Perkasie History and Amenities
Perkasie is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles north of Philadelphia. Establishments in the borough early in the twentieth century included silk mills, baseballs, brickyards, lumber mills, tile works, a stone crusher, and manufacturies of cigars, tags and labels, wire novelties, etc.
The borough’s nearest airport is located just north of the center of town, and is actually just on the other side of the East Rockhill Township border. Pennridge Airport is a public general aviation airport with one 4,200-foot-long runway.
Perkasie is home to a former major league baseball factory, scheduled to be converted to six two-bedroom condominiums by Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County. The goal of this project is to keep the exterior integrity intact and combine old world charm with green building techniques the new living space. The Pearl S. Buck House at Green Hills Farm, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is located near Perkasie in Hilltown Twp..
On June 26, 1988, about 15 percent of the town, including many historic buildings, were burned down in what became known as The Great Perkasie Fire. This massive fire was started by two 12-year-old boys who were playing with a lighter near the coal bins behind the Shelley & Sons lumberyard at Seventh and Market Streets. The fire was fought by about 300 firefighters who came from over 50 fire companies in three counties. Among the historic buildings lost were the American House and the Moyer-Kantner Funeral Home, both dating from 1870, and the Herstine Building. One of the buildings was the J.G. Moyer building. The building graced the cover of the July 7, 1945 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It depicted an artistic rendition of a Fourth of July parade by artist John Falter. Despite the size of the fire, no fatalities were reported.
Immediately after the fire, a group of concerned business owners, residents and borough officials formed a Downtown Restoration Task Force. The Task Force was given the name of the Perkasie Towne Improvement Association (PTIA). This group was the forerunner to the Perkasie Olde Towne Association. The PTIA along with Perkasie’s local government were responsible for the three-phase town improvement plan that was completed over the next five intervening years. The PTIA’s focus was to oversee the reconstruction of not only the area of the town center affected by the fire, but also other retail and residential areas in the central part of the Borough. As a result of these efforts, streetscape enhancements of decorative street lights, underground utilities, new sidewalks with decorative brick borders were built and new benches, trash receptacles and street trees were placed throughout the focus area.
The South Perkasie Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.