John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Alsace Township

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

Alsace derives its name from the province formerly owned by the French, but now under control of the Germans, concerning which there has for a long time been constant dispute between France and Germany. The earlier settlers in part, were the descendants of French Huguenots; and these gave the name to the place. But, as in most townships of Berks, the German element predominated. These gave the character to the township, and the language and habits of the people were essentially German. The house now known as the Mineral Springs Hotel, was built as a woolen factory. Since its change it has become a pleasant place of resort for the people of the neighboring city in the summer. The place is made doubly attractive by the woods and by a fine spring, which flows from the side of a mountain, and "precipitates itself sparkling and leaping down the glen." Many are the people who come hither to escape the noise and heat of the city, and to enjoy themselves in the shady woods of the neighborhood.

The surface of the township is hilly and mountainous in the eastern part, and undulating in the western. The soil, for the most part, is highly productive. Iron ore is very abundant, and it is said that Mount Penn contains an inexhaustable supply. The Philadelphia and Pottsville Turnpike runs through this township, affording a highway to other sections of the State. Mills of various kinds are supplied by the never falling streams.

The township has been diminished in size by the erection of Muhlenberg, which took place in 1851. 1n 1810, the population of Alsace, including that of Muhlenberg, was 1,275. In 1870, there were 1,294 inhabitants in Alsace alone.