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Spring-Ford Area Historical Society local history collection


Held at: Spring-Ford Area Historical Society [Contact Us]526 Main St., Royersford, Pennsylvania, 19468

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Spring-Ford Area 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

Previously a sparsely-settled farming area, early development in Spring City (Chester County, Pennsylvania) and adjacent Royersford (Montgomery County, Pennsylvania) coincided with the opening of the Schuylkill Navigation Canal in 1824. Canal-related industries such as the American Paper Company and the Spring City Stove Company were operating as early as the 1850s.

The history and development of Spring City and Royersford began to overlap in 1840 with the construction of the first bridge across the Schuylkill that connected the two towns. Their relationship was cemented more recently with the establishment of the Spring-Ford Area School District in 1955.

Industry in the two towns continued to grow during the 19th century, especially with the construction of major railroad lines. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad opened in Royersford in 1839; the Pennsylvania Railroad opened in Spring City in 1884 and connected to Royersford in 1892. (Although the Pennsylvania Railroad stopped in 1955, the Philadelphia and Reading lines continue to run as the the Norfolk Southern Railroad as of 2013.) By the early 20th century, Spring City and Royersford were booming industrial towns with extensive stove factories, glass and bottle works, and embroidery, hosiery, and knitting mills, among other businesses.

Besides serving as base for multiple industries, Spring City was also home to the Pennhurst State School and Hospital, an institution for the mentally handicapped that opened in 1908. A community separated from the rest of the town, the sprawling complex included a dairy farm, power house, green houses, and a movie theater amongst many other facilities. At one point, the hospital had more than 3,000 patients.


Brunner, William C. "Spring City History." Spring City, PA Community Website. Accessed December 3, 2012.

Royersford Borough. Home page. Accessed December 3, 2012.

This collection consists of photographs, scrapbooks, manuscript volumes, pamphlets and ephemera, deeds, and various other documents relating to local history in Spring City and Royersford, Pennsylvania.

The photographs make up the bulk of this collection. They include family albums, class pictures, panorama prints, and photographs of local people, buildings, businesses, and events. Many of the photographs were scanned, and digital versions comprise most of the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society digital collection.

There are about two-dozen scrapbooks in this collection, containing newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera. The scrapbooks were created by various individuals and cover numerous topics, including the Spring City Centennial (1967), the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society, and high school girls' experiences.

The manuscript volumes include ledgers, a letterpress book, a receipt book, and teacher's reports. Items of special interest include: Buckwalter & Co. Continental Stove Works letterpress book, 1886; Guss Dry cleaning (239 Bridge St., Spring City) daybook, 1929; Spring City Steam Paper and Box Manufacturing Co. receipt book, circa 1900; Spring City Intermediate School #4 teacher's monthly reports, 1884-1892; and Spring City High School #6 teacher's monthly reports, 1878-1883.

This collection also contains a fair amount of pamphlets and ephemera organized into boxes (with some artifacts interspersed) on subjects such as: churches, schools, banks, individuals, boroughs, deeds, business and industry, fraternal organizations, and transportation.

Materials collected at various times by the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a 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 Spring-Ford Area Historical Society directly for more information.

Spring-Ford Area Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton 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 Spring-Ford Area Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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