Minersville Area Historical Society - Archives
The Minersville Area Historical Society seeks to:
- Acquire, preserve and make available, for reference and research, all non-current, inactive archival materials of a personal, social, religious or political nature, created or received in the Minersville Area, that are adjudged to have sufficient historical value to warrant permanent preservation.
- Educate the general public, through displays, programs, events and historic structures as to the history of the Minersville Area and its inhabitants.
- Serve as the collective historical memory of the Minersville Area.
Click the link below for the portal to Minersville Area History:
The History of Minersville
Thomas Reed was Minersville's first settler in March of 1793. He first built a sawmill on the West Branch stream of the Schuylkill River and a log house nearby it which was the place of his first residence. *
When coal was discovered by Necho Allen in 1799, it brought a flood of immigrants looking for work into the entire anthracite region, and many coal towns like Minersville came into existence.
In those days, people traveled by horse and wagons. The Sunbury Trail was the first road through Schuylkill County. The Trail led from Reading to Sunbury and had milestones placed along the way to mark it for the travelers. The Trail runs directly through Minersville and so this is where Sunbury Street got its name. A milestone marking the halfway point still stands on the corners of Fourth and Lewis Streets. (see photo)
Thomas Reed built a hotel and tavern on the south side of Sunbury Road, where St. Michael the Archangel Church is today. He called it the Red House, but it was also known as the Half-way House because of its half-way location on the Sunbury Trail.
Thomas Reed was also the first Justice of the Peace. He had his hotel until his death in 1814. He was buried in the rear of his hotel. Later it became the Minersville Cemetery and when the Civil War occured it was renamed the Union Cemetery.
Titus Bennett laid out the town in 1830 from two tracts of land. One patented to himself and the other to Lawrence Lewis and Robert M. Lewis. This is where Lewis Street got its name. Minersville was then incorporated on April 1, 1831.
On May 2, 1831, the first Town Council was elected. The first Burgess was Samuel Rickert.
Minersville was so named for the mining industry from which it was born.
by Society Member Marian Twigg
* Researched from the book " The History of Schuylkill County" by W.W.Munsell 1881
About the Thomas Reed Memorial
The exact site of Thomas Reed's grave in the Union Cemetery is unknown, as his marker had disappeared and records were not well kept at that time. So, in honor of our first settler, the Minersville Area Historical Society erected a Memorial Stone in the Union Cemetery on September 15th 2013. You can see the Memorial Dedication slideshows here on our web site.
Thank you for your interest in Our Historical Society!