John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Richmond Township

The following is reproduced from the 1876 Atlas of Berks County, Pennsylvania

This is one of the oldest settled townships of the county. It was organized soon after the erection of Berks. The settlers were industrious Germans.

The soil is of superior quality. The farms are well cultivated, and fine harvests are obtained. Iron ore is found in large quanties, and supplies several neighboring furnaces.

There is one borough within this township. Fleetwood, situated on the East Penn Railroad, eleven miles from Reading, is a thriving place, with a population of about 1,000 inhabitants. It contains many fine buildings, both public and private. Moselem on the Reading and Lehigh Railroad, is a place of considerable business activity, occasioned by the running of a large furnace.

Virginsville, on the same road is a growing place. It is chiefly noted for a remarkable curiosity known as the "Crystal Cave." This is situated about a mile and a half from the Virginsville Station, and four miles from Kutztown. It was discovered in 1871, by men engaged in quarrying stone. The cave was soon after sold to its present proprietor, who has made many improvements, with a view to rendering it more easily accessible to the public. A fine hotel has been built near by to accommodate strangers. This Cave is regarded by many as the greatest natural wonder in Pennsylvania. Crystal formations of every shape and color are found within it. Chief among these is a splendid wing-shaped brace of pendants hanging from a lofty projection, and most appropriately named the "Angel's Wings." Other remarkable features attract the attention of visitors, which require to be seen in order to be appreciated. No lover of nature should fail to visit Crystal Cave.

The township has increased very steadily in population. In 1870 it contained 2,874 inhabitants. Richmond is without doubt destined to be one of the most prominent townships in Berks county. Its fine soil suited to agricultural pursuits, and the vast resources of mineral wealth imbedded in the earth, contribute to the wealth and respectability of the inhabitants. The numerous creeks in the township are well adapted to manufacturing purposes. Ere many years we may confidently expect to see this portion of Berks county more thickly settled. New branches of industry will be opened which will attract labor and capital from other parts of the country. The whole section is destined ere long to become the home of a dense and industrious population.