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Manheim Borough


Manheim Borough Offices are located at 15 East High Street, Manheim PA 17545; phone: 717-665-2461.

Beginnings [1]

The present Manheim Borough, once the Town of Manheim in Rapho Township, was founded and laid out by Henry William Stiegel in 1762. The name Manheim was chosen after the German city of the same name. Stiegel established the first industry in the town, the famous Stiegel glassworks, which attracted Swiss and German immigrants to the town. The glassworks soon closed, which resulted in slow growth of the town. During the nineteenth century, the town primarily acted as a center for the surrounding rural population. In 1838, Manheim was incorporated as a borough and had a population of approximately 600. Several small industries came to Manheim during the 1800's, including cabinet-making and clock-making, but they did little to change the rural nature of the Borough.

The arrival of the Reading Railroad in the 1860's brought new prosperity with prominent milling and lumber processing industries. By the turn of the century, Manheim Borough already had a public water system, electricity, and telephone service. The census of 1890 showed a population of over 2,000. Many new industries appeared in Manheim during the 1890-1920 period.

As the twentieth century progressed, the increased rate of technological advances was accompanied by a corresponding increase in the rate of change and growth within the Borough. The problems of the Borough became increasingly complex. Automotive transportation created a growing need for additional and improved streets. New and larger industrial operations needed room for expansion. Demands for housing increased and, as the population grew, the number of commercial establishments to serve local residents with goods and services increased.

  1. Manheim Borough / Penn & Rapho Townships, Official Comprehensive Plan, 1993, www.raphotownship.org, accessed February 2008.
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