Permanent Exhibits

Below are a list of the Permanent Exhibits that we have in our building:

General Carl A Spaatz

General Carl A Spaatz was born in Boyertown in 1891. He was the son of Charles Spaatz, the editor and publisher of the Boyertown Democrat, the newspaper that would become the Boyertown Times.

Carl attended West Point Military Academy. General Spaatz would go on to earn the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down 2 German planes in France in WWI. In 1929, with Capt. Ira Eaker and Lt. Elwood Quesada, he established an endurance record by staying in flight for more than 159 hours in a Fokker plane named “Question Mark”, proving the viability of midair refueling that enabled long distance flights.

In 1947, General Spaatz became the first Chief of Staff of the newly created United States Air Force.

Boyertown Opera House Fire

The fire occurred on the evening on January 13, 1908. 170 people were killed in the fire most on the second floor of the Rhoad’s Opera House building. There were 25 unidentified victims who were all buried together on Fairview Cemetery. Each January we have a wreath laying ceremony to remember these victims as well as all the victims and to remember the life in the entire town.

Boyertown Casket Company

The local town undertakers, Mr. Wagner and Daniel Brumbach often had to postpone funerals because they could not obtain caskets. This is why the Boyertown Burial Casket Company started.

The Boyertown Burial Casket Company became the second largest casket company. Over the years, many famous people were buried in these caskets, such as Marilyn Monroe, Robert Kennedy, and Liberace. Harry Houdini had the Boyertown Casket Company make him a special casket that he could use in his escape acts.

The Boyertown casket company was in business until October 31, 1988, it had been producing about 60,000 casket a year. After the Boyertown Casket Company was torn down, the retirement community of Walnut Woods was built on that location.

Mining in Boyertown

Boyertown was first settled because of the rich iron ore under its surface. As early as 1680, the presence of large-scale deposits of iron ore in this section of PA had been publicized in Great Britain. The utilization of these deposits in this area began in 1708, and the Boyertown mines were in operation for 200 years.

The most productive years of the Boyertown mines were during the 1870’s, when nearly 6000 tons were brought to the surface each month, from some mines as deep as 600 feet.