A complete history of Earl Township is yet to be written. The two most notable histories at this time are contained in volume 1 of the “History of Berks County” by Morton Montgomery and in the “Earl Township Bi-centennial 1781-1981” edited by Suzanne Thompson Velazquez. Both are available at the Earl Township Historical Society.

Earl Township was erected in November of 1781 after a group of residents petitioned on August 14, 1781 the court in Reading to separate the “Western District” from the rest of Oley. They reasoned that Oley was too big and needed to be divided. In 1852, a section of Earl Township was ceded to Pike Township thus reducing its’ size.

The names of the taxables in 1782, among them Clowser, Brentzinger, Drumheller, Deiner, Eist, Imbody, Swable and Saul, are still names found in the Township today. People come to Earl Township and they stay.

The early industries of the Township included fulling mills, grist mills, powder mills, tanneries and forges. Only some of the buildings remain and have been converted to private residences. Today there are no large industries only several smaller commercial businesses. Most residents work outside of the Township.

Small clusters of buildings form the nuclei of the villages of Shanesville and Worman. At one time each of these villages had their own post office which tended to be the hub of the area. It was where people got the news of the day as well as the mail.

The people of Earl, for the most part, are descended from sturdy Scots, Irish, Swedes and Germans; many today identify as Pennsylvania Dutch. They are a hard-working bunch and, from stories that abound, a hard-drinking bunch.

For more on the history of Earl Township, please see the above referenced histories.

Historical Society

The Earl Township Historical Society was started in 2008, by local residents interested in gathering historical information, photos, and memorabilia in an effort to preserve the history of Earl Township. The collection to date has grown quite extensively as more residents attend meetings, and donate or loan historical information and items to the Earl Township Historical Society.

Your historical society continues to add to our holdings of memorabilia pertaining to the history of Earl Township. We are always looking for pictures to copy and to share. We are also looking for any other items that tell part of the township history. It would be our great honor to receive anything that you might be looking to part with and we will keep it safe for all time.

“History balances the frustration of “how far we have to go” with the satisfaction of “how far we have come”. It teaches us tolerance for the human shortcomings and imperfections which are not uniquely of our generation, but of all time.” - Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

The Earl Township Historical Society holds their monthly meetings on:

4th Thursday of every month (with the exception of November and December) at 7:00pm at the Earl Township Municipal Building.

Contact Information

Ruth Baker 610-554-9755

Office Hours: Monday from 9am until noon or by appointment.

Earl Township Veterans Memorial, located at the Earl Township Municipal Building, was dedicated on Thursday, November 11, 2010.

We are in the process of compiling a list of all our current and former residents that have served in the Armed Forces. If you or a loved one fall into that category, please let the Historical Society know.