Boyertown, PA – On Saturday, September 19, from 10am to 2pm, the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles will host a Grand Opening of the restored Jeremiah Sweinhart Carriage Factory. The business first opened in 1872 as a builder of all types of horse-drawn vehicles, including carriages, sleighs, and wagons. Though the business changed owners and names several times over its fifty-four years, it continued as a highly respected carriage builder. In 1926, the business changed owners for a final time and was renamed the Boyertown Auto Body Works, which manufactured truck bodies until 1990.
Miraculously, despite the many additions and renovations to the other buildings in this manufacturing complex, the original one-room Jeremiah Sweinhart Carriage Factory has managed to remain standing these past 143 years. It is a testament to the beginning of a 118-year history of vehicle building and craftsmanship in Berks County. Featured during our Grand Opening will be the rebuilt, and fully functioning, blacksmith forge. We will also be unveiling the newly added machine shop, which consists of eleven pieces of early belt-drive machinery. This dynamic exhibit, in which every machine operates, was graciously donated to the Museum by Sterling Walsh and family. The exterior of the building has been freshly painted and all trim work has been repaired. Refreshments suiting the fall season will also be available. Regular museum admission rates apply.
The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am -4:00 pm and is closed on Mondays. The Museum, located at 85 South Walnut Street in Boyertown, PA in a former factory building of the Boyertown Auto Body Works, preserves the transportation history of Pennsylvania and displays over eighty locally manufactured cars, trucks, carriages, motorcycles, sleighs, and other types of vehicles. Also on display are two examples of roadside architecture: a 1921 cottage style Sunoco gas station and a 1938 Jerry O’Mahony diner. Admission rates are $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors and AAA, $4.00 for students, and children under 5 years are free. For more information call 610-367-2090 or visit www.boyertownmuseum.org.