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Monday, 05 January 2015 00:00

Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles in PA Celebrates its 50-Year Journey

The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles in Pennsylvania will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a yearlong series of events highlighting the region's transportation history, according to Ron Devlin,

The museum's celebration will begin with a Golden Anniversary Gala on Jan. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at its headquarters, 85 S. Walnut St., Boyertown.

Paul and Erminie Hafer founded the museum in 1965 with a vision of displaying vehicles that had Berks County origins, according to Devlin. Soon after it opened on Dec. 12, 1965, the museum's geographic scope grew to include all of southeastern Pennsylvania.

The Hafers collected a wide variety of vehicles, including horse-drawn sleighs and carriages, bicycles, trucks and cars. In all, more than 80 vintage vehicles are included in the collection.

Originally housed in a former Boyertown Auto Body Works building on Warwick Street, the museum relocated to another section of the complex on Walnut Street in 2001.

At the outset, the museum displayed vehicles in the Hafers' personal collection. Later, other collectors contributed historic vehicles, according to Devlin.

Devlin said the collection has expanded to include icons of roadside America: a cottage-style 1921 Sunoco gas station that once operated in Strausstown and a 1938 Jerry O'Mahony diner that once formed the hub of Fegely's Family Restaurant in Exeter Township.

An 1827 Conestoga wagon built in Bernville, a 1923 Ace motorcycle and a 1918 Biddle roadster from Philadelphia have been recently acquired.

The most recent addition, a 1940 Bantam convertible, Devlin said was built in Butler, near Pittsburgh. It is the first piece in the collection that originates from the western half of the state.

As part of its golden anniversary celebration, the museum is planning special events for the third Saturday of each month. Included are a food truck fair and a 1960s cruise. Official dates will be announced.

Museum hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., except major holidays. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and AAA members and $4 for students. Children under 5 are admitted free.

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