December 15, 1926 Central News
Perkasie Historical Society Archives
The Neff – Affelbaum building was located at 609 West Chestnut Street. Today this is the grassy area to the left of the current Quakertown National Bank Branch. The building was once home to Perkasie newspaper, The Central News. Neff Ice Cream Store was located on the first floor and there were two apartments on the second floor.
On that December morning in 1926 an explosion destroyed the building and buried Moyer and Keller Dairy milkman, Leon Mauer under tons of debris. Local residents and fireman were able to dig Mr., Maurer from the rubble. He was transported to Grandview hospital where he later died.
Most of the windows on the North side the Perkasie Trust Building (now QNB) were blown out by the explosion. The floor of the building was littered by broken glass. The force of the explosion sent pieces of glass and mortar across the street shattering the windows at Thompson’s Hardware Store. The Central News described the shattering of the large plate glass windows, “ ... as though a gatling gun had been trained upon them.”
A mother and her infant child had to be rescued by ladder from the back apartment. The family in the front apartment luckily was not home at the time of the explosion.
There was much speculation as to the cause of the explosion. It could have been a natural gas explosion or an explosion of ammonia or carbonizer tanks. The building was beyond repair and was demolished.
1939 Nativity Tableau
The dedication of the tableau was the culmination of a community project sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The tableau is more than 20 feet long and 15 feet high. Mounted on a huge base is an open Bible. On one of the pages is a depiction of the manger scene. The opposite page shows the Wise Men following the star. The scenes have cut out metal figures that are attached towards the front of the scene giving a 3-dimensional appearance. Indirect lighting adds to the impressive scene. The tableau was made in Allentown, by William R. Weiss Art Displays.
When the Honor Roll of Perkasie residents serving during World War II was erected at the Reading Railroad Station, the Nativity Tableau was moved to a new location and assembled on the Market Street side of the First Evangelical Church of Perkasie (now The First United Methodist Church). It is believed the tableau was last used during the 1950’s and then stored away.
To highlight the South Perkasie Covered Bridge it was decided to create an “artificial” tree next to the bridge. The bridge move to Lenape Park in 1958 raised local awareness of the bridge and drew national media attention.
To construct the tree, the Perkasie Electric Department placed a telephone pole near the southwest end of the bridge. The light strings that once were strung across Perkasie’s streets were attached to the top of the pole. The strands would radiate from the top and attach in a circle on the ground. The result was a Christmas tree design when the red, yellow and green light bulbs were illuminated. A star with white lights topped the tree.
Christmas 1962, the town community tree at the bridge was illuminated for the first time. The covered bridge itself, was also illuminated with spot- lights creating a beautiful Christmas scene.
M.T. Weisel Wagon Works
Image from Perkasie Historical Society Archives
In 1889 Milton Weisel opened his carriage and wagon manufacturing shop in the newly constructed building at 124 North Sixth Street. He employed seven men in the 3000 square foot shop. The increasing demand for his products enabled him to double the size of the building in 1913. Weisel became the best and busiest wagon maker in the area.
Robert Berger purchased the Weisel property in 1948 for his White Horse Motors business. He later acquired a Plymouth and DeSoto dealership. In 1953 Robert and his brother Russell formed a partnership and purchased a Chrysler agency. The brothers then began selling Chryslers and Plymouths at the North Sixth Street location as Berger & Berger.
Thanks to Judy and Frank Pezzanite for donating the Weisel Carriage Tag to the Perkasie Historical Society Museum collection.
American Makers Corporation
In 1916, five local businessmen applied to the State of Pennsylvania for a charter for American Makers Corporation. The object of this corporation was to manufacture, buy, sell, and otherwise deal in toys novelties, specialties and merchandise made of wood, metal, fiber, leather, cotton, or woolen fabrics etc.
American Makers Corporation was located in the Knoll Building located on Chestnut Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets, now apartments. In 1923, company moved into the “Opera House Building at Fourth and Walnut Streets.
A 1923 Central News article states “the building vacated by General Cigar Co. will not be long vacant. American Makers Corporation, manufactures of cigar boxes and novelties will move their plant from the Knoll Building.”
American Makers remained in the “Opera House Building” until 1929 when the building was sold to Hosiery Yarn Company.
It is not known if American Makers did actually manufacture the ashtrays or just purchased them for an advertising item.
Menlo Park Anniversary
The park was started in 1892 by local businessmen. A steam powered carousel was the park's first ride with numerous attractions being added over the years. Thousands would visit the park during the summer months, arriving by trolley, train, and later automobile.
Louise Doll and Louise Forgone organized a group to dress in Victorian attire to celebrate the park's 125th anniversary. During a September carousel opening, they spent the afternoon at the park greeting visitors and having their photo taken by local photographer, Amy Schuler. One of the photos was imposed on the cover of a 1900 era Menlo Park souvenir booklet.
Thanks to everyone who dressed in Victorian attire and to Amy for capturing the moment.
Memories of Perkasie
Sharing interesting connections between Perkasie's people, places and events.