One morning last week when I was having breakfast with my son Nick at Seawell’s Market on First Avenue, one of the books on Seawell’s windowsill caught my eye. The eye-catching book, more a magazine than a book, was the Centennial Booklet celebrating Parkesburg’s 100th birthday published in 1972.
I had seen the book before but never in a place as accessible as Seawell’s Market’s windowsill!
As I picked up the book up and leafed through its pages, I recognized immediately the treasure trove of history I had in my hands.
The booklet begins with Parkesburg’s history from 1681 when William Penn acquired the the land and designated the largest and most western of the three original counties Chester County, through the separation from Sadsbury Township in 1872, up to the Centennial celebration in July 1972 as told by Marris Mullen, Parkesburg’s most notable historian of the time.
Mullen’s 15 page history, interspersed with seldom seen historical photographs, is followed by descriptions and histories of Parkesburg’s churches, schools, businesses, leaders and fraternal and scouting organizations.
Each page in the 50 page booklet, beginning with the “James Wilde & Sons Funeral Home” on page one, is sponsored by one of the many businesses that once prospered in western Chester County’s then thriving economy.
With Parkesburg and the entire Octorara region experiencing a mini-revival of sorts and residents focused on what promises to be a delightful, event-filled Community Day celebration coming up on August 2nd, it never hurts to look back at our town’s rich history and remember the many people, organizations and events that sparked Parkesburg into existence and made our borough the town it is today.
For the next several weeks, beginning with the first five pages this morning, Parkesburg Today will publish pages from the Centennial booklet.
If you are like me, you will find the historical facts and figures fascinating and engaging.
But even if you find the history boring, you have to admire what must have been a considerable amount of time and effort that went into documenting and creating this superb snapshot in time of Parkesburg’s history.