The Spring Grove Area Historical Preservation Society was founded in 1986, inspired by the Borough of Spring Grove’s 100th Anniversary Celebration a few years earlier. The late Mayor Richard Thieret invited several people involved in that observance to reunite. The purpose of that meeting was to discuss the feasibility of organizing a local historical society. Eleven people attended that meeting. Mayor Thieret presided over the meeting and Sandra Sterner acted as recording secretary. That was on May 19, 1986.
At a second meeting on June 17, Mayor Thieret appointed nominating, membership and by-laws committees. Two subsequent meetings were held involving more discussion and planning. The new historical society was incorporated on March 31, 1987. Harry P. Schrum, who was the Spring Grove Borough Secretary at the time, became our organization’s first president. There were 183 charter memberships: 48 Life; 59 Family; 67 Individual; and 9 Patron.
Donations of artifacts grew at a steady rate. First, donated artifacts were stored in a cabinet at the Spring Grove Borough building. Display cases were built by several volunteers in 1992, and placed at Glatfelter Memorial Library. An artifacts room was eventually opened in 1997 at the Spring Grove Area School District Educational Service Center. The artifacts were moved again in 2000 to the Spring Grove Area Community Center. This building was sold in December 2020. As a result of this sale, we moved our office to 100 Glenview Road in Spring Grove and our collection to storage. Here, our collection is limited by space and rotated to highlight different artifacts. We are particularly proud that our extensive collection has well over 10,000 artifacts included in it. In addition, we have a unique collection of local photographs. Our success is attributed to the interest and generosity of the community since 1986.
Our future looks bright. We have hired a full time Executive Director, whose mission is to help secure the Society a permanent home for our collections and a research archives. As always, we look forward to continue our mission of providing a historical legacy for this and future generations of the Spring Grove area residents. Through increased community participation and collaborations with other organizations, we work to become a strong community partner.
Some of the memorable events in the last 275 years (but not all, look for more entries to be added often).
King Charles II granted the Penn Family land west and south of New Jersey to form the Colony of Pennsylvania
Paradise Township laid out by Joseph Pidgeon, a surveyor for the Penn Family (Spring Grove was initially part of Paradise Township)
York County established from Lancaster County.
P. Dicks built the first iron bloomery west of the Susquehanna, in the present limits of Spring Grove
Dicks bloomery becomes known as "Spring Forge"
1775 - 1783
Spring Forge owned by D. Shireman, wagon loads of iron bar were sent to aid the Colonial Army
T. Coleman sells to J. Hauer and he changes the business from iron forge to paper mill.
1851 - 1863
Jackson Twp incorporated
American Civil War
December 23, 1863
St. Paul Lutheran Church built
Spring Grove Borough incorporated
Electric Lights on Main Street
The Ripplet became a widely published family newspaper journal.
Spring Grove Public School building built
The 1st National Bank of Spring Grove organized
Telephone lines and sewers installed
P.H. Glatfelter dies.
First Ordinance regulating automobile speed on Main Street.
Post Office officially changed from Spring Forge to Spring Grove
First House numbering system put into place.
First World War
First "Barker" published
Fire Department purchases a fire truck for $4,500
Cemetery Street renamed Constitution Avenue for 150th anniversary of the Constitution of the US
World War 2
Spring Grove Joint High School built on Hanover Road. (now middle school)
Annexed the Spring Forge Tract to increase the Borough to current size.
Cable TV franchise granted.