Learn More About Birdsboro’s History
Posted January 18, 2015
Birdsboro was named after its founder, William Bird, who took warrants for land on Haycreek Road and, later, Six Penny Creek as early as 1737. On the banks of Haycreek, he established a forge in about 1740, which was followed by other forges along the creek, as well as a sawmill and a gristmill. Between 1737 and 1751, he took up warrants for about 1600 acres of land. He died in 1761. Marcus Bird, a son, succeeded his father.
He enlarged his father’s work in Haycreek and built a furnace on French Creek at Hopewell. He was the largest producer of iron in America during the Revolutionary War.
When Berks County was constituted in 1762, Birdsboro was already a town of considerable size. In 1796, Matthew Brooke purchased all of the lands owned by the Bird family, including all forges and mills. Matthew Brooke died in 1821 and his two sons became the exclusive owners in 1837. They later became organized into the E & G Brooke Iron Co., and their influence made the growth of the town possible.
Birdsboro was taken from Union and Robeson Townships and incorporated into a Borough in 1872. It is one of largest boroughs in the county, being approximately one mile square. Since 1883, it is supplied by water from three reservoirs located in the hills south of the Borough. Electric lights were installed in 1896. In 1964, a modern sewage disposal system was installed in the borough and was subsequently updated for greater capacity and improved treatment in 1982. In 1964, the Birdsboro Municipal Authority purchased the water system from the owners of the Birdsboro Water Co. and a modern sewage disposal system was installed in the borough and was subsequently updated for greater capacity and improved treatment in 1982. The most recent upgrade to the sewer plant was completed in 2009.
In 1920, the citizens of the community remodeled the mansion which the founder of the town, William Bird, erected in about 1751. This remodeled facility is known as The Birdsboro Community Memorial Center. Also of interest are the following recreational: Maple Springs Swimming Pool; French Creek State Park for hiking, swimming and picnics; Hopewell Lake and Scotts Run Lake for fishing and boating; Arrowhead and Blackwood public 18-hole golf courses; and tennis courts owned by the Borough. There is also organized football and baseball for youth. The Reading Fightin Phils, a Double A Minor League baseball team, located in Reading, is just twenty minutes away.