale, Laurel Hill was a Muhlenberg Township real estate development “on the trolley.” This 1915 ad from the BHC Research Library Reading Eagle Collection boasts electric lighting, beautiful views, 50 foot streets, and “mountain spring water piped all over the property.”

According the 2010 Census, some 3,911 people call Laureldale home. The petition to create the borough of Laureldale was made Feb. 29, 1929. Leading that effort was Frederick W. Shipe, a housing developer frustrated by the lack of side streets in the area (only Elizabeth and Bellevue Avenues were in decent shape) who had managed to see streetlight installed by 1924. In the petition to incorporate were the “villages and real estate developments” known as Rosedale, Belmont, Belmont Park, Laurel Hill, Rosedale Addition, Roselawn, and adjacent territory. President Judge Paul N. Schaeffer, on April 8, 1930, signed a decree making Laureldale the 29th borough in Berks County.

The sturdy mostly brick homes, duplexes, and singles in square or classic styles, dominated the original part of the borough. The borough name is credited to Clayton N. Fidler who combined the “Laurel” from Laurel  Hill and “dale” from Rosedale. It seems that Rosedale was the preferred moniker, but there was already a post office by that name in neighboring Chester County.

You won’t need a trolley to explore Muhlenberg Township. Join us on Saturday, September 9th at 10AM at BHC for “Floor Plans” with Country Living writer Michelle Lynch. 

Explore the architecture and history of Muhlenberg Township properties with Country Living writer Michelle Lynch. Muhlenberg Township is the location of this year’s annual 4 Centuries in Berks Historic Property Tour. Get a glimpse of Berks County’s Crossroads!

940 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601 


$5.00 members, Gold Card members free, $8.00 non-members. Light Refreshments served at 9:30AM. Program begins at 10AM. Museum admission included in the cost of the program.

Off street parking available at 160 Spring Street, Reading.

Also, since this is our “preview” of the 4 Centuries in Berks Historic Properties Tour, here is some information on the tour:

The Berks History Center is proud to celebrate architectural styles intrinsic to the county’s historical and contemporary culture. This year we will be exploring the architectural treasures of Muhleberg Township. Join us on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9AM-4PM for a stroll down memory lane in the Crossroads of the County. All proceeds will help support educational programs at the Berks History Center

Tickets now on sale! Tickets: $35.00 per person (The tour is limited to age 12 and older)

Advance tickets sales will be available by September 12th at the following sites:

Berks History Center – 940 Centre Ave., Reading, 610.375.4375Esbenshade’s Greenhouse – 721 Park Rd., Fleetwood, 610.944.3000Riverview Nursery – 3049 Pricetown Rd., Temple, 610.929.5049Spayd’s at Green Valley Nursery – 4610 Penn Ave., Sinking Spring, 610.678.6711Weaver’s Orchard – 40 Fruit Ln., Morgantown, 610.856.7300Wyomissing Public Library – 9 Reading Blvd., Wyomissing, 610.374.2385Muhlenberg Community Library – 3612 Kutztown Rd., Reading, 610.929.0589Tickets will also be sold the day of the tour at Good Shepherd UCC, 170 Tuckerton Rd., Reading, PA 19605

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