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Maxatawny Township


Township municipal offices are located at 127 Quarry Road, Suite 1, Kutztown PA 19530; phone: 610-683-6518.

Originally part of Philadelphia County, Maxatawny was settled around 1732 and incorporated September 6, 1742.

Beginnings [1]

Maxatawny is an Indian word which means Bear's Path Creek. The first settlement was made in 1732 and just ten years later, in 1742, the district was organized into a township.

The Indians remained in this township a long time after they had gone from the others. It is said that many of them are buried here. The frequent cultivation of the ground has eliminated all traces of them, but many of their relics were found during the early days.

After the Battle of Brandywine in 1777, a regiment of the American army encamped on the farms now owned by the Hottensteins, and upon leaving they took all of the horses and wagons on which they could lay their hands. Quite a number of the inhabitants of the township took part in the Revolutionary War, and were taken prisoners.

In this township is the famous Centennial White Oak of Pennsylvania. On the 15th of September, the baggage train of General Washington found shelter under and around this famous tree. One foot above the ground the tree measures twenty-eight feet in circumference and ten feet above this its branches stretch forth, some of which are three feet in diameter.

Paper mills were operated on the Sacony near Kutztown for a long while. On Mill Creek was the first mill in the township, and with it was also conducted a tannery.

The East Penn Furnace was built in 1871. The property has changed hands a number of times. At Bowers a small furnace was built in 1883. The property was so badly damaged by a storm that it was never repaired.

The iron ore in the township is of a good quality. Much of the ore which went to the Sally Ann and Mary Ann Furnaces many years ago, was mined in this township. Twenty-five years ago iron ore was mined in Longswamp, Maxatawny and Richmond Townships. These mines at one time yielded very large quantities of ore. Nearly all of them have now been shut down.

The old Fair Ground which had been established on the southwest side of Kutztown by the Agricultural Society has been abandoned. In 1905 a new place was selected and made suitable for Fair purposes.

  1. A. E. Wagner, Ph.D., F. W. Balthaser, M.E., and D.K. Hoch, The Story of Berks County Pennsylvania, Eagle Book ad Job Press, Reading, 1913
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