Copyright, 2015. Boyertown Area Historical Society

43 S. Chestnut Street
Boyertown, PA  19512
General email:
Museum and Library:
Office Manager:
Web Site:
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Wednesday 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM
Tuesday 5:00-9:00 PM
Please contact the
Museum and Library Director or Office Manager
for Information on Group Tours and Educational Programs.
Closed Holidays
use this link to access the Historical Society By-Laws

7:00 PM
First Wednesday of the Month,
October to June
Society Building
(no meeting in January)
A $5.00 donation is being asked of all non-members
who attend the monthly meetings.
2015 programs.
October 7, 2015
Hank Frecon will talk about Apple Cider,
its production and importance to the community.

November 4, 2015
Robert Gerhart will do a presentation on
Annie Funk of Bally,
a 38 year old missionary who
was a victim of the Titantic tragedy.
Boyertown Area
Historical Society

What is the difference between a ghost, a spirit, and a spook?
Learn about a lonely small boy trapped in an attic or the man who
came to the Boyertown Halloween Parade the night after he died!
Help search for restless spirits inhabiting Popodikon Mansion!
Discover another side to Boyertown.
Take part in a Ghost Walk, a Haunted Train Ride,
or a Paranormal Investigation....
Ghost walks are the fourth Saturday of the month.
A paranormal investigation at Popodikon Mansion is scheduled
for October 3, 2015.
Go to the events page for details on the Ghost Walks and the Paranormal
Investigation, as well as a DVD on the Rhoads Opera House Fire and
Charles Adams III's book,
Haunted Boyertown, about the
strange and mysterious happenings in the area.
Der Belsnickel Craft Show
Nationally Recognized for Excellence
For more information, use the
Craft Show link
Final call for the 2015 Belsnickel.  
One 10x8 space is still available.
the Ghosts are back!
After the Fire
the Fire
Has this 1908 fire tragedy
and the loss of almost
200 people
affected Boyertown's
Haunted History?
Take a Ghost Walk and
investigate the
other side of Boyertown.
Events Page
provides information on
the date and ticket price
of Boyertown's
Historic Ghost Walks.
Thank you to Margaret Harner for researching and supplying these
vignettes of life in  Boyertown.
This date in the
Boyertown area:
Use this link, Daily News, to read previous articles

Aug. 29, 1929
Dr. Carl Kline Becker, one of the outstanding medical missionaries of the 20th Century, was called the
American Dr. Albert Schweitzer by the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Art Buchwald. Dr. Becker started his
practice of medicine in Boyertown. After seven years of a successful career, he was asked to accept a call as a
missionary physician in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire). The people of Boyertown could not believe that their
favorite physician was deserting them for the jungles in Africa! Although 400 residents turned out at a rally to
plead with him not to leave, he felt that he had a higher calling, and he left town to devote the rest of his life to
helping the natives of that African territory. He explained that it was easier to find someone to take over his
lucrative practice in Boyertown (making over $10,000 a year in 1929!) than to get a doctor to go into the “heart
of darkest Africa.” The disappointed townspeople did not give up without a struggle, but when they realized
there was no more they could do, they wished him well and bought him drugs and medical supplies to take with
him. He carried 10 tons of equipment, including the family Buick, across the Atlantic. Five hundred townsmen
showed up at a farewell service for him at his church, Trinity Evangelical Church on South Washington Street,
and many more, who could not get into the packed building, milled around on the sidewalk to say good-bye. (Dr.
Becker spent 47 years in the Congo. What started out as a rather small enterprise eventually grew to a 250-bed
hospital; and, as this area had a very high incidence of leprosy, he started treating these so-afflicted people.  
The leprosarium eventually grew to over 7,000 patients. Leprosy specialists and medical missionaries from all
over the world came to observe his work and borrow from his research. He suffered a severe heart attack in
1966, and lay quietly in bed overnight. He appeared at the hospital early the next morning, resuming his
routine. A nurse reprimanded him for getting out of bed, and he responded softly, “If this is to be my last day on
earth, I certainly don’t want to spend it is bed.” It was not his last day; he and his wife retired in 1976 and
returned to the United States.)

Aug. 31, 1907
Captain Thomas Leidy Rhoads has been appointed to the post of operating surgeon of the division hospital in
the Philippines. It is considered to be the most important hospital in the medical department of the United
States Army because more delicate and difficult operations are performed on soldiers in these islands than in
any division in the United States. Captain Rhoads has distinguished himself in the realm of surgery both in
and outside the army. One of his most famous pieces of work was the operation he performed on Secretary of
War (and later President) W. Howard Taft that saved the Secretary’s life. Following that surgery, Rhoads and
Taft became close friends, and when Taft was elected President, he chose Rhoads to accompany him to
Washington as his personal physician.

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