| In the early 1730's, German immigrants settled in the area now
known as Myerstown. On early maps Myerstown was called Herclerode, after the
first landowner, Mr. Valentine
Herclerode. The Herclerode house still stands on South
College Street, and is known as the Isaac Meier
Mr. Isaac Meier married Mr. Herclerode's
daughter, Catherine, and bought the home and plantation.
The home is located near the Tulpehocken Creek and the town was
later known as Tulpehocken
Town. Tulpehocken is a Lenape Indian word which means
"land of the turtles". Mr. Meier laid out the streets for his town in
In July of 1770, Mr. Meier was shot and killed in a local tavern
and his murderer was never found. After Mr. Meier died, his town gradually
became known as Meier-Town,
in tribute to him. After awhile, the spelling of the name took on an English
form of Myer rather than the German form of Meier.
Many of the early
homes in the Myerstown area were built of limestone or logs. Examples of these
original buildings can still be seen on Main Avenue, South Railroad Street and
South Cherry Street.
During the 1820's, a part the Union Canal ran
right through the Borough. Utilizing the streams of the area, eight canal locks
were constructed and canal boats were built locally. This helped Myerstown to
flourish and soon factories, hotels, and stores sprang up in the vicinity.
Then, in the 1850's the Lebanon Valley Railroad was built south of the
Union Canal, which brought more prosperity to Myerstown. After the Civil War,
horse-trading was a large business in Myerstown, which spun-off to other
businesses. Palatinate College as started and later became Albright College and
is now the Evangelical School of Theology.
During the American Civil War, many young men volunteered to fight for their
beliefs. Several of the many heros of the Union forces were born and raised in
Myerstown. One of these heros was Color Sgt.
Henry Brehm of the 149 Pennsylvania Regiment. He was
mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863 and died of his
wounds in August of that year. Sgt. Brehm 's body was returned to his home and
is buried in the Union Cemetery on Washington Avenue.
Borough of Myerstown was
incorporated February 5th 1912 and held it's first Council meeting on March
22nd of the same year in the High School Building. The first Council members
were: Henry Coal, President; John Donges; James Kolbach; Isaac Haak; Monroe
Haak; Samuel Beckey and Joseph Painter. The Mayor was Addison Bowen. The
population was 2335 and the assessed valuation of all properties was
$1,198,875. Some of the original businesses are still operated in Myerstown ...
over a hundred years of service to the community. Examples include: Bahney's
Furniture, Wilhelm's Hardware and Kohl Brothers Well Drilling/Pumps.
The ethnic diversity of Myerstown is manifested in the architecture of
the early German immigrants, the canal and railroad dug by the Irish and the
stonework in the quarries by the Italians.
In this day and age of speed
and anonymity, the Borough of Myerstown maintains it's "small town" atmosphere
where neighbors know each other and cheerful greetings are shared