Borough of Bally Centennial Celebration

By Luann Zambanini

Just 5 ½ miles north of Boyertown, on PA Route 100, is little Borough of Bally. Bally is having a birthday celebration: it is reaching the century mark. Yes, Borough of Bally is 100 years old.

It began as Goshenhoppen. Then, in later years, one finds this area listed on maps as Churchville. Churchville was a fitting name, since this small village contained three churches: Most Blessed Sacrament, Hereford Mennonite, Bally Mennonite. Along came a pastor at Most Blessed Sacrament Church by the name of Rev. Augustin Bally. Fr. Bally was pastor of MBS Church from 1837 until 1882 and made his mark on the community. Less than a year after his death, Nicholas Andrea and Rev. John Meurer (Fr. Bally’s successor) requested of the postal authorities in Philadelphia that a post office be established in the community. The local post office was in Schultzville. (Schultzville is located just south of town on New Route 100, where there is currently located a Shell station and Wendy’s Flowers. Nicholas suggested they call the post office Bally; later, the town’s name was changed to Bally to match the post office name.

Bally once had its own undertaker on Church Street in town, Amos Witman, whose hearse was pulled by horses. The young men of town formed a car club that was called Angels of Route 100. There were several grocery stores in town as well as several restaurants. Bally once had two hotels. Both buildings still stand. One has since been remodeled into apartments while The Bally Hotel (the other) is still being used as a hotel.

Have you ever heard of Ruth’s Convalescent Haven? This was a home for the aged, infirmed, and others. This is a part of Bally history that not many people will remember. Bally is rich in history, and this reality will be shared in a book that will be available for purchase at the celebration. If you have any Bally pictures or history you would be willing to share, please contact Bally19503@gmail.com.

The Borough has seen its share of factories come and go. The people, however, seem to stay, from generation to generation. The people of Bally would like to invite everyone from our surrounding communities to help us celebrate our 100TH birthday.

The party will begin on June 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM. We’ll party throughout the day with fun, food, and fantastic treats for the kids of all ages. Come one, come all, to Bally Community Park to celebrate.

T-shirts celebrating the birthday will be available for purchase as well as a history book of the town. This book will contain information and pictures of yesteryear as well as today. You don’t want to miss this event. For more information you can contact the Borough office at 610-845-2351.

Quigley Chevrolet Serves Bally and Beyond for 79 Years

By Jennifer Hetrick
hetrick@boyertown.biz

What is, today, known as Quigley Chevrolet opened on November 2, 1933 as Moll & Quigley at Fourth and Main streets in Bally, housed in a former blacksmith shop.

That first year, as an associate dealer to Krause & Herbein, a Chevrolet dealer in Boyertown, the Bally location offered a total of 10 vehicles—nine cars and just one truck. Charles H. Moll, Sr. ran the office, while James Quigley served as the mechanic.

In 1937, the dealership relocated to its current location about two lots up. The old storefront was torn down, with homes built in its place. James bought the dealership in August of 1941, when it became known as James S. Quigley Chevrolet. “Then, three months later, it was Pearl Harbor,” said dealer principal Brian Quigley, who is the grandson of James.

Until World War II. ended, the dealership only provided service on vehicles, since production of domestic cars and essentials, like tires, had been eliminated from industry because of all efforts supporting the military, in training within the U.S. and on active duty overseas.

“At the conclusion of the war, they expanded and hired more employees,” Brian said, noting that, by 1946, his grandfather began selling vehicles on the lot again.

In 1958, the business incorporated, and by the 1990s, it became known locally as Quigley Chevrolet. Today, the dealership has about ?????50????? vehicles on the lot, with 25 employees.

Quigley Chevrolet proudly introduced the Volt in early 2012, with the vehicle running on both electric and gasoline. A demonstration model is available for test-driving, Brian pointed out.

“Being able to satisfy someone with the vehicle they want,” is what Brian said he finds most rewarding about running his long-held family-operated business in Berks County, as transportation is so integral in the lives of people today. “Whenever somebody gets a new car, it’s not too many people who aren’t a little bit excited.”

Local RMS Titanic Victim to be Honored

By Luann Zambanini

RMS Titanic, part of White Star Line, took three years to build at a cost of $7.5 million. The original order for lifeboats called for 64 lifeboats, but when RMS Titanic left the shipyard, only 14 standard lifeboats, 4 collapsible lifeboats, and 2 cutters had been installed. This amount would be enough to save 1,178 people, less than half of the 3,547 passengers and crew aboard the ill-fated ocean liner. In accordance with existing regulations, this amount exceeded the existing lifeboat requirements by 17%. Nobody seemed to be worried about lifeboats; the feeling was that the boats would not be needed because this ship was designed with 16 watertight compartments. The ship would float safely even if the two largest sections were flooded with water.

RMS Titanic pulled out of Southampton, England’s harbor on April 10, 1912 for its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. The captain would be a sixty-two year old captain who had logged two million miles aboard White Star Line ships. Captain E. J. Smith would be retiring after this voyage. A local woman, Annie Funk, of the Bally area, booked a passage on this ship. Annie, who was a missionary in India for the past six years, was rushing home to spend some time with her gravely ill mother.

Contrary to popular opinion, RMS Titanic did not smash into an iceberg; it simply experienced a glancing collision for a full ten seconds. This glancing collision sheared a 300 foot wound in the ship’s starboard side that damaged the ship’s thick plates in five of the six compartments, thus causing seawater to pour into the ship’s watertight compartments. More than two of the compartments were flooded, so the unthinkable was occurring: the unsinkable ship was, in fact, sinking.

The lifeboats were lowered to the icy cold waters, some only half-full. Just after 2:00 AM on April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean. Annie was one of those who didn’t survive. Her body was never recovered; however, there is a memorial marker for her on Union Cemetery in Bally.

Her church, the Hereford Mennonite Church in Bally, is planning a chalk talk entitled “Annie Funk: A Life that Made a Difference.” Rev. Gerhart will tell Annie’s story, verbally, as he draws her story. This event is open to the public, free of charge, on Sunday April 15. It will be held at Washington Elementary School, 1406 Route 100, Barto (across from Longacre’s Modern Dairy) at 4:00 PM.

Later that evening, at 7:00 PM, there will be a memorial service at Hereford Mennonite Church, in Bally, for all of RMS Titanic victims. Questions regarding any of these programs should be directed to Hereford Mennonite Church at 610-845-2949.

Where Lumber Sales Began with a Roller Coaster

By Jennifer Hetrick
hetrick@boyertown.biz

Back in 1939, dismantling an 80-foot-tall wooden roller coaster, at the former Sanatoga Amusement Park, helped Amandus D. Moyer to start the company his family still runs today.

Moyer soon sold the 15 or so truckloads of lumber from the roller coaster under the name A. D. Moyer Lumber, as a suitable endeavor for someone who already found himself in the hauling business.

Traveling to the docks in Philadelphia to pick up more lumber, and driving out to the mining region of Pennsylvania to buy a coal cracker to disassemble and sell, Moyer quickly began to make a name for himself, working from the few acres where his family’s first store now sets in Gilbertsville.

fter he passed away in 1963, his sons, Donald and Francis, took over, and, by 1974, a second location blossomed along Armand Hammer Boulevard in Pottstown, largely in response to Hurricane Agnes, of 1972, destroying many houses so that reconstruction became essential.

“They were selling roof shingles in the early days, too,” said grandson Terry Moyer, who is, today, the company’s co-owner with his cousin, Scott.

Demand for home and building construction supplies continued to crawl upward, with A. D. Moyer as a company proudly serving this niche market.

Today, the bulk of A. D. Moyer Lumber’s customer base is contractors, but besides just selling a product line suited to transform a home into a beautiful living space both indoors and outdoors, services for the installation of patio, front entry, storm, and garage doors are offered.

Deck resurfacing, along with window and porch column installation, is also a part of what A. D. Moyer makes available to its residential clientèle. Free retail delivery is its own nice perk, as well.

In 2008, A. D. Moyer branched out into supplying portable storage containers to those who are remodeling or relocating, including homeowners and businesses in and outside of Pennsylvania.

“We’re looking to actually give you what you need for a job, not the glimmer and glamor of box stores,” Moyer said about how he, his family, and his employees strive to keep wholesome meaning and value in supporting such a localized operation. “We don’t skinny down on quality, either.”

Reflecting on what’s most rewarding about running the business, Moyer most appreciates “…the compliments in the public eye from the people who had their problems solved and value added to their homes through us.”