Perkasie

Perkasie is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles north of Philadelphia. Establishments in the borough early in the twentieth century included silk mills, baseballs, brickyards, lumber mills, … Wikipedia

Perkasie is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles (56 km) north of Philadelphia. Establishments in the borough early in the twentieth century included silk mills, baseballs, brickyards, lumber mills, tile works, a stone crusher, and manufacturies of cigars, tags and labels, wire novelties, etc. The population in 1900 was 1,803; in 1910, 2,779 people lived in Perkasie. The population was 8,515 at the 2013 census.

History

Both the town of Perkasie and Pocasie Creek derive their name from the Lenape Unami phrase Pèhpahkàsink/Poekskossing which translates to “One who goes to the place to crack nuts” Or ” one who cracks nuts there”. Pahkàsink/Pokesing means “a place to crack nuts”. Lastly, Pahkàsi/Pocasie means “to crack nuts”. The Dutch/Swedish (before the British settlements) pronounced the word with an r and it stuck. Sink sounded a lot like sing which translates to place or area. There was doubtless a village on the site of the present town before William Penn’s Perkasie Manor was settled.”[5] “The “Manor” of Perkasie was one of several in Bucks County and contained 11,462 acres (4,639 ha). Laid out and surveyed in 1708 it embraced most of Hilltown and Rockhill Township.”[6]

On June 8, 1890, a disastrous fire began at the livery stable located at 7th and Chestnut Streets; twelve buildings were destroyed. Personal buckets and ladders were used to extinguish the fire. Less than a month later, on July 4, 1890, a committee appointed by Perkasie Borough Council met to form the Hope Fire Company. On September 8, 1890, the Hope Fire Company met at Groover’s Hall (517 Chestnut Street) and adopted a constitution and by-laws; 32 members were present.

At the same time, Borough Council turned over to the fire company a hand pumper purchased from Newtown Fire Association, and a hose cart purchased from Philadelphia with 800 feet (240 m) of hose. One month later the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad presented the Fire Company with a tire for a steam locomotive driver wheel for use as a fire alarm. This was installed in a cupola of the Groover building (now in front of Silverdale Fire Company).

Perkasie is home to a former major league baseball factory, now out of business. Between 1920 and 1950, the factory produced millions of baseballs through the Hubbert/Spalding contract. The factory still stands today, at 815 Chestnut Street, but had been converted into the Senior Citizens Center. [1] The Senior Center has since moved to the neighboring borough of Silverdale. The old Senior Center is scheduled to be converted to six two-bedroom condominiums by Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County. Completion of this project has provided a new start for families in need.The goal of this project is to keep the exterior integrity intact and combine old world charm with green building techniques the new living space. The Pearl S. Buck House at Green Hills Farm, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is located near Perkasie in Hilltown Twp..

On June 26, 1988, about 15 percent of the town, including many historic buildings, were burned down in what became known as The Great Perkasie Fire. This massive fire was started by two 12-year-old boys who were playing with a lighter near the coal bins behind the Shelley & Sons lumberyard at Seventh and Market Streets. The fire was fought by about 300 firefighters who came from over 50 fire companies in three counties. Among the historic buildings lost were the American House and the Moyer-Kantner Funeral Home, both dating from 1870, and the Herstine Building. One of the buildings was the J.G. Moyer building. The building graced the cover of the July 7, 1945 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It depicted an artistic rendition of a Fourth of July parade by artist John Falter. Despite the size of the fire, no fatalities were reported.[7]

Immediately after the fire, a group of concerned business owners, residents and borough officials formed a Downtown Restoration Task Force. The Task Force was given the name of the Perkasie Towne Improvement Association (PTIA). This group was the forerunner to the Perkasie Olde Towne Association. The PTIA along with Perkasie’s local government were responsible for the three-phase town improvement plan that was completed over the next five intervening years. The PTIA’s focus was to oversee the reconstruction of not only the area of the town center affected by the fire, but also other retail and residential areas in the central part of the Borough. As a result of these efforts, streetscape enhancements of decorative street lights, underground utilities, new sidewalks with decorative brick borders were built and new benches, trash receptacles and street trees were placed throughout the focus area.

Taking into consideration the two major fires in the Perkasie area, there may have been complications related to the fires itself that resulted in deaths afterwards.

The South Perkasie Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[8]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perkasie,_Pennsylvania

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