You Probably Haven’t Seen Montgomery County Like This
PENNSBURG PA – What is estimated to be one of the earliest printed maps of Montgomery County (at top and below), published in Philadelphia during 1830 by B.S. Tanner, has been purchased for the collection of the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary St. The center plans to display the rare map as part of an exhibit tentatively scheduled for Fall 2022.
The cost of the acquisition, from Ephrata PA-based Horst Auctions, was not disclosed.
The map depicts landmark details that include “roads, mills, churches, post offices, quarries, and manufacturers,” The Schwenkfelder’s Executive Director Beth Twiss Houting wrote in an e-mail. It also offers a statistical table, references, and a declaration that the map was “constructed by virtue of an act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania.”
Of interest, Twiss Houting noted, is the fact that some boroughs and townships familiar to current county residents don’t appear on the map (above). The reason? They hadn’t been created when it went to print, she explained. For example, she said, “Upper Hanover Township in 1830 was still completely intact, since Pennsburg, East Greenville, and Red Hill were not boroughs yet.”
The center says it “engages visitors in exploration of the themes of tolerance, migration, and heritage in their lives” by highlighting stories of the Pennsylvania Germans of the Perkiomen region, especially those of the Schwenkfelders. They were “a Protestant reformation group heavily persecuted in Europe, (that) came to southeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1700s seeking religious freedom.”
It’s open at varying hours Tuesdays through Sundays. For information call 215-679-3103.
Photos provided by the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center