Everyone is cordially invited to the Goschenhoppen Historian's free monthly programs.

Focused on the Goschenhoppen region, meetings are always informative, entertaining and inspiring.
Third Thursday of each month, 7:30pm.
Red Men's Hall 216 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA


November 16th

The Schuylkill Navigation: A Picture Postcard Journey Downriver on the Schuylkill Canal

Aaron Heckler


John A. Hiester's excursion boat Carrie at the Birdsboro Steel Foundry & Machine Co.

The Schuylkill River is well known in southeastern Pennsylvania. Perhaps less widely known is the massive amount of construction which was done in the 19th century to make it

commercially navigable. The November meeting of the Goschenhoppen Historians will feature a thoroughly illustrated power point presentation by historian and author Aaron Heckler about the Schuylkill Navigation, often also called the Schuylkill Canal. Utilizing photographic picture postcards, mostly dating from 1905-1920, attendees will see and learn about the numerous locks, canal sections, dams and other features constructed along the Schuylkill River for the primary purpose of shipping coal from Schuylkill County to Philadelphia. 

A team of mules tows a canal boat out of the Shoemakersville lock

Beginning in the vicinity of Port Clinton, the audience will visually journey downriver through Berks County, then between and through portions of Chester and Montgomery County before ending in Fairmount Park. When commercial usage waned in later years, the usually calm waters provided popular spots for boating and relaxation. However, sometimes the power of the river caused unexpected results, and some of these events will be included as well. Much of the land development created for the navigation system has since been removed or greatly altered but mention will be made of some of the sites which still exist today. 

Spring City

As a collector and dealer of books and related paper items, Mr. Heckler has handled a large assortment of interesting local historical items over the years. From this vast accumulation he has selected a variety of fascinating images depicting this historic waterway to share with the Historians and their guests. 

Come join us for an informative evening learning about a part of the history and development of this important river in southeastern Pennsylvania. The program will begin at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 16th, at Red Men’s Hall, the Goschenhoppen Historians’ headquarters located at 116 Gravel Pike (Route 29), Green Lane, PA.  The public is welcome to attend and refreshments will be served during an informal get-together at the conclusion of Mr. Heckler’s presentation.


December 21st

Holiday Special Program

Joshua Fink and Others

January 18th

Bring in Your Treasures to Share 

(theme to be announced)