Main content

Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society local history collection


Held at: Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society [Contact Us]2341 E. High Street, Sanatoga, PA, 19464

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"The name "Pottsgrove" originated from the 18th century estate of John Potts, who built a stone mansion in Stowe. After the American Revolution's Battle of Brandywine in 1777, part of the Potts Estate became an encampment for George Washington's troops. The encampment, known as Camp Pottsgrove, lasted about two weeks until Washington's troops moved on to the battle of Germantown. The name Camp Pottsgrove stayed even after the troops moved out.

"Pottsgrove Township formed in 1807 and was subdivided into Upper and Lower Pottsgrove Townships in 1889. At the end of the 19th century, Lower Pottsgrove was well known for its two amusement parks and its country trolley ride. Until the 1940's the Township was primarily rural, except for the small village of Sanatoga situated on the road travelers used to Philadelphia from Reading. Prior to World War II, the government built Jacobs Aircraft. This facility manufactured radial aircraft engines. Then, during the World War II era, the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began manufacturing tires at that site to relieve wartime-induced shortages. Firestone closed down and Occidental Chemical Company occupied the facility until its closure in 2005.

"Lower Pottsgrove Township is also the home of the Sunnybrook Ballroom and Swim Club. Sunnybrook dates back to 1930 with all of the Big Bands performing there. The ballroom itself could accommodate crowds of over 2000."


Lower Pottsgrove Township. "About Lower Pottsgrove Township." Accessed May 23, 2012.

This collection is comprised of materials collected by the Historical Society on various topics related to local history. It includes scrapbooks, photograph albums, materials on local schools, and files of newspaper clippings and photographs. Newspaper clippings, photographs, pamphlets, ephemera, and photocopies of primary materials are the predominant document types.

The scrapbooks cover various local history subjects, such as: Union Canal, Sanatoga Park Roller Skating Rink, Ringing Rocks Park, Sanatoga Park, Sanatoga Speedway, Pottsgrove local history, and the Bicentennial celebrations of 1976. Of special interest are two scrapbooks of Girl Scout Troop 470, including descriptions of troop activities and a few photographs, 1969-1972.

The photograph albums depict repairs to the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society building, the construction of a band shell, the Sanatoga Fire Company, the Sanatoga Speedway, and other miscellaneous topics.

The collection includes a sizeable quantity of materials relating to local schools, including photocopied documents, photographs, a scrapbook, and a small amount of original primary-source records. There are photocopies of 19th-century attendance records from local schools, and stories written by elementary school children (1998). Photographs in the collection depict school buildings and classes, including yearly class photos from Mrs. Schultz's classes at Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School, 1935-1976. A scrapbook on local schools is comprised of newspaper clippings, commencement pamphlets, photographs, etc. Of special interest are a blueprint of the Sanatoga School House (1896), and a box of Lower Pottsgrove School District legal documents relative to the opening of the consolidated school (1931), such as teacher contracts, tax records, building certifications, and construction bids.

Finally, the collection contains file drawers of newspaper clippings and both copy and original photographs on various local subjects, including: Sanatoga Inn, Sanatoga Fire Company, Sanatoga Grange, Sanatoga Speedway, Ringing Rocks, Roller Rink, Sanatoga Park, and other topics.

Materials collected at various times by the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of a pilot project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society directly for more information.

Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Print, Suggest