Berks County, located in Pennsylvania and was developed in 1752 from parts of Chester, Lancaster, and Philadelphia Counties. Named after the English county where William Penn’s family had their home, Berkshire, then abbreviated to “Berks”. The county has a total area of 866 square miles. Berks County has been designated as the Reading, Pa Metropolitan and is ranked 10th most populous metropolitan in Pennsylvania. The region is known for its authentic Pennsylvania German heritage, folk festivals, historic homesteads, museums, art, traditional food, jazz and farmers markets.
Points of interest:
Reading Railroad: Originally known as The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad (P&R) in 1833, the 94-mile line was used to transport anthracite coal. This line led the United State to economic leadership and by the 1870s became the largest corporation in the world.
Daniel Boone Homestead: Daniel Boone, who opened the American frontier across the Allegheny Mountains and into Kentucky was born in Berks County, down the street from Abraham Lincoln’s great-grandfather. The Daniel Boone Homestead, located in Birdsboro and has been restored as a living museum which illuminates the daily lives of the region’s 18 th -century settlers through the eyes of the Boone, Maugridge and DeTurk families who occupied the site.
Mid-Atlantic Air Museum: Founded in the 1980s with the primary goal of acquiring and restoring one of the world’s few remaining P61 Black Widow aircrafts, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is home to the World War II Weekend. The largest event of its kind in the nation, the weekend features living history re-enactors, where you can observe the American home front, walk through enemy encampments, witness battles, listen op 1940s radio, and dance to swing music.
Crystal Cave: Discovered in 1871 when local farmers, William Merkel and John Gehret blasted land in the hopes of finding limestone, which was a valuable resource used by farmers to enrich their soul. What they found was an abundance of milky white formations. Afraid to go inside, they sold the property for $5000 to Samuel Kohler, who decided to build a rustic wooden door to stop unwanted trespassers from vandalizing and stealing these crystals. One May 25, 1972, Kohler invited the public to see his “Grand Illumination” and Crystal Cave became “The First Show Cave in Pennsylvania”. The Pagoda: Located atop Mt. Penn and overlooking the City of Reading, the Pagoda was originally built in 1906 to cover a stone quarry and was intended to be a luxury resort, but never opened due to bank foreclosure and denial of a liquor license, never opened. Before the days of radio broadcast, Morse Code was used to direct fireman, promote fundraising campaigns and give the public results from sporting events. The Code was based on the lights…a white light was a dash, while a red light was a dot.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary: As the world’s first refuge for birds of prey, Hawk Mountain started during the Great Depression. Hawk Mountain is now a scientific research center and international conservation training site.
Koziar’s Christmas Village: Named “Best Outdoor Christmas Display in the World” by Display World Magazine in 2016 and 2018, Christmas Village began in 1948 when William Koziar began decorating his home.