John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Tulpehocken Townships

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

The territory embraced in the townships of Tulpehocken, Upper Tulpehocken and Jefferson was formerly one township. Tulpehocken was named from a tribe of Indians called Turpyhockin, who inhabited this region. It was settled by about fifty families of Palatines, who came here from Albany, New York, in 1725. Like many other townships, Tulpehocken was the scene of frequent Indian massacres. One of these is graphically described by Rev. Mr. Muhlenberg, the founder of the American Lutheran denomination. The families of three men were murdered and scalped by the natives, and their property destroyed.

The first inhabitants were chiefly Lutherans and Reformed. A few years after the settlement Tulpehocken Church was built by the Lutherans, the Reformed assisting, upon a piece of ground, consisting of about seven acres, in the heart of the township, donated by the attorneys of John Page, Esq., London. The Lutherans built a house for a minister and teacher for their children. There were two parties in this church, each pretending to have the right of using the building. In 1742, Count Zinsendorff, the distinguished Moravian missionary, visited Tulpehocken and preached in the Lutheran church.

The township was thickly settled as early as 1735, and many of the people had already become wealthy.

Tulpehocken is hounded on the north by Bethel; on east by Jefferson; on the south by Marion on the west by Lebanon county. The Little Swartara on the north separates it from Bethel. Besides this there is another creek in the township. Both these streams turn the wheels of several mills.

Two villages are found in Tulpehocken, Rehrersburg and Wintersville. The former on the road leading from Reading to Sunbury, about twenty-two miles from Reading, is a thriving place.

Upper Tulpehocken lies at the base of the Blue Mountain. It has been diminished in size by the erection of Jefferson in 1857. It is well supplied with water by several creeks. The soil, like that of Tulpehocken, is of good quality, and well cultivated. The village of Straustown is situated within this township.

The population of Tulpehocken in 1870 was 2,013. In Upper Tulpehocken there were 1,196 inhabitants.