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Bern Township

Township municipal offices are located at 1069 Old Bernville Road, Reading PA 19605; phone: 610-926-2267.

Originally part of Lancaster County, Bern Township was settled around 1733 and incorporated in 1738. It was named for the city of Berne, Switzerland.

Original home (along the Licking Creek) of the Gruber Wagon Works, built in 1882 by Francis H. Gruber. Wagons were made into the 1950s, and repairs, into the 1970s. At its peak in the 1920s, the works employed 20 men.

The National Register of Historic Places lists several properties in Bern Township; Wertz's covered bridge (ca. 1867) crossed the Tulpehocken Creek joining Bern with Spring Township; designed by Theodore Burr, it is one of the longest remaining covered bridges in Pennsylvania. The Rieser Gristmill (ca. 1785, 1825) is found about a mile south of Leesport. The Rieser-Shoemaker Farm is associated with Rieser mill. While Riesers were millers by trade, they operated the farm primarily to grow food for the family. The Gruber Wagon Works, placed on the National Register the year before operations ceased, was subsequently dismantled, moved, and reassembled in about 1977.

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