History Of Reading

08/14/2014

Reading is the only one of our communities that started off with a different name.  In 1794, Abraham Voorhees moved his family near Philadelphia to a log cabin along the Mill Creek.  Others purchased land nearby and In 1797 the early settlement was called Voorhees Town.  One of those who purchased land was Harry Redinbo.  Shortly after, the settlement's name was changed to Reading in honor of Redinbo's hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania.  His father in-law was William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania and originally from Reading, England.  By 1830, Reading had 200 residents.  In 1851, it incorporated as a village.  By 1920, Reading had a population of 4540.  Before World War II, most of the population lived in the Mill Creek Valley area.  After the war, construction started picked up in the hilltop area around Columbia Avenue and Hunt Road and the population jump to 12,832 by 1960. In 1976, the city's population peaked at 15,500.  Today, it is around 10.300.

I did not find a lot of information about the history of the school district.  The high school was located in the valley until 1962 when a new high school was built on the hilltop.  Today, the district has two elementary schools and middle school in the same building as Central Elementary and a 9th -12th high school.  Constuction will start in the summer of 2017 for a new K-12 campus.

Some interesting Reading facts.  Reading is the boyhood home of the former US Speaker of the House, John Boehner.  The Reading Bridal District along and near Benson Street is the largest of it's kind in the country.  There are 25 different wedding related businesses and services.